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Don't Look Back: Detroit Tigers 2011 Offseason Preview and Prediction

. .Correspondent IOctober 24, 2016

Don't Look Back: Detroit Tigers 2011 Offseason Preview and Prediction

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    Can Leyland lead a Tigers team back to the World series in 2011?Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Tigers did pretty much as expected in 2010. Maybe not the way it was expected or with the intangibles (*cough* UMPIRES *cough*). 

    Looking ahead to 2011, it is very promising. Millions and millions of dollars are being freed up and we could have a lot of fun these coming months.

    This is a preview of the 2011 Offseason tied in with my prediction for it. The format will go as follows...

     

     

    Page 1: Introduction

    Page 2: Payroll Check

    Pages 3 - 13: A look at each position and it's 2011 preview

    Page 14: Payroll Check

    Pages 15 - 20: Free Agent and Trade possibilities for each position of need

    Page 21: 2011 Offseason Predictions and Explanations

    Page 22: 2011 Opening Day Predictions

    Page 23: Final Payroll Check

    Page 24: Conclusion

Payroll Check #1

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    This is before anything happens and only includes players under contract...

     

    2010 Opening Day Payroll: + $133,900,455

    2010 In-season Subtractions: - $22,876,776

    2011 Arbitration, Team Controlled, Options and Unrestricted Free Agents: - $68,913,679

    2011 Contract Vests: + $6,000,000

    Current Payroll: $48,110,000

Catcher

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    Alex Avila in his road uniformKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Format for this entire section will be... Player Name (2011 Age) - Games Started - Avg. - HR - Contract Status... Starters will be in CAPS

     

    Players who play 2 games or less won't be put in that positions depth chart. The Games Started Stat is the Games Started AT that position.

     

    2010 Players

    ALEX AVILA (23) - 84 GS - .228 AVG - 7 HR - Under Team Control

    Gerald Laird (31) - 76 GS - .207 AVG - 5 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent

    Max St. Pierre (30) - 2 GS - .222 AVG - 0 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent if so chooses

     

    The catching position in Detroit was absolutely horrific in Detroit in 2010. Both catchers who were put out there had averages bottoming out near .150, and while the defense was decent, offense is a bigger priority to the team.

    Alex Avila will brought back for about $400,000 - $500,000. Gerald Laird probably won't be re-signed and will become a free agent. St. Pierre is likely to go back to the minors and continue working with our farm systems up and comers.

    So who becomes the starter? Can we really trust on Avila? According to Dombrowski, yes. In his comments on October 3rd, Dombrowski said that barring offseason injury, Alex Avila would be the 2011 starter. Let's hope this one doesn't backfire. 

    2011 Verdict:

    1. Alex Avila (1 year / $455,000)

    2. Free Agency / Trade

    * Not on Active Roster

1st Base

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    Where would the Tigers be without Miguel Cabrera???Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    MIGUEL CABRERA (27) - 147 GS - .328 AVG - 38 HR - Under Contract

    Don Kelly (31) - 12 GS - .244 AVG - 9 HR - Under Team Control

    There isn't much to say here, the position is taken and will be for a long time.

     

    2011 Verdict:

    1. Miguel Cabrera

    2. Don Kelly (1 year / $400,000)

    3. Ryan Strieby* (1 year / $400,000)

    * Not on Active Roster

2nd Base

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    WILL RHYMES (28) - 46 GS - .304 AVG - 1 HR - Under Team Control

    Carlos Guillen (35) - 45 GS - .273 AVG - 6 HR - Under Contract

    Scott Sizemore (26) - 36 GS - .224 AVG - 3 HR - Under Team Control

    Ryan Raburn (29) - 15 GS - .280 AVG - 15 HR - Arbitration Eligible

    Ramon Santiago (31) - 12 GS - .263 AVG - 3 HR - Under Contract

    Danny Worth (25) - 8 GS - .255 AVG - 2 HR - Under Team Control

     

    Six different starters at various points is really unacceptable. I'll take out Worth, Santiago, and Raburn because of their utility positions and injury... This leaves us with Sizemore, Guillen, and Rhymes.

    Scott Sizemore may have the biggest disappointment in 2010. Coming into the season all we heard about was how great Sizemore was going to be. He didn't live up to the hype. After being sent down less than a month into the season, he did great in AAA again. He might as well be in AAAA now. Don't be too surprised if he is used as trade bait this offseason.

