Keep calm and carry on. A British slogan to lift the spirits of the people during World War II, the phrase is also a nice guideline for how to react when offseason news and discussion comes to light.
Along with the last game of the season comes the first discussion of the offseason. Keeping calm and carrying on should probably start now. Why keep calm? Because not all the news is the best in the world, depending how you view different topics. But considering the MLB offseason doesn't even begin until after the World Series, it's really too soon to be putting much weight on anything said. Actually given past history, it's hard to know how much weight to give anything said by the team's management.
- Convert lefty reliever Phil Coke to a starter.
- Seek out an "RBI guy" for the middle of the order. That's on their high priority list.
- So is finding some late-inning bullpen help, ala Brandon Lyon in the past. Bullpen all around is going to be a key area
- Don't go after a front line starter. Don't necessarily go after a bottom of the line starter either.
- Bid farewell to catcher Gerald Laird, but attempt to find another right-handed catcher to complement 2011 starter Alex Avila with.
- Allow Jeremy Bonderman to walk, but at least give him a minor-league deal if he hasn't found anything by next year.
- Do not re-sign Johnny Damon
- Attempt to keep Brandon Inge at third base and Jhonny Peralta at shortstop. Inge has been offered a multi-year deal, apparently two years judging by FS Detroit's broadcast. Do ... something ... about Peralta. He can be had by picking up his $7.25 million option, but apparently the team would prefer to re-negotiate the deal.
- Try to sign Magglio Ordonez now that his option has been declined, but it has to be a contract friendly to both parties
Ryan Raburn may not be an everyday player, but he may be. Dombrowski was kind of unclear on that.
- Brennan Boesch and Capser Wells will be competing for a roster spot.
Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes will compete/complement at second base.
Off the top of my head, I feel like they need a better left side of the infield than they're aiming for. Peralta was a great addition for a few months, but his past history indicates a full season of Peralta may not end with the best of feelings. Inge, of course, we like.
I am glad they will not be aiming for "fifth starter" and sound like they'll be shopping the starting pitching market. Just because fifth starter is your opening doesn't mean you need to seek out a fifth starter. What's wrong with compiling as many top starters as possible? The goal is to win, after all, not seek mediocrity. Given that the Tigers finished 12th of 14 teams in ERA this season, and that they may not be putting a stellar defense in the field, and that their chief competition is a young Twins team that got into the mid-90s for a wins total, the more quality pitchers Detroit can get the better.
They definitely need another bat or two. Retaining Magglio's services and signing a slugger to hit on the other side of Cabrera would be ideal. Jayson Werth and Adam Dunn seem like likely candidates. Victor Martinez may shore up the hitter/complementary catcher spot.
Bullpen help, you can always use. It's hard to weigh a bullpen though. They really seem to go up and down year to year, making it hard to pin a good one down. But just keep adding decent pitchers to it and you'll do OK.
Second base and catcher really aren't big concerns for me. Glad to see the team feels the same.
But as I said, what they say now may not resemble the team we see in March. In the past, ideas have been sent up the chimney, positions have been granted, and they didn't turn out quite like they sounded they would. There's some posturing to be done, after all. Unexpected deals come up. I think the offseason will be more exciting than the early sketch would indicate.
So what do you think of these early rumblings from the team?