October 3, 2010

News Galore on the Way Out the Door

It’s not often Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski gets loose and talks at length about the club’s plans, but on Sunday in Baltimore he did just that, breaking some news and confirming a few long-anticipated decisions:

  • Inge.jpgBrandon Inge gets offered an extension. As Ian wrote this summer, Inge is either loved or loathed in Detroit — with little in between. But I think even those of us who are frustrated by his lack of a strategy when he’s at the plate feel better about third base next season and maybe in 2012, too. In our recent Fungo Pulse Check, 79 percent of respondents (207 of 263 votes) preferred bringing back Inge over Jeremy Bonderman.

  • OrdonezHead.jpgMagglio Ordonez might be back. This isn’t a surprise. The Tigers aren’t picking up the $15 million option on Ordonez’s contract which means he’ll be a free agent, but the Tigers are open to re-signing him. I kept thinking that sentimental Mike Ilitch would tell Dombrowski to pick up the option for old time’s sake. I hope he comes back. If he does sign elsewhere — and you know Scott Boras is already firing up his hyperbole machine — I just pray that he doesn’t go back to the White Sox.

  • BondermanHead.jpgJeremy Bonderman gets shown the door. In some ways this is such a no brainer. In others, you had to think the Tigers would bring him back with that “the devil you know” thing in mind.

    Bondo came to Detroit with such promise — “the anchor of the rotation for years!,” we were led to believe — that his unceremonial departure seems like a major disappointment. Remember him walking of the mound to a standing ovation in Game 4 of the 2006 NLDS? I thought his career was set to take off.

    Alas, injuries, inconsistency and — stop me if you’ve heard this one — the inability to develop a third pitch were his ultimate undoing in Detroit. My guess is that he ends up with the Mariners, Cubs or Rangers next season, even the though the Tigers are saying they might be interested in bringing him back if he’s still unsigned close to Spring Training.

    Damon.jpg

  • Johnny Damon experiment ends with a whimper. If the Tigers had sneaked into the playoffs this year, you know that we would’ve read pages and pages of stories about how his mere presence impacted the club. Instead he’ll be relegated to conversations five years down the road when people will say, “Wow, I totally forgot Damon played for the Tigers.” Kinda like Jarrod Washburn. Damon’s a good guy and you know he’ll end up somewhere next season.

    LairdHead.jpg

  • Gerald Laird cut loose. It’s still amazing to me that Laird was unable to hit in Detroit. He always seemed to give the Tigers fits when he played for the Rangers. Wasn’t the thinking that he could produce as a full-timer in Detroit because it wasn’t as hot and humid as Arlington? Laird is a Phoenix-area resident and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up with the Diamondbacks next season. (Oh, and Dombrowski also said that, to no surprise, Alex Avila is the club’s catcher in 2011.)

  • Jhonny Peralta likely returning. Dombrowski also mentioned that the Tigers are interested in bringing back Peralta next season:
    “We don’t know what we will do with his ($7.25 million) option, but would like him back next year as our shortstop.”

    I guess I could live with this for a year, but this is what Tigers fans have to accept thanks to the team’s inability to develop a shortstop (apologies to Danny Worth). Personally, I’d rather they go after the Diamondbacks’ Stephen Drew but the price tag will likely be too high.

Finally, Jim Leyland said that he’s “99.9 percent sure” that Phil Coke will be in the starting rotation in 2011. Coke sure seemed to fit nicely into his relief role this season but I suppose the Tigers do need a lefty in their heavily right-handed rotation. They must feel confident in Daniel Schlereth’s development.

So, is that enough news for you? What do you think of these moves?

2 Comment(s)

  1. Jamie Daws | Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

    I’m really happy with the announcements, aside from Maggs’s option. They really should have picked that up.

  2. Jim Craddock | Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

    I’d love to see them bring back Maggs, but it HAS to be at less than $15 mil. They’ll be paying to watch Guillen go on and off the DL next year. That money has to come from somewhere.

    Depending on the amount, I guess there are worse things than having Inge back for a couple more years.

    I like the idea of Coke in the rotation. I think they’re going on the theory that it’s cheaper and easier to find solid bullpen help than it is to find a consistent rotation guy. Plus, they need a lefty.

    Peralta could give them some extra-base muscle at the bottom of the order, and won’t be outrageously expensive.

    Damon was a luxury item. He was great in the clubhouse, but he needed to be great at the top of the order. He was just ok.

    They need to find a thumper to protect Miggy. Looks like it’ll be a corner outfielder. Jayson Werth would be good, but I think they’ll get a bat in a trade.

    As for Laird: Sorry G-Money, but don’t let the door hit ya in the butt on the way out. Backup catchers who struggle to hit above .200 are a dime a dozen. Especially when his defense slipped this year, too. Avila probably isn’t the second coming of Lance Parrish, but he can certainly hold down the job.

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