There's one thing I think can be said about the next few weeks: The Tigers, like the Yankees, Red Sox and other "haves" of the game* will be linked to a lot of the higher-priced free agents out there by anonymous "sources" cited by the media. Detroit is perceived to have a wallet full of cash with impresario Dave Dombrowski calling their names. For all we know the sources are linked to agents driving the market. But maybe there's true interest from Detroit despite what they tell the home fans back in Michigan.
*In Xanadu does Dombrowski work? I thought the Tigers were just above broke and the Michigan economy was so hideous that the team would never be able to afford to keep Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, let alone pay 25 players for an entire season? Oh how the storylines change in 10 months.
Today's report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post links the Tigers to free agent outfielder Carl Crawford.
"What a great position to be in if you are Crawford," said an AL personnel man, "Three teams with money will definitely be bidding on him."
Those would be the Red Sox, Angels and Tigers.
Sherman goes on to speculate Crawford will receive an eight-year deal worth approximately the value of Fort Knox. OK, so maybe a little less than that.
Does this make sense for the Tigers? Let's check it against realistic expectations:
Detroit has a pair of $20 million dollar men in Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. Carl Crawford could receive $18 million a year, which would make him a very well paid 38-year-old. Does it make sense for the Tigers to tie up $60 million in just three players for the 2012-2014 seasons?
Probably not. Unless they're cloning Cabrera or Verlander anyway.
Have the Tigers a need for what Crawford provides? Well, you always want a guy who can provide offense and defense, to be certain. A little speed would be nice. Contrary to popular belief, Crawford has power, making him more than a leadoff batter. But would Detroit view him that way?
So far, no. They're looking for an Adam Dunn or a Jayson Werth more than a Carl Crawford.
As one of those executives said, "Detroit will be the team that goes the extra year to get someone like Dunn or, don't forget, the Tigers in the past have saved Boras by going further with guys like Pudge [Ivan Rodriguez] and Magglio, so maybe they go the sixth year for Werth."
That I can definitely see happening.
When I get to the bottom of this rumor, I find it quite unlikely they will pursue Crawford past curious interest. I wouldn't read much into the rumor. The mention of Dunn and Werth is nothing new. But first we'll have to see how the pursuit of Dan Uggla shakes out, won't we?
It's going to be an offseason to remember. Let's just hope when we look back in a few years we're not remembering it for the wrong reason!
(via MLB Trade Rumors)