I don't know how many of you follow the NBA these days. I know that my interest isn't what it once was. But during the Isiah Thomas days as GM in New York a couple years ago, he put the Knicks into a several year funk that they're just now starting to recover from, mainly by spending money foolishly and making bad trades. Guys like Shandon Anderson, Howard Eisley, Stephon Marbury, Tim Thomas, Nazr Mohammed, Jamal Crawford, and Steve Francis made it to New York, ate up the payroll, and won them very few games. The point of all this? I'm worried our Detroit Tigers are headed down this same path.
I got thinking about this with the recent rumors of the Tigers interest in (Never Surrender) Corey Hart of the Brewers. I don't know if he's the answer, but I do think we need to get someone that can contribute offensively. Cabrera and Granderson can't do it alone. But is it even possible for Detroit to get a guy that will make a difference with our current payroll and the Detroit economy? I mean, attendence is down and our payroll is sky high already. Here's where the Knicks comparison comes in. Look at these deals turning bad before our eyes.
Nate Robertson: $7 million this year, $10 million next year
Dontrelle Willis: $10 million this year, $12 million next year
Gary Sheffield: $13.6 million this year to hit homers for the Mets
Carlos Guillen: $10 million this year, $13 million next, and $13 million in 2011
Jeremy Bonderman: $12.5 million this year, $12.5 million next year
Magglio Ordonez: $18 million this year, and he's sure to hit his playing time kicker to invoke his $18 million option for next year and $15 million for 2011. The Tigers are also responsible for renting him suites on the road.
That's a lot of jack for a bunch of guys that are contributing little (Maggs) to nothing to this team (everyone else). Where is the money going to come from to add help to this team? Unless Mr. I starts selling pizzas at an astronomical rate, I don't see it happening. On top of these contracts, there's a bunch of other guys with expiring contracts this year that have serious raises coming in 2010.
Justin Verlander: $3.675 million this year. If he keeps pitching like he has, he's going to cost much more in 2010.
Edwin Jackson: $2.2 million this year. Ditto.
Brandon Inge: $6.3 million this year, $6.6 million next. Who knows where this one is heading. Maybe the 13 year olds can all pitch in their allowance in 2011.
Joel Zumaya: $735,000 this year. Next year? We'll see.
We do have a couple good deals. Granderson's locked up cheaply through 2013. Porcello's deal is peanuts through 2012. However, the best player of them all, Miguel Cabrera, great as he is, may end up hurting us as he jumps from $15 million this year to $20 million next year and 2011, $21 million in 2012 and 2013, and $22 million in 2014 and 2015. Where is this cash going to come from?
Placido Polanco, Brandon Lyon, Gerald Laird, Fernando Rodney, Marcus Thames, Bobby Seay, Adam Everett, Ramon Santiago, Matt Treanor, Zach Miner, Armando Galarraga, Ryan Raburn, and Dane Sardinha are all on one-year contracts. Do any of them come back cheaper next year? Anderson, Clete, Dolsi, and the other restricted kids are on one year deals, too, and will probably be due raises. What exactly is this team going to look like next year?
Taking ALL of this into consideration, is it worth it to Mike Ilitch to take (even more of) a loss on this year and just spend more cash to win now? Is it even possible? I'm no expert...just a moron with a keyboard. Maybe one of you can shed some light on the situation. But, that's why Double D makes the big bucks. But for how much longer considering he's the guy that got us into our Knickerbocker situation?