    Carlos Guillen was same old same old. From 2007 to 2010, his games started stat dropped about 55%. There is no reason to believe he won't be injured again. I really expect him to get dealt in a Nate Robertson-like trade by March 1st.

    Will Rhymes was a pleasant surprise. He was brought up relatively late in the season and proved be a decent 2nd baseman. The problem is that he was late in coming up for a reason... He has no power. Sure, plenty of ball players have survived with no power. But they usually have Placido Polanco type contact. Something Rhymes does not. I think Rhymes will probably compete for a back-up spot in 2011. 

    2011 Verdict:

    1. Free Agency/Trade

    2. Ramon Santiago

    3. Will Rhymes* (1 year / $400,000) 

    * Not on Active Roster

3rd Base

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    BRANDON INGE (33) - 138 GS - .247 AVG - 13 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent

    Don Kelly (31) - 12 GS - .244 AVG - 9 HR - Under Team Control

    Jhonny Peralta (28) - 7 GS - .249 AVG - 15 HR - $7,250,000 Team Option

    Scott Sizemore (26) - 4 GS - .224 AVG - 3 HR - Under Team Control

     

    Inge actually accepted his contract offer before I got the chance to publish this. Whoops. We all knew it would happen anyway...

    Verdict for 2011:

    1. Brandon Inge (2 years / $11,500,000)

    2. Jhonny Peralta (2 years / $11,500,000)

Shortstop

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    Jhonny Peralta's 2011 option was declined by the Detroit TigersJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    JHONNY PERALTA (28) - 44 GS - .253 AVG - 8 HR - $7,250,000 Club Option

    Ramon Santiago (31) - 66 GS - .263 AVG - 3 HR - Under Contract

    **Adam Everett (34) - 28 GS - .185 AVG - 0 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent

    Danny Worth (25) - 24 GS - .255 AVG - 2 HR - Under Team Control

     **Not on current team

     

    The Shortstop position was also a mess in 2010. Coming into the year Adam Everett was expected to take the load with Santiago getting some spot starts.

    It was evident this wouldn't work when Everett's "slump" turned into an anchor. He was released and Danny Worth took over from AAA. He started out decent, but then a heel injury forced him out for 2 weeks, then a month, then the rest of the year.

    After these two incidences, Detroit was given no choice but to give Ramon Santiago the starting job, something they hadn't done since the hell-fire season of 2003. He performed fairly well and was expected to do so for the rest of the season, until 3rd baseman Brandon Inge got hurt near the trade deadline.

    In order to get a replacement, the Tigers traded a young prospect for Jhonny Peralta, who had a 7.25 million option. When Inge got healthy again, they still needed him to play as a try out for 2011. This put Santiago on the outside looking in.

    For 2011, there a number of ways the Tigers could go. I don't see Ramon Santiago or Danny Worth as a starter. They have already announced that they would not pick up Peralta's option but are open to re-signing him. I think this will happen unless he demands too much. There are no other legit options in free agency. 

    2011 Verdict: 

    1. Jhonny Peralta (2 years / $11,500,000)

    2. Ramon Santiago

    3. Brent Dlugach* (1 year / $400,000)

    4. Audy Ciriaco* (1 year / $400,000)

    5. Cale Iorg (1 year / $400,000) 

     

    * Not on Active Roster

Left Field

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    RYAN RABURN (29) - 55 GS - .280 AVG - 15 HR - Arbitration Eligible

    Brennan Boesch (26) - 44 GS - .256 AVG - 14 HR - Under Team Control 

    Johnny Damon (37) - 31 GS - .271 AVG - 8 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent

    Don Kelly (31) - 21 GS - .244 AVG - 9 HR - Under Team Control

    Casper Wells (26) - 4 GS - .323 AVG - 4 HR - Under Team Control

    Carlos Guillen (35) - 4 GS - .273 AVG - 6 HR - Under Contract

    Jeff Frazier (28) - 3 GS - .217 AVG - 0 HR - Under Team Control

     

    Another pretty messy position. Originally Guillen, Damon, Kelly, and Raburn would split time here. Then, when Guillen got injured (shocker, I know) they brought up no-name rookie Brennan Boesch, who just only rookie of the month two straight months. Then, Magglio Ordonez got injured and Boesch was slid over to Right. Raburn took over the duties and performed very well. The remaining players (Frazier and Wells) were just September call ups.

    It is a mystery what the Tigers want to do with this position in 2011. The only thing we really know is that everyone on this list (except Damon) could compete for a spot.

    Given history of all these players, I think Dave Dombrowski may not want to roll the dice again. He will get an experienced free agent.

