Detroit Tigers 2011 Offseason: Victor Martinez Heads Best Free Agents for Motown
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So far the Detroit Tigers have locked up Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta. Yet there is still a boatload of money to be spent and several key positions it needs to be spent on. The following are who I believe the Tigers should target and why.
C/DH Victor Martinez
Martinez provides the Tigers with two of their needs. One, he is a switch hitter and two, he can play catcher. The Tigers need to add some pop and protection for Miguel Cabrera. Martinez is a professional hitter (.302, 20 HR, 79 RBI). V-Mart can also spell youngster Alex Avila when the Tigers face a LH pitcher.
LF Carl Crawford (.307, 19HR, 90 RBI)
The Tigers have been talking about being aggressive and targeting some offensive help. Crawford helps solidify the outfield defense and his a track record of being able to hit for both average and power. He has tremendous speed, and has hit in the No. 3 spot for Tampa (also where I think he would hit for Detroit). While his home run numbers may drop in Detroit I think his triples would increase.
SP Carl Pavano (17-11, 3.75 ERA, 117K)
I really think Dave Dombrowski goes after Pavano to be the fifth starter in Detroit. I think management would love the No. 5 spot to be a left-hander, but Pavano would give the Tigers a reliable inning-eater at the back of the rotation (221 in 2010). DD tried to sign Pavano in 2005 and I think he succeeds this year.
RP J.J Putz (2.83 ERA, 54 innings, 65K) or Matt Guerrier (3.17 ERA, 71 innings, 42K)
The Tigers need a right-handed reliever and either of these pitchers would be a great addition. Putz would be a nice addition to Perry in the set-up or seventh-inning role. Guerrier has been a solid relief pitcher and would provide a reliable veteran presence in the pen.
RP Pedro Feliciano (3.30 ERA, 62.2 innings, 56K) or Scott Downs (2.64 ERA, 61.1 innings, 48K)
With the Tigers moving Phil Coke to the rotation there is a major need for a solid left-handed pitcher in the pen. Feliciano has put up solid numbers, but is more of a situational lefty, putting up much better numbers against left-handed hitters.
Downs has quietly been one of the most reliable and quality lefties in baseball. He is effective against both righties and lefties, which provides added value in Detroit.
I think the Tigers would like to sign five players to major league contracts. I expect at least 2-3 of the above players to end up signing in Detroit. I think if they were able to sign five they would place themselves in a position to be the favorites in the AL Central and would be able to make a serious run for a World Series title.
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