Blog Entry

Tigers make smart first strike in market

Posted on: November 23, 2010 5:34 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2010 11:03 am
 

Victor Martinez may not instantly catapult the Detroit Tigers onto the AL Central throne, and sometimes when he's behind the plate, the basepaths do tend to become like the autobahn for opposing runners.

That said, if the report out of Venezuela is true and Martinez is about to re-join his old division, only this time a couple of hundred miles north of Cleveland up in Detroit, the Tigers already are off to a roaring start this winter.

The Tigers had no public comment Tuesday on the report -- from ESPNdeportes' Ignacio Serrano -- of Martinez being poised to sign a four-year, $50 million deal, pending a physical exam. But neither did they shoot it down.

The key here is this: The Tigers mostly would deploy Martinez as their designated hitter (Alex Avila is projected as the everyday catcher). And together with Miguel Cabrera, who finished second in the AL MVP voting announced Tuesday, Detroit would have a couple of serious bruisers in the middle of the lineup.

For the Red Sox in 2010, Martinez batted .302 with a .351 on-base percentage, a .493 slugging percentage, 20 homers and 79 RBIs. In their emphasis on run prevention, Martinez never was going to carry value beyond a certain point behind the plate for the Red Sox. Plus, he'll be 32 next opening day.

In Detroit, you can argue that $12.5 million for a designated hitter, at those offensive numbers, is a pretty steep price to pay.

You also can argue that in a weak free agent market with few difference-makers available, the Tigers made a savvy quick, preventative first-strike. Teams with money to spend this winter out-supply the free agent market. Some will be left standing with nothing at the end.

Of the most desireable free agent position players available -- a list that also includes Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth -- Martinez by far is the best fit in Detroit. Not only can he DH and catch, he also can play first base if Cabrera needs a day off or is injured. And, he's a switch-hitter, giving manager Jim Leyland more versatility in his lineup.

Even while trading Curtis Granderson a year ago as general manager Dave Dombrowski re-arranged the furniture, the Tigers were eagerly looking ahead to the winter of 2010-2011 as a time when they'd have money to spend. Now, they've already signed set-up man Joaquin Benoit from Tampa Bay and, apparently, agreed to terms with Martinez.

The Tigers know Martinez well from some six seasons of competing against him in the AL Central. He knows the division well. It's a move that makes sense for both sides.

 

Comments
egrdgdfd
Since: Nov 26, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2010 8:01 am
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Since: Jul 19, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2010 3:37 am
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

Ryan Raburn at 2ND? come now he can hit but is terrible in the field


ghdtgdfgfdg
Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: November 25, 2010 7:58 pm
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Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: November 25, 2010 7:26 pm
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

I have not read all the comments; however, I haven't seen Ryan Raburn mentioned in those that I have read.  I wasn't a big fan of his earlier, but the last half of the season he played reguarly and responded well.  Batting order of:  Jackson CF, Crawford LF*, Ordonez RF, Cabrera 1B, Martinez C, Guillen DH, Peralta SS,  Raburn 2B, Inge 3B  would look good to me.  *=wishbul thinking.




Since: Jul 20, 2010
Posted on: November 24, 2010 8:52 pm
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

I really think DD and the Tigers front office and scouts have done their homework, otherwise they would not be able to sign the players they want and focus on while other teams are wishing for Carl Crawford, Dunn or Werth to fall into their laps. Meanwhile, Detroit continues to build a team of quality players. Some players won't work out for one reason or another and not everyone is an all star, but they are good players and sometimes that's the best team.DD - is not done - stay tuned. To prove my point - just look at the Yankees - they buy everything they want regardless of price and what did it get them? Nothing. It's recognizing hidden talent, putting them in a position to let them succeed and let them play and be surprised - most of the time.



Since: Jul 19, 2010
Posted on: November 24, 2010 7:11 pm
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

The Tigers are now 3 players away,who is the 2nd baseman? left field,right field,Carlos is hurt too much like Stafford,we need a vsolid 2nd baseman to compete,3rd is set,shortstop,1st,catcher,center all the others we need,if we get C.C we will win the Central



Since: Jul 20, 2010
Posted on: November 24, 2010 6:35 pm
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

Detroit has at least 3 2B's that I count. The Tigers have already set most of the infield - they just have to decide who starts at 2b. What everyone is forgetting is we need a good corner outfielder - maybe two, that can hit for power. It doesn't have to be Crawford (that would be great) but a solid steady outfielder. BTW - put this Dunn guy out of your mind - he wants to play 1b in the National League. He does not want to DH and he does not want to play in the American League. He said this countless ways. Get a quality OF and see what pops later. Just get over this Dunn thing.



Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: November 24, 2010 6:35 pm
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

Don't get me wrong.  If I had my choice between Crwaford and Dunn, Dunn would not be even mentioned.  But we are the Tigers.  We will not get Crawford.  It will be the teams that can afford to pay him what he wants.  Red Sox, Angels, Yankees.  No way no how will he be a Tiger unless they get stupid and outbid those three teams.  In that case, they will be paying him Cabrera money, which wont happen.  So forget about him.  We will be left with the booby prize.  LET US NOT FORGET WHICH TEAM LEAD THE AL IN RUNNERS LEFT ON BASE.  Now which Free Agents are left besides Crawford we can get to help drive in runs.  There is only two premier ones left.  Dunn and Werth.  We have enough pitching to compete.  We need hitters that can drive in runs.  Whether that is Werth or Dunn, it makes no difference to me.  I only offered a scenario in which Dunn could have been signed.  If Werth is the booby prize, that will make me happy as well although I would prefer the left handed hitter.  Boesch and now Martinez are the only two that have some power.  Not great power, but decent power.



Since: Jun 28, 2009
Posted on: November 24, 2010 6:21 pm
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

I cannot believe some of you still want Adam Dunn.  Move Cabrera, are you kidding me...He is soooooooooo much better at 1st base than you guys are giving him credit for.   I agree with the poster about the worst infield ever...say what you want about Inge, but who in the AL is better defensively...Longoria, and Beltre, on a good year maybe...be careful what you wish for.  I want no part of Adam Dunn...Don't you understand why the twins win all the time...pitching, timely hitting, and Defense...if we can't get Crawford go after Werth...we need speed in our big outfield, plus some table setters at the top, Crawford fills both those areas, Can you imagine him and Jackson patrolling Left and Center for the next 5 years....that would be awesome.  Way better than Adam Dunn lumbering around the bases, grounding into DP's and hitting deep Fly ball outs to Right Center.  NO ADAM DUNN, PLEASE.  So Glad we got Martinez instead.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 24, 2010 5:51 pm
 

Tigers make smart first strike in market

The Boston sports radio is reporting That Josh beckett and John Lackey were uncomfortable with Martinez behind the plate, looks like they conspired to get Victor moved out of town,

Its one thing to say they were uncomfortable, but its a helluva leap to say they "conspired" to get him moved.  He was a free agent, after all.  BTW, Beckett actually pitched better last year with Martinez behind the plate than Varitek.  Lackey's ERA was about a run and a half higher with Martinez, but too small a sample size to tell if that means anything or not.


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