    2011 Verdict:

    1. Free Agent / Trade

    2. Brennan Boesch (1 year / $400,000)

    3. Don Kelly (1 year / $400,000)

    4. Free Agent / Trade

    5. Casper Wells* (1 year / $400,000)

    6. Clete Thomas* (1 year / $400,000)

    7. Ryan Strieby* (1 year / $400,000)

     

    * Not on Active Roster

Center Field

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    AUSTIN JACKSON (24) - 140 GS - .293 AVG - 4 HR - Under Team Control

    Don Kelly (31) - 10 GS - .244 AVG - 9 HR - Under Team Control

    Ryan Raburn (29) - 5 GS - .280 AVG - 15 HR - Arbitration Eligible

    Johnny Damon (37) - 4 GS - .271 AVG - 8 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent 

    Casper Wells (26) - 3 GS -.323 AVG - 4 HR - Under Team Control

    Center Field tuned out to be a pleasant surprise in 2010. No one knew what to expect from Austin Jackson, but he turned out to be one of the best players on the team. AJax figures to be a staple (a very mobile staple, at that) in front of the fountains for years to come.

    2011 Verdict:

    1. Austin Jackson (1 year / $450,000)

    2. Don Kelly (1 year / $400,000)

    3. Casper Wells* (1 year / $400,000)

    * Not on Active Roster

Right Field

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    MAGGLIO ORDONEZ (37) - 71 GS - .303 AVG - 12 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent

    Brennan Boesch (26) - 67 GS - .256 AVG - 14 HR - Under Team Control

    Casper Wells (26) - 14 GS - .323 AVG - 4 HR - Under Team Control

    Ryan Raburn (29) - 10 GS - .280 AVG - 15 HR - Arbitration Eligible

     

    Right Field wasn't too big of a question in 2010, but it will be in 2011. Maggs has a $15,000,000 option that won't be picked up, and with Scott Boras being his agent, he may demand too much. They need someone to fill the spot. Dave Dombrowski will definitely keep the door open on Magglio, and just before it shuts I think he will jump through and accept a deal somewhere around 10 million.

    2010 Verdict:

    1. Magglio Ordonez (2 years / $20,000,000)

    2. Brennan Boesch (1 year / $400,000)

    3. Don Kelly (1 year / $400,000)

    4. Casper Wells* (1 year / $400,000)

    *Not on Active Roster

Designated Hitter

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    2010 Players

    JOHNNY DAMON - 97 G - .271 AVG - 8 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent

    Carlos Guillen - 16 G - .273 AVG - 6 HR - Under Contract

    Magglio Ordonez - 13 G - .303 AVG - 12 HR - Unrestricted Free Agent

     

    This spot was mostly held by Guillen and Damon, but when Guillen got hurt Damon took the spot over.

    In 2011 this spot will probably belong to Carlos Guillen unless he is traded (which I expect). The spot will then go to either Magglio Ordonez or a power bat in the free agent market.

     

    2011 Verdict:

    1. Free Agent / Trade

    2. Jhonny Peralta (2 years / $11,500,000)

    3. Free Agent / Trade

    Note: I only took the top three players because of the large amount of Tigers that played here in 2010.

Starting Pitchers

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Format for starting pitchers will be... Name (2011 Age) -- Record -- ERA -- WHIP -- K's -- 2011 Situation

    2010 Rotation

    1. Justin Verlander (28) -- 18-9 -- 3.37 -- 1.16 -- 219 -- Under Contract

    2. Max Scherzer (26) -- 12-11 -- 3.50 -- 1.25 -- 184 -- Arbitration Eligible

    3. Rick Porcello (22) -- 10-12 -- 4.92 -- 1.39 -- 84 -- $1,536,000 Club Option

    4. Jeremy Bonderman (28) -- 8-10 -- 5.53 -- 1.44 -- 112 -- Unrestricted Free Agent

    5. Armando Gallaraga (29) -- 4-9 -- 4.99 -- 1.34 -- 74 -- Arbitration Eligible

    *6. Andy Oliver (23) -- 0-4 -- 7.36 -- 1.77 -- 18 -- Under Team Control

    The 2010 rotation, while not very consistent, was pretty healthy overall.

    The 2011 situation is clear at some points, while murky at others. Three top spots are set in Verlander, Scherzer, and Porcello. Dombrowski has said he wants to attempt to move Phil Coke to the rotation. While I think this is an awful idea (why fix something that is working) that covers the 4th spot.

    The 5th spot is up for grabs. Jeremy Bonderman is unlikely to return. Armando Gallaraga is sure to compete for it, but given his overall record I doubt he will get it. Andy Oliver isn't quite ready yet. That leaves a whole heap of possible free agents. This probably won't be a Cliff Lee, but a solid #3 or #4.

    2011 Verdict:

    1. Justin Verlander

    2. Max Scherzer (1 year / $1,500,000)

    3. Free Agent / Trade

    4. Rick Porcello (Option Executed)

    5. Phil Coke (1 year / $950,000)

    -----

    SP Andy Oliver* (1 year / $400,000)

    SP Alfredo Figaro* (1 year / $400,000)

    SP Jacob Turner*

    SP Charlie Furbush* (1 year / $400,000)

    * Not on Active Roster

Relief Pitchers

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Format for relievers is... Name (2011 Age) -- Games -- Games Finished -- ERA -- WHIP -- K's -- 2011 Situation

    RHP Robbie Weinhardt (25) -- 28 -- 4 -- 6.14 -- 1.64 -- 21 -- Under Team Control

    RHP Ryan Perry (24) -- 60 -- 21 -- 3.59 -- 1.25 -- 45 -- Under Team Control

    RHP Eddie Bonine (30) -- 47 -- 14 -- 4.63 -- 1.56 -- 26 -- Under Team Control

    LHP Phil Coke (29) -- 74 -- 18 -- 3.76 -- 1.44 -- 53 -- Arbitration Eligible

    LHP Daniel Schlereth (25) -- 18 -- 6 -- 2.89 -- 1.61 -- 19 -- Under Team Control 

    LHP Brad Thomas (33) -- 49 -- 7 -- 3.89 -- 1.53 -- 30 -- Under Team Control

    CP Jose Valverde (33) -- 60 -- 55 -- 3.00 -- 1.16 -- 63 -- Under Contract

    **RHP Joel Zumaya (26) -- 31 -- 6 -- 2.58 -- 1.12 -- Arbitration Eligible

     

    Really I think this is a fine bullpen. The only question should be whether Zumaya can play or if Weinhardt will be in his spot... But according to Dombrowski, they would like to make Phil Coke a 4th or 5th starter and make the bullpen a top priority. I really hate this decision (why change something that's working) but I'm not paid to make them so whatever.

    2011 Verdict:

    LRP Eddie Bonine (1 year / $400,000)

    LRP Brad Thomas (1 year / $1,000,000)

    MRP Daniel Schlereth (1 year / $410,000)

    MRP Free Agent / Trade

    SU Ryan Perry (1 year / $450,000)

    SU Robbie Weinhardt (1 year / $402,000)

    CP Jose Valverde

    -----

    LRP Alfredo Figaro* (1 year / $400,000)

    MRP Matt Hoffman* (1 year / $400,000)

    SU Joel Zumaya** (1 year / $750,000)

    SU Zach Simons* (1 year / $400,000) 

    * Not on Active Roster

    ** Will be on roster in place of Weinhardt if 100% healthy

Payroll Check #2

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    2010 Opening Day Payroll: + $133,900,455

    2010 In-season Subtraction: - $22,876,776

    2011 Arbitration, Team Controlled, Options and Unrestricted Free Agents: - $62,913,679

    2011 Returning Players: + $35,803,000

    Current Total: $83,913,000

Catcher Possibilities

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    Laird attempting to tag oug a runner at home

    According to Dave Dombrowski Alex Avila will be the Tigers 2011 starting catcher. Whether this is a good decision or bad one is yet to be seen, though I don't particularly like it.

    What I do like about is his decision to let Gerald Laird walk. He brought some defense, but his usual sub-Mendoza line average is what put his WAR into the negative numbers.

    This means the Tigers will require a back up catcher. This guy doesn't have to have great defense, it seems that Avila will have that covered. They will though, need to be able to hit the ball. Avila (as his .228 average shows) can't hit the ball with the best of them, and we can't have clutch situations where the bottom of the lineup can't come through.

    Format for all possibilities... Name (2011 Age) - GS - AVG. - HR - Explanation

    Games Started will be Games Started AT the particular position, NOT total lineup starts.

    Catchers also have Stolen Base % next to HR. Alex Avila has 32%. Gerald Laird has 34%. Yadier Molina has 49%. Mike Napoli has 27%.

