Werth still a possibility in Motown
The Detroit Tigers have already made a big splash in the 2010 offseason. Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit were key signings for Detroit.
Detroit has said it would like to have a lower payroll than it had in 2010. After adding $29 million in new contracts (Brandon Inge, Jhonny Peralta, Martinez and Benoit), Detroit still has room to add another contract or two and still remain under the $60 million it dropped.
As it stands right now, Ryan Raburn is being viewed as the everyday left fielder, which eliminates Carl Crawford from coming to Motown. Dave Dombrowski said this week the only opening currently was in right field.
The right field opening brings up two predominant names: Jayson Werth and Magglio Ordonez.
Tigers fans are familiar with what Magglio brings to the table. Ordonez was having a resurgent year before his ankle injury prematurely ended his season. Werth has been a late bloomer but has rounded into a solid outfield power bat.
I believe the Tigers should try to add Werth. Last season Werth batted .296 with 27 home runs and 46 doubles. He's a career .272 hitter, but I would guess he'll end up in the mid .280s for the duration of his next contract. If he plays in Detroit, I would expect him to hit 40-50 doubles and 20-25 home runs while driving in 90-100 runs.
Magglio, who is a career .312 hitter, would provide leadership as well as some pop and at a much cheaper price. Maggs was on pace to hit 16 home runs and have over 100 RBI. The biggest question Ordonez faces is the health of his ankle. If he is 100 percent healthy, he will be a nice addition to whichever team signs him.
One of the side effects of a possible Werth signing would be the availability of Brennan Boesch, Casper Wells and Clete Thomas as trade bait, which could land the Tigers another reliever or starter, draft picks or minor league talent.
There is a possibility Tigers owner Mike Ilitch will push Dombrowski to throw a boatload of money at Carl Crawford. While that is not a likely scenario, it would push Raburn to right field and would give the Tigers one of baseball's best defensive outfields and a very, very strong top of the lineup.
If Werth or Crawford is signed, the Tigers would have their outfield pretty well set for the next five to seven years.