Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Winter wonderland in Dallas? Bah, humbug in Detroit?

Please tell me Kenny Rogers isn't the only free agent starting pitcher the Detroit Tigers are going to sign. Please tell me they're not opting for Rogers over guys like Matt Morris and Kevin Millwood, and that there's still a spot open in the rotation for one of them.

The Tigers also signed their former closer, Todd Jones. Like Out of Bounds, the Sports Dude, and the Detroit Tigers Weblog, I like this move. It's not as Whoo-Hoo! Exciting! as signing B.J. Ryan, Billy Wagner, Kyle Farnsworth, or Tom Gordon may have been, but I think those guys received bat$#!+ crazy contracts that blew the market for free agent relievers out of control. Want some evidence of that? Jones reportedly signed a two-year deal worth $11 million.

Though I think the price tag was a bit high, the Tigers needed someone dependable to pitch in the ninth inning - not just to save games, but also to buy time while they figure out whether Fernando Rodney is capable of being the future closer. Based on past impressions, Jones also seems like the sort of guy who would be willing to tutor Rodney toward eventually assuming that role. Maybe he'd even agree to step aside for the good of the team if Rodney was ready to take over.

And if they were paying $10 million a year for a closer, that would never happen. He'd still be pitching - even if he stunk like soft European cheese.

But the hot stove league is making me sweat. Baseball's winter meetings have been busy, with teams making all sorts of deals and signings. And the activity is getting even more frenzied. The Red Sox traded Edgar Renteria to Atlanta, just a year after signing him. The Rangers traded Alfonso Soriano to the Nationals for Brad Wilkinson and Terrmel Sledge. The Blue Jays added Lyle Overbay (whose swing is made for Comerica Park) to their offseason shopping cart, joining A.J. Burnett and the aforementioned Ryan.

Did Javier Vasquez turn down a trade to Detroit? If the price was Curtis Granderson and Joel Zumaya, Vasquez probably did the Tigers a favor. Yet Dave Dombrowski says such a deal was never in the works. The Mets say the Tigers were asking for too much in return for Pudge Rodriguez, which strikes me as curious. Is this an indication that they don't really want to deal him? Are they hoping his attitude will improve under a new manager? Me, I would've settled for that big apple that pops up after a Mets home run. That thing is cool. But maybe that's why I'm not the Tigers' GM.

And am I being a total Tigers slappy for looking at the deals the Red Sox and Mets made with the Marlins for Josh Beckett and Carlos Delgado, respectively, and thinking that Detroit could've made similar offers? Should I wipe the stripes off my glasses?

But maybe I shouldn't panic. Beyond Boxscores came up with a shopping list more loaded and more ambitious than my Amazon wish list, and there are still plenty of items left among the 20 choices. (Brian also wonderfully explains the two-sided coin that is offseason Tigers fandom in this post.)

Can we get at least one of them, Dave? Another general manager is getting all the heat in this town right now. Maybe you've heard about that? So you might be lurking under the radar a bit. But you don't want it to get to that point, do you? Dave?

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  • At December 09, 2005 9:49 AM, Anonymous Evan said…

    Personally, I think they're fine with Rogers... They only need him for a year anyhow. By next year, the rotation will have at least three young guys in it with plenty of salary room for another starter.

    I think they'll probably sign another lefty reliever and maybe another big bat. I also wouldn't be shocked if they're floating trades for Dimitri out there.

  • At December 09, 2005 11:07 AM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Evan, after sleeping on it and thinking about it a bit while shoveling snow (always good for some clarity of thought), I think Rogers might be enough of a stopgap until "the kids" are ready. He just wouldn't have been my first choice.

    Millwood looks like he's getting more money and years, so okay. That's not the way the Tigers want to go. But when I see Morris about to sign for the same money and years as Rogers, I wince. I think Morris is better.

    I do hope that another bat is in the mix, though.

  • At December 09, 2005 2:35 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    Yes the hot stove has been busy but Dombroski made it clear that he liked the line up and closer and a vet starter were his goals.

    I agree with you on the points about Jones but the one that sticks out to me is he is HAPPY about coming back here, or as he calls it, "home". As far as Rogers goes I think it is a safe move, whereas my gut tells me a lot of these other pithcers that sign for big $$$$ are going to end up burning their new clubs. Plus I have always been a Maroth slappy for some reason and I think Rogers will help him a lot.

    As far as these position guys that have been moving I am just interested to see what happens if all these cats (no pun intended) are together and healthy for a year. I like the infield of Shelton, Polanco, Guillen and Inge. I like the outfield of Maggs, Granderson/Logan, and Monroe. That leaves some DH time for Young and Pena or whomever!

    Maybe the plan with Pudge is just see if the fences can be mended and his attitude can change and if not then move him at the deadline when teams are more desperate and willing to pay that "high asking price". I say give the guy another shot, when happy he is much better than any other option we have at catcher.



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