    Free Agent Possibilities

    - Rod Barajas (35) - 87 - .240 - 17 - 15% - Rod Barajas is a great option. His average is decent and his power numbers are great for a catcher. Unfortunately, I don't think he thinks his starting days are over and the way he behaves is as if he would retire before becoming a backup.

    - Ramon Hernandez (35) - 85 - .297 - 7 - 34% - Ramon Hernandez would be another fantastic option.  He can hit, he can field, and would a great replacement for the pathetic duo the Bengals had this year. Unfortunately, he should still be a full time starter and will be paid as such. Dombrowski isn't going to open his checkbook too wide for a back up catcher.

    - Gregg Zaun (40) - 28 - .265 - 2 - 24% - Gregg Zaun is old but can still hit. He was out for most of 2010 having shoulder surgery, but plans on returning. There is a $2,250,000 club option on him that the Brewers aren't expected to pick up due to prospects and his surgery. It would be a very large risk, but he would come cheap.

     

    Trade Possibilities

    - David Ross, ATL (34) -  59 - .289 - 2 - 31% - David Ross would be a great fit. He is used to being a backup (behind Brian McCann), has good fielding ability, and above all can hit the ball. Unfortunately, Atlanta may not be willing to part with him so easily. They just signed him to a two year contract, and he has done well with them.

2nd Base Possibilities

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    Will Rhymes tagging out a runner at 2nd base

    Will Rhymes and Carlos Guillen did a fine job at 2nd base in 2010. But I think they can both be described as a house of cards ready to topple at any time.

    With Guillen, everyone knows he can't stay healthy. He only played in 68 games this year, and though he did get a decent .273 average in that time, you are just WAITING for him to get injured now.

    With Rhymes, there is a reason he didn't get into the majors until after the initial wave of youth. He has next to no power. In 3 AAA season he got a total of 5 home runs. This equates to about 1 or 2 home runs every two MLB season. That is ridiculous. And though his average makes up for it, he really seems to me like a poor man's Brennan Boesch, and may be a good trade possibility.

     

    Free Agent Possibilities

    - Christian Guzman (33): 63 - .266 - 2 - Guzman was in a lot of Tigers trade talk near the deadline. We ended up not getting him (Texas did) and his contract will expire at the end of the season. He has an OK average but it actually is a tough indication. He had a .282 average with the Nationals before getting traded and while in Texas (where he had a .152 average) it dropped 16 points. The home runs may be a deterrence though.

    - Jerry Hairston Jr. (35): 44 - .244 - 10 - Hairiston Jr. is just one of many average 2nd basemen on the market. The Tigers may find interest in him though because he would come cheap.

    - Orlando Hudson (33): 123 - .268 - 6 - Hudson is probably the best free agent 2nd baseman. This means he'll be the best paid too. He had a consistent .268 average and an OK amount of dingers. I'm willing to bet DD at least takes a flyer on him.

    Trade Possibilities

    - Dan Uggla, FLA (33): 109 - .287 - 33 - Uggla is convented by many teams due to his rare ability of playing 2nd base with power. He will be on the block for the right price this offseason due to this being his last arbitration year and Florida's constant need to dump payroll.

Left Field Possibilities

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    No explanation needed...

    I don't trust anyone on the Tigers roster in left field. Ryan Raburn had a very good 2 months, but do we really see that continuing? Especially with all the fielding problems he has had? What if Brennan Boesch's 2nd half free fall turns into a full time thing? And everyone else is barely a rookie! The Tigers will need to go out and get a left fielder.

     

     

     

    Free Agent Possibilities

    - Carl Crawford (29): 144 - .307 - 19 - Crawford's name is getting spun around by many teams. He is arguably the best positional player available, which means he will be the best paid. Dombrowski has the money, but will he compete with the Red Sox and Angels for him?

    - Jose Guillen (34): 59 - .258 - 19 - Guillen got a world series ring this year, but is still unlikely to be re-signed. He was just one of many acquisitions toward the deadline the Giants made in order to get where they are now. The G-men will be more focused on getting some big hitters. That being said, he is a decent hitter that Dombrowski might give a look.

    - Austin Kearns (31): 83 - .263 - 10 - Kearns is also a good option. He is currently on the Yanks and may be re-signed just because of Joe Girardi's love of him. If Kearns is not re-signed though, he would be a great compliment to AJax and Brennan Boesch

    Trade Possibilities

    - David DeJesus, KC (31): 67 - .318 - 5 - DeJesus is one of the most underrated players in baseball. He has a 162 game average of a .289 average and 11 homers. Though he was injured for part of this year, he is expected to be 100% by Opening Day. As he ages, Kansas City will definitely deal him for prospects, but to division rival Tigers?

