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Detroit Tigers Links: Tigers have 3 of the worst contracts in baseball

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So says ESPN. Not me.

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If you clicked on this to come yell at me, save it. I don't think the Tigers have three of the 25 worst contracts. I mean, a couple of them aren't good. But if you would like to do yelling, please direct it to Dan Szymborski of ESPN. He placed three Tigers in his top 25 with Miguel Cabrera at fifth, Justin Verlander at 14th and Victor Martinez at 20th. Oh yeah, and just for fun, Prince Fielder checks in at third. If you're keeping track, Albert Pujols and Robinson Cano were first and second, respectively.

Did you know that Cabrera is signed until 2023 and the team still owes him $248 million? We might have flying cars and definitely will have self-driving ones by that point. Anyway, that's a long time to sign anyone, even if they are the greatest player of this generation. I don't have such a pessimistic view on his long-term output as Dan, but age decline metrics and last year's injuries cloud the future. That being said, if anyone is going to be  productive through their 30s, its going to be Cabrera.

The next Tiger up is Verlander, and a ranking that I disagree with. Dan's main point:

His strikeout rate of 7.6 per nine innings didn't approach "classic" Verlander, who once led the league witH a 10.1 K/9 rate, and there's no team that would offer him a four-year, $112 million contract (what's left on his original deal) if he were a free agent

I mean, yeah, no one would pay him that. But that's a rather short sighted view of how contracts are built. Especially considering the type of contracts that Ian Kennedy and Jeff Samardzija just got for being No. 3 starters. A drop in production is probably on the horizon, but it certainly looked like Verlander figured it out at the end of last year. He should be able to provide enough value over the next four years to justify a fair amount of that money.

That leaves us Martinez. The rational take is that you don't pay an old player on a career year. Well this isn't one I am going to be rational on. I fully believe Martinez is going to have a monster bounce back year and pay back 2015 and more. Yes, age and injuries, but we've gotta have at least one hot take per blog, right?

I completely understand Szymborski putting all three contracts in his list. They are tremendous amounts of money sunk into older players. But with Cabrera and Verlander being the faces of franchise, and as a Tigers fan, you have to appreciate the contracts in the time that they were made.

Let the onslaught of NOT LIKE (THIS) LAST YEAR narratives begin

It's spring training. The birds are chirping, there is that freshly mowed grass smell, and hope springs eternal. Which means it's time for all of the IT WON'T BE THE SAME takes. Ian Kinsler dons this "not just another spring training." Miguel Cabrera "feels the difference." And the whole team is bringing a sense of urgency to the first full work out of spring. I'm harping on it, but this will definitely be the repeated story of the spring, as it should be. Everyone is saying the right things. Also, everyone is healthy and we have a bunch of good players. That helps, too.

What's a Bautista worth?

Well, initial reports were that Jose Bautista's answer to that question was $150 million. Which he has since denied. But also, he is definitely not worth $150 million. That being said, he is on record as stating that he will not be supplying a home town discount, and that is totally fair. He completely outplayed his initial, five-year, 65 million dollar contract and deserves whatever the highest number he can get. Just not $150 million. That would be No. 1 on the list above.

Marcus Stroman is short but also awesome

Really like this article by ESPN's Jayson Stark on Marcus Stroman, who starts the year as the Blue Jays' No. 1 pitcher despite not fitting the classic profile. Also he provided the quote, "Mediocrity, honestly, scares me," which is what I think every time I tweet. Always gotta compete out there on the interwebs.

Say goodbye to Cliff Lee, who was really good at pitching

Fangraphs supplies the statistical meat on why Cliff Lee was so good while Grant Brisbee supplies the lasting lessons of his pitching tenure.