Sam sums it up best: I’M NOT OK WITH THIS.
Jon Paul Morosi writes:
"Even without Martinez, the Tigers are the most talented team in the AL Central. They have three players who finished among the top 12 in AL MVP balloting last year: Justin Verlander (first), Miguel Cabrera (fifth), and Alex Avila (12th). No other team in the division put a player on that list. In fact, no other team in the division finished with a winning record. The gap between the Tigers and everyone else in the division is large enough that they should win the division despite Martinez’s absence."
Martinez’s absence certainly is not ideal, but that’s mostly because it will require the Tigers to commit two spots to the least-important position on the roster. The average American League DH batted .265/.340/.429 last season, and any of the aforementioned timeshare options should produce above that level for Detroit in 2012. This is not "disastrous news" for the Tigers, as Jon Paul Morosi suggested. It’s a bump in the road—but not one that should prevent Detroit from winning its second consecutive division title.
Lynn Henning writes:
Dave Dombrowski's voice during a Tuesday conference had the tone of a man who had just watched his house burn down.
I'll be honest here. I've listened to Dombrowski speak a lot, whether on TV, the radio, teleconferences, whatever. I do not believe he sounded any different yesterday than any other time.
Who will replace Victor Martinez? Tigers should take shot at Prince Fielder -- The Detroit News
This piece is by Tony Paul. Suggestion 1 is a pipe dream, but 2 through 5 sound about right.
They'll almost certainly sign a one-year stopgap like Carlos Peña, Johnny Damon, or Casey Kotchman, and when the Tigers get one of these options, they'll be exactly what they were: the prohibitive favorites of the AL Central.
Tigers’ options without Victor Martinez -- Beck's Blog
Jason Beck breaks down possible signings into categories (and shows how a blog can be a wonderful sidebar for traditional-format writers).
Still, it's a blow for the Tigers -- although as the Cardinals proved in 2011 with Adam Wainwright, there is no such thing as a lethal blow. I do wonder if this makes it even more likely they'll swing a trade for another starting pitcher, as has been rumored. Matt Garza, anyone?
Eno Sarris writes:
It’s not the hole of a departing super-star, not any more. His bat can still give the team twenty runs of production at the plate, but his defense and base-running have slowly pushed him down from his five-win peak down to a more average neighborhood. With Alex Avila‘s competence behind the plate, and Gerald Laird in house to be the backup, the Tigers are looking to try and replace about two-and-a-half wins of offense out of their designated hitter position. ... It may not look the same, and Tigers fans will miss Martinez’ smile — and his son, if rehab takes them away from the team — but a little platoon creativity and a timely free agent signing should help them replace his production.
John Lowe recaps pretty much everything and suggests or shoots down a few options.
I haven't begun my deeper research but there are definitely reasons to like Vladdy, I agree.