Designated Hitter Possibilities

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    Johnny Damon filled the DH spot in 2010, who will do it in 2011?J. Meric/Getty Images

    Johnny Damon took the bulk of the time at DH in 2010. With Dombrowski announcing that he wouldn't be bringing Damon back, the position is open (barring Guillen not being traded - not likely).

     

    Free Agent Possibilities

    - Adam Dunn (31): 2 - .260 - 38 - Dunn can pound the ball. In his 10 seasons he has a 162 game average of 40 home runs. Wow. AND he is left handed... Just what the doctor ordered. But could the Tigers get him? He has said he wants to stay in the field which is just not possible on the Tigers given the liability.

    - Manny Ramirez (39): 27 - .268 - 9 - Ramirez is good, but not steroid era good. Let's face it, since Ramirez was suspended 50 games for steroid use he has not been the same player.

    - Jim Thome (41): 78 - .283 - 25 - Thome had a fantastic year in 2010. He turned 40 and didn't show it a bit. Will that be the case when he turns 41 though? Everyone has to age at some point (see Brett Favre). He would definitely bring much needed power if 100% though. 

     

    Trade Possibilities

    - Jose Bautista, TOR (31): 2 - .260 - 54 - Bautista came out of no where in 2010. he had averaged about 20-25 home runs per year before getting 54 in 2010. Will this continue? He is a big question for a team who wants him. His price would be high, but if he continued that production it would be well worth it.

Starting Pitcher Possibilities

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    Bonderman is one of the decision the Tigers must make this offseason.Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Ace: Justin Verlander sustained the spot very consistently. He'll be back in 2011 without any doubt.

    #2: Scherzer was shaky in the beginning even making a brief stint with AAA Toledo. He came back better than ever and even making Sports Radio talk about whether Verlander or Scherzer was better. He'll be back in 2011 at either the #2 or #3 spot.

    #3: Porcello was decent in 2010. He'll be #3 or #4 spot in 2011.

    #4: Jeremy Bonderman was pretty consistent, but not good in 2010. With his awful contract expiring he won't be back.

    #5: With the exception of June 2nd, Gallaraga was terrible away from home in 2010 and iffy at home. He will be given a shot at the 5th spot, but it is FAR from a guarantee

     

    Format for Starting Pitchers... Name (2011 Age): Record -- ERA -- WHIP -- K's -- Explanation

     

    Free Agent Possibilities

    - Erik Bedard* (32): 5-3 -- 2.82 -- 1.19 -- 90 -- Bedard is high risk - high reward. He has been injured for most of his career, but when healthy he has been one of the most dominant left handed pitchers in all of baseball. Due to his injuries the Tigers could probably get him relatively cheap, but it still wouldn't be worth it if he was injured the whole season.

    - Jorge De La Rosa (30): 8-7 -- 4.22 -- 1.32 -- 113 -- De La Rosa has produced fantastic numbers in the most hitter friendly park there is. He was able to get 19 wins in 2009, and though these did not match up in 2010, he is still a great pitcher. This may come back to bite them though if he becomes the standard NL to AL pitcher.

    - Cliff Lee (33): 12-9 -- 3.18 -- 1.00 -- 185 -- Of course this isn't at all likely but he is still worth looking at. Lee is the most sought after free agent (meaning Yankees) and Dombrowski has said he won't pursue the best of the best free agents. Now, hypotheticlly speaking, say none of the Motor City Kitties position player targets pan out, and they are looking at a 74 million dollar payroll for 2011. If Lee is still out there, he may just change his mind.

    - Carl Pavano (35): 17-11 -- 3.75 -- 1.20 -- 117 -- Pavano had a surprise career year in 2010. After posting an ugly 5.10 ERA in 2009, he came out and became the Twinkies Ace. Is this likely to repeat itself? No. Is Dombrowski likely to take a long hard look at him? Yes.

    - Brandon Webb** (32): 22-7 -- 3.30 -- 1.20 -- 183 -- Another high risk - high reward pitcher. Even though Webb hasn't pitched in about 2 years, he still has some of the most electric stuff when healthy. He wouldn't be all that expensive, but like Bedard, it wouldn't matter if he never played.

    *Injured all of 2010. 2009 stats (15 games) are shown.

