Tigers GM/CEO/etc Dave Dombrowski met with the local media on Monday, and told them basically nothing new. He's happy with the roster, happy with second and third bases, more or less happy with pitching. He said the team could use some small tweaks but does not need to make any major moves.
The Detroit News' Lynn Henning wrote that Dombrowski was practicing the art of not offending any of his players who might still wear the D next year despite best efforts to find an upgrade. Others could point toward this being posturing. Don't let other teams and agents use your weaknesses against you in negotiations. In past years, I've trotted out those same thoughts as well.
But you know what? This year I kind of believe him. Dombrowski has told his plans during the past few offseasons and July trading deadlines and basically stuck to them. But we've had this discussion before. Just yesterday, actually. So let's just move on to Dombrowski's statements.
Per MLive, Dombrowski said:
"I think we're probably more settled than has been the case in a lot of years, but we're also coming off a club that won 95 games, and we didn't lose a lot of guys that were key pieces."
Jim Leyland spoke as well, acting as an echo chamber for his bosses comments. He told the press:
"There's nothing that we need to do that's drastic, like other years where we really needed something We're not perfect by any means, but we feel like we have a good nucleus."
More specifically, Dombrowski told the press there wasn't a lot of interest in Mark Buehrle, and the team has a number of minor league pitchers he would feel comfortable with in the rotation. Personally, I think the Tigers will find a veteran starter on a short contract rather than go that far. But I'd classify that as a tweak, and it's not necessarily a move that gets done this week.
As far as platoons at second or third go, Dombrowski sounded happy with his club. Quoted by John Lowe of the News:
"The second-base platoon of Raburn and Santiago worked well for us. You've got one guy (Raburn) who is more of an offensive guy that did OK defensively, and another guy (Santiago) that does very well defensively who is a switch-hitter and gives you a left-handed bat."
As for fixing things near the top of the order, the Tigers would like to find more speed, but they aren't looking through tunnel vision for a guy who runs fast. Leyland told the media:
"We'd rather have slower guys who can hit rather than faster guys who can't."
Jose Reyes, obviously, sounds like an ideal player there, but the Tigers said they were never really in those discussions.
And then it all comes back to Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Dombrowski admitted to meeting with Cespedes, though he didn't show any cards passed that. Potentially, Cespedes is both better and faster than other alternatives. In the past, owner Mike Ilitch has talked about wanting to make a splash this offseason, and the highly-touted Cuban would certainly qualify as a splash. At this point, everything lines up to saying this is the Tigers' biggest priority.
Other coverage of Dombrowski yesterday: