After the shock of Monday's surprise reports that the Detroit Tigers planned to sign star outfielder Justin Upton, the reactions poured in from around Major League Baseball. Specifically, the Tigers players themselves were ecstatic about their new teammate. Brandon has a nice summary in yesterday's links.
By Tuesday, the press, bloggers, and other various baseball experts had their first pass at reaction, and that reaction was almost universally positive for a Tigers team in need of more thump in their batting order.
Neil Greenberg at the Washington Post and Anthony Fenech of the Free Press both peg the Tigers as World Series contenders after the signing, which ... yeah. We appreciate the enthusiasm.
Without Upton, the Tigers were improved. They looked like an AL Central contender. But with Upton, they look like a World Series contender, ready to rebound into the 86-year-old Ilitch's only remaining goal in baseball: A ring.
Grant Brisbee of SB Nation calls it the best signing of the offseason. And this is in the same offseason when someone allowed us to sign Mike Pelfrey for a measly $16 million!
Getting Upton, though, was the best move of the offseason for any team. It's a move that dances deftly between immediate need and long-term concerns, filling a spot the Tigers would have been daft not to fill and doing it in a way that shouldn't melt future rosters.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News walks through why, after there was word that the Tigers were still in on Yoenis Cespedes, they decided on Upton.
Upton, like Cespedes, is considered a streaky player, but his production belies that. In the last seven seasons, he's averaged 30 doubles, 25 homers and 16 stolen bases. Other than Mike Trout, Upton is the only player in baseball to average 25 homers, 25 doubles and 74 runs since 2013.
All of that is enough to push the needle toward Upton. But there is more.
...when you are handing out six-year, $132 million deals, you need to get it right. And when owner Mike Ilitch gave the green light to adding another major contract, the Tigers deemed Upton the safer investment.
In all of this hullabaloo, let's not forget about the owner that is putting even more of his cash on the line. Jeff Passan gives the history of Mike Ilitch's big ticket signings, one I am sure you are all familiar with. Make sure you go out and get a couple Hot and Readys to support the cause.
I hope everyone appreciates what a great owner Mr. Illitch is!! This is the year! #tigers #2016— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) January 19, 2016
Thank you for the Tigers specific content, FanGraphs
Shout out to Jeff Sullivan and FanGraphs for always releasing their Tigers' content the day before my links post, three great pieces on Tuesday. The first: another view (Rob covered this earlier) on whether the Tigers are too right-handed. Still no. They also provide an interesting look on if Comerica Park is actually suppressing strike outs due to its geographical direction. And they released their 2016 ZiPS projections on Tuesday. It's like they know.
MLB.TV users rejoice!
Hours before the class action lawsuit was supposed to begin, the MLB settled, meaning that it will now offer single-team packages for 85 dollars. That's $40 cheaper than what those of us that are out of market were paying last year. It also eliminates the blackout restriction as long as you have a cable subscription in the area. Guess what, Hawk, I'm never listening to your blatant homerism ever again.
Want to learn A LOT about Justin Miller?
Our friends over at Purple Row have quite the longform on former Tiger and breakout reliever Justin Miller. The piece has wide breadth and covers a lot of interesting topics from pitching approach to tattoo pain.