Imagine you're Jim Leyland and you have the task of putting together a batting order for the 2010 Detroit Tigers. Now I know Spring Training has just started and positional players aren't even in camp yet, but nonetheless it's fun to speculate. Here's my go at it:
1. Austin Jackson (CF) / Clete Thomas (OF)
2. Johnny Damon (DH / LF) / Ryan Raburn (OF)
3. Magglio Ordonez (RF)
4. Miguel Cabrera (1B)
5. Carlos Guillen (LF / DH)
6. Brandon Inge (3B) (Why would he come after Guillen?)
7. Gerald Laird (C) / Alex Avila (C)
8. Scott Sizemore (2B) (Obviously if he lives up to the hype he'll move up) / Ramon Santiago (UTIL)
9. Adam Everett (SS) / Ramon Santiago (UTIL)
I also think we could see some increased use of Casper Wells (OF) and Jeff Larish (DH/1B) this year. It would be amazing if Ryan Strieby could make his way up too, but I'm not holding out too much hope for that yet.
Here is Jason Beck's projection of the batting order (his was completed before the Johnny Damon signing). Here is Tony Paul's projection from The Detroit News (again it was before Damon). As you can see in the projections, it looks like there is a lot of agreement over the batting order before Spring Training.
Another point of speculation: with all the left-handed pitching the Tiger's have in their bullpen, I woldn't be shocked to see them make a trade after Spring Training for a left-handed hitter who plays the infield well (3B back-up maybe?). I've heard some mention of this from Lynn Henning, and I think he's right on the money with this.
Also, I am going to project that Miguel Cabrera has an MVP kind of season. After what happened last year and the reports that he has sought help and turned things around, I can definitely see him playing with a chip on his shoulder to try and prove his doubters wrong. Look for Miguel Cabrera to contend in MVP balloting.
Post your own projection or speculation about trades below and we can get a conversation going on where you think guys will end up...