    **Injured all of 2009 and 2010. 2008 stats (34 games) are shown 

    Trade Possibilities

    - Jonathan Sanchez, SF (29): 13-7 -- 3.07 -- 1.23 -- 205 -- Sanchez has been one of many fantastic Giants pitchers that have carried them to the playoffs. Why would the Giants trade Sanchez after winning a world series though? Well they need to if they want to get back there. They have 5 solid starters other than Sanchez and many of their solid position players have expiring contracts that will need to be replaced.

    - Anibal Sanchez, FLA (27): 13-12 -- 3.55 -- 1.34 -- 157 -- Sanchez is one of many good Florida pitchers. The Marlins are in need of some bats and is always looking for more prospects. A trade is definitely a possible.

Middle Relief Possibilities

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    Phil Coke did a phenomunal job coming out of the 'pen in 2010.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    LRP #1 - Eddie Bonine did fine in 2010. He did his job and even came in to start occasionally. As long as he doesn't bomb in Spring Training, he'll have a job with the Tigers in 2011.

    LRP #2 - Brad Thomas also did fine in 2010. His 1.53 WHIP isn't the best thing ever, but overall he's good enough to get a job in 2011.

    MRP #1 - Daniel Schlereth did as expected in 2010. He came in, walked a bunch of guys, and left. His WHIP of 1.61 shows it. Offseason winter ball and Spring Training will really help him out. He'll compete for an Opening Day spot.

    MRP #2 - Robbie Weinhardt's job in 2010 was to get ground balls. He did just that. Unfortunately, the defense didn't do theirs. He will have a good shot in 2011.

    SU #1 - Ryan Perry did better in 2010 than 2009. Not that that means much. He was inconsistent as usual, but definitely showed improvement. Considering he is being groomed for the closer role, he'll have a 2011 spot.

    SU #2 - Phil Coke was the most consistent reliever in the Tigers bullpen for 2010. So in Dombrowski's mind we need to change his role. He wants him as a starter, so he will probably be a starter (unless Coke screws that up in March)

    CP - Jose Valverde was arguably the best closer in baseball the first half. Then he went down, just like the Tigers. He will be the Tigers closer in 2011.

    Format for Relievers... Name (2011 Age): Games Finished -- ERA -- WHIP -- K's -- Explanation 

     

    MRP Free Agent Possibilities

    - Grant Balfour (34): 8 -- 2.28 -- 1.08 -- 56 -- Balfour has been one of the best relief pitchers in 2010. Every time he comes out you know he will get the job done. That being said, we will have to outbid some major teams in major markets for him, which I'm not sure Dombrowski is willing to do.

    - Pedro Feliciano (35): 16 -- 3.30 -- 1.53 -- 56 -- Feliciano is another good option. He does walk too many batters, but he makes up for it with his three times league leading games played. The problem may be in his current team, the Mets. Usually a player will not leave a large market team until they are forced out. Especially when they have played their entire career there.

    - Matt Guerrier (33): 13 -- 3.17 -- 1.10 -- 42 -- Guerrier is another fantastic reliever. He is in a small market, doesn't walk too many, and has been pretty consistent over his career. The only problem is that he may not want to leave Minnesota - especially for a division rival.

    MRP Trade Possibilities

    - Mike Gonzalez, BAL (33): 7 -- 4.01 -- 1.30 -- 31 -- Gonzalez is a great player on a bad team. He still has his best years in front of him and will be on the market considering the Oreo's situation. DD could be interested. 

2011 Offseason Predictions and Explanations

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    Look into my ball!

    CATCHER

    Detroit Tigers Trade

    OF Jeff Frazier

    C Robinzon Diaz

    LF/2B Carlos Guillen

    $8,000,000 of Carlos Guillen's 2011 contract

    Atlanta Braves Trade

    C David Ross (2 years / $3,250,000 - $1,625,000 per year)

    Explanation: The Tigers are going to need a good hitting, not often played, backup catcher... Tough to come by. David Ross brings just that though. His average has constantly been over .250, he only played in 59 games in 2010, and played behind Brian McCann. He would come pretty cheap, and could even involve getting rid of unneeded baggage in Carlos Guillen.

     

    2ND BASE

    Detroit Tigers Trade

    2B Scott Sizemore

    SP/RP Zach Miner

    SP Luke Putkonen

    RP Casey Fien

    Florida Marlins Trade

    2B Dan Uggla ($7,250,000 per year)

    Explanation: Dan Uggla would be a HUGE asset to a Tigers team. He brings much needed power and fills a spot the Tigers desperately need. In return, The Marlins would get a lot of potential in Sizemore, Putkonen, and Fien. This comes with risk though as Sizemore and Fien have both already shown they weren't ready the 1st and 2nd time in the Bigs. They also get a Tommy John recovery in Zach Miner.

