I’m an avid Tigers’ fan, so I thought I’d talk about the moves I’d like them to make in the offseason, so that we not only make it back to the ALCS in 2012, but hopefully make it to the World Series & win the World Series.
-Left handed starting pitcher
-Right handed relief pitcher
-Back up catcher
-A starting SS (but a starting 3B works if no quality starting SS is available)
-A starting 2B
-A leadoff hitter
-A power bench bat
Players who could fill our team needs:
-C.J. Wilson: He might command ace like money, while being a #3 at best in a rotation. If we could snag him at a discounted rate and slap him smack dab in the middle of our rotation, I think we become the team to beat, heading into next year.
-Mark Buehrle: I honestly think he’ll stay in Chicago or maybe go to the Marlins, but I think he might be out of our price range.
-David Aardsma: Aardsma’s coming off surgery and has something to prove. He might come cheap, but has closer type stuff. I think he’d gel well with the personalities in our pen.
-Heath Bell: One of my favorite relievers, but his cost might be too much and I think he’ll be a Padre for life.
-Frank Francisco: If he demands a closer’s salary, then Dombrowski would balk at his offer, but if his range is reasonable, then it’d be worth looking into.
-LaTroy Hawkins: I think he’s the best RP we can get for his price range. Consistent, experienced and cheap.
-Kelly Shoppach: My first choice for backup catcher, depending on his asking price.
-Ryan Doumit: If we don’t sign Shoppach, I think we go after Doumit. He’s effective and would fill the void of commanding control of our pitchers and the tempo of the game, every 5th day.
-Aramis Ramirez: A consistent 3B both offensively and defensively. I think he’s the biggest bat we sign this offseason.
-David Wright: Mets are listening to offers for Wright. If their expectations for return are reasonable, then we have to make a move. When he’s at his best, he’s debatably the best offensive 3B.
-Martin Prado: Braves are shopping him and he’d be a perfect glue guy for Detroit’s clubhouse.
-Aaron Hill: If we can’t find a way to pry Prado from Atlanta, since their asking price might be too high, Hill is my favorite of the free agents.
-Kelly Johnson: The safe, cheap, effective option in the 2B free agent market. He doesn’t give you flash, but he’s consistent & gives us a leadoff hitter.
-Brandon Phillips: My favorite 2B, he just got a contract extension, but rumors have the Reds still shopping him. If that’s the case then we need to jump on that.
-Jose Reyes: Dombrowski pretty much shot down the idea of signing him, but I still think it’s a possibility.
-Michael Cuddyer: He’s a player I’ve always liked & he’s a hot commodity among a lot of teams right now. He’s a utility player that can be plugged in a lot of places. He can play 1st or the outfield or DH or pinch hit. He would give us another bat, that would make our offense more potent, while taking away a starter from one of our division rivals.
-Realistic Offseason Signings:
*If we don’t go out & sign a left-handed SP, I think Dave Dombrowski is content filling the 5th hole in our rotation with Jacob Turner. However, getting deep into the playoffs without a lefty can become a bump in the road. C.J. Wilson is the more realistic option of the two big FAs, but he comes with a hefty price tag & we might distribute those funds towards filling our other needs. Hawkins has been a reliever that I’ve always really liked. He gives us the lockdown 7th inning pitcher to set up for Benoit & Valverde, which is the one thing missing in our bullpen. Shoppach might draw a starting job somewhere else, but if we can convince him to come to a contender for less money & a spot start every 5th day, then he could definitely become an asset. Braves have been shopping Prado & he’s that glue guy that every great team has. He can play a plethora of positions & would be a great leadoff man. Aramis Ramirez would be our biggest splash this offseason if we can obtain him. He’d give us offense from the hot corner, which we so desperately need. This comes without saying, but we need to, & I think we will, re-sign Delmon Young. He gives us that extra pop in our lineup in either the 2 or 5 hole, that we really need again.