     

    LEFT FIELD

    Detroit Tigers sign LF Carl Crawford to a 6 year / $115,000,000 deal and 2016 club option with a buyout of $2,500,000 ($18,750,000 per year).

    Explanation: Imagine how valuable Carl Crawford could be to the Tigers. Speed, Power, AND contact. 3 things the the 2010 Tigers were lacking. To give you an example, if the 2010 Carl Crawford was on the 2010 Tigers, he would have lead the team in Games, Hits, Triples, Stolen Bases, and Double Plays (least). If you exclude Miguel Cabrera he also leads in Runs, Home Runs, RBI's, and Batting Average. This just makes sense. Dombrowski has the most money to spend of any contender, and with reports of Illitch wanting Crawford, this could happen, and I think will happen. 

     

     

    DESIGNATED HITTER

    Detroit Tigers sign DH Adam Dunn to a 4 year / $55,000,000 deal and  2015 club option with a buyout of $3,000,000 ($13,000,000 per year).

    Explanation: The Tigers need power. Without Cabrera's 38, the Tigers leader in the category would be Ryan Raburn with 15... That's sad. Raburn should NEVER lead a category. Cabrera's league leading 32 Intentional walks is also from this. He needs a threat behind him in order to fully utilize him. Dunn provides this. Dunn has said he doesn't want to DH, but there is no team in the NL willing to pay him more than 10 million, and there is no team in the AL willing to put him in the field.

     

     

    STARTING PITCHER

    Detroit Tigers Trade

    SS Danny Worth

    UTIL Ryan Raburn

    RF Kody Kaiser

    SP Armando Gallaraga

    RP Jay Sborz

    San Francisco Giants Trade

    SP Jonathan Sanchez ($3,000,000 per year)

    Explanation: Sanchez is one of the leagues best pitchers no has heard about. He is even overshadowed on his own team by Cain and Lincecum. Since he started starting in 2008, his G, IP, ERA, Hits, Runs, K's, and WHIP have all increased each year to the 3.07 ERA he finished with this year. He would be an unbelievable improvement and compliment to the rotation.

     

     

    MIDDLE RELIEF PITCHER

    Detroit Tigers sign Matt Guerrier to a 3 year / $10,500,000 deal ($3,500,000 per year)

    Explanation: Guerrier quietly has very good years over and over. His ERA has only gone over 3.40 once in his 6 year career and has gone below 3.00 twice. He would be a great addition.

     

Final Payroll Check

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    2010 Opening Day Payroll: + $133,900,455

    2010 In-season Subtraction: - $22,876,776

    2011 Arbitration, Team Controlled, Options and Unrestricted Free Agents: - $62,913,679

    2011 Returning Players: + $35,803,000

    2011 Offseason Subtractions: - $8,788,000

    2011 Offseason Additions: + $49,410,000

    2011 OPENING DAY PAYROLL: $124,535,679

2011 Opening Day Predictions

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    2011 Opening Day Lineup

    1. Austin Jackson, CF

    2. Carl Crawford, LF

    3. Magglio Ordonez, RF

    4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

    5. Adam Dunn, DH

    6. Dan Uggla, 2B

    7. Jhonny Peralta, SS

    8. Brandon Inge, 3B

    9. Alex Avila, C

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    David Ross, C

    Ramon Santiago, 2B/SS

    Brennan Boesch, OF

    Don Kelly, UTIL

     

    2011 Opening Day Rotation

    1. Justin Verlander, RHP

    2. Max Scherzer, RHP

    3. Jonathan Sanchez, LHP

    4. Rick Porcello, RHP

    5. Phil Coke, LHP

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    LRP Eddie Bonine, RHP

    LRP Brad Thomas, LHP

    MRP Daniel Schlereth, LHP

    MRP Matt Guerrier, RHP

    SU Ryan Perry, RHP

    SU Robbie Weinhardt, RHP

    CP Jose Valverde, RHP

Conclusion

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    No matter what happens come November 6th and beyond, the Tigers will be better come April 2011.

    We have to hope that Dave Dombrowski knows what he's doing (that is debatable right now), and that he will lead the Tigers to a World Championship.

    I made many changes in the making of this. Though I'm 99% sure I corrected any mistakes, if you see any PLEASE let me know.

    Please feel free to leave comments!!!

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