Friday, October 28, 2011

Jose Reyes to Detroit? Get Real.

With the holiday season approaching, I keep reading and hearing from Tiger fans with visions of Jose Reyes-to-Detroit dancing in their heads.

I hate to break it to you, but this is ridiculous and would cripple the Tigers ballclub in upcoming seasons, in my opinion.

“But Magglio and Carlos are coming off payroll”, they say. Sure, the Venezuelan ER unit will be gone, but people are forgetting that a sizable portion of the team is due raises this year and in upcoming seasons. And with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera already in the $20 million range, there is NO WAY a team in a market like Detroit’s can afford another guy with that price tag.

Keep in mind, I’m no financial expert when it comes to running a baseball team, by any means. But I think I’m pretty close to being on the mark with the following.

Take a look.

2012 Contracts

Miguel Cabrera: $21 million
Justin Verlander: $20 million
Victor Martinez: $13 million
Jose Valverde: $9 million
Joaquin Benoit: $5.5 million
Brandon Inge: $5.5 million
Jhonny Peralta: $5.5 million
Ryan Raburn: $2.1 million
Jacob Turner: Around $1 million

Okay. We’re already at $82.6 million and we’ve only covered 9 players. And one of them (Turner), may not even make the Opening Day roster. The 2011 team payroll was around $107 million. Sure, Mr. Ilitch will probably increase that number, but he’s a businessman first. He can’t allow his team to operate in the red like the Dodgers did this year. The man wants to win, but I can’t see the Tigers increasing that number to something silly like $140 million. I think $125 million has to be the cap. We aren't the Yanks or Sawx.

Now we enter the group of guys that are due raises. The following are estimates on what they’ll receive via MLB Trade Rumors.

Delmon Young: $6.3 million (yes, they’ll likely re-sign him)
Rick Porcello: $4.2 million
Max Scherzer: $3.9 million
Phil Coke: $1.3 million
Don Kelly: $800K

Brad Thomas is also eligible, but I’m fairly confident that they’ll tell him to go fuck a diseased koala and be done with him. So, that’s another $16.5 million on the books. Our total has now hit $99.1 million. Now we add in the following cost-controlled young guys at somewhere around $500K each.

Austin Jackson
Doug Fister
Alex Avila
Brennan Boesch
Ryan Perry
Daniel Schlereth
David Pauley
Al Alburquerque
Andy Dirks
Duane Below

That’s another $5 million, pushing us to $104.1 million, approximately. And SHIT! I forgot Dombrowski’s yearly donation of $1 million to his favorite charity: Joel Zumaya. If you add Reyes, who is going to be aggressively seeking somewhere around 5 years/$100 million, we’re up to $125 million(ish) and we still haven’t addressed adding another starter, catching depth, bullpen help, and maybe a third baseman.

Also, if you add Reyes, what happens to Peralta? Does he go to third where he pouted and got fat in Cleveland? Move him to second where he’s never played?

Another thing to consider, if the team goes nuts and signs Reyes: In the next few years, Jackson, Fister, Avila, and Boesch will all be due HEFTY raises. With three $20 million players already on the roster, where will that money come from? We’ll have a handful of good players and a bunch of minimum wage Don Kellys around them. Our farm system isn’t exactly packed with impact rookies looking to make debuts in the coming years, outside of Nick Castellanos in 2014 or so.

Also, keep in mind, Jim Leyland, Dave Dombrowski, the coaches and medical staff, and that opera singing jackoff hot dog vendor and his co-workers all need to get paid, too. We’re also paying Gary Sheffield deferred payments of $1-$2 million per season for another couple years.

There simply isn’t money there for Jose Reyes, kids. I’m sorry.

Plus the bastard will probably get hurt, if you follow his history. Who plays then since we can’t afford bench help? Cale Iorg? Good gawd, no. Add in the risk of the NL-to-AL hitting adjustment and I’m not a big fan of the idea, overall.

Reyes is not an option. If the Tigers go after a free agent middle infielder, expect it to be someone like Aaron Hill, Kelly Johnson, Jamey Carroll, or re-signing Ramon Santiago. Maybe see if you can get one of them, a better-than-Penny fifth starter, a veteran backup catcher, and 2 years of Aramis Ramirez for the amount of money you’d give to a Jose Reyes. Then, go find a seventh inning guy.

Is that a sexy idea? No. But it’s much more realistic, a word that many Tiger fans just don’t seem to understand.


Jay Hathaway said...

I've also been very against Reyes coming here.  Even if he were somehow affordable (which you have shown very well here why he is NOT), his pattern of injuries concerns me.  Additionally, I'm not sure that I would want a guy that exits the last game of the season early so that he can preserve his batting title.  That's just not the kind of character to keep up the Tiger tradition of hard-working team players.  I think that's why I liked Damon here last year--his character was a good fit for Tiger baseball, though he has never had gaudy numbers like Reyes.  I like Aaron Hill's upside for a 2nd baseman (though he is also injury-prone).  All I know about Kelly Johnson is that he is one of those .200 BA, 30 HR types, which I am not a fan of.  I wouldn't mind Sneaky at 2nd full-time, as long as we upgrade 3rd base.  I love the idea of Aramis at 3rd.  What do you think about some of the talk of the Tigers going after a guy like Sabbathia?  Or CJ Wilson?  Ace-type lefties--now you've got my attention!

SRogo said...

CC will stay in NY. Cashman can't afford to let him walk and CC knows it. Someone will severely overpay for Wilson...I'd rather it not be us. I'd prefer a more affordable veteran like Buehrle, Bedard, Francis, or Oswalt (depending on his price). In fact, I'd firebomb a children's hospital for Buehrle...

Brett Walker said...

All in all, I'm with you.  Would it look 'sexy' to have Jose at the top of the order... sure.  But with his health history and the price he's going to command.  Let him go to the Sawx or Dodgers.  I'd like to see a lot of the same things you would... except Buehrle...  I think he's washed up.  But Bedard, if he could stay healthy...  that'd be awfully nice.

Jay Hathaway said...

I like those guys, 'cept Francis.  Never been impressed with him.  Buehrle flew under the radar and had a decent season this year.

Sutelc said...

I'd give my left nut for Buehrle not so much because he's good but because it would piss off all the Sox fans to no end.  That would be fucking awesome.

Sam Powp said...

You must be drunk when you write this stuff. Maybe you don't remember saying how much you wanted Reyes on the team during the Tigers/Mets series?

SRogo said...

Of course I'd want Reyes. I'd also like Pujols, Halladay, and Cliff Lee. But is that realistic? No. That was the point here.

Heliosphan said...

Eh, if we really wanted to be creative, we could afford him. We could ditch Delmon Young and Zumaya, and flip Brandon Inge to a NL team willing to eat part of his contract.

I'd love to play Reyes, but I think it's about time we try Santiago full time. He's not spectacular, but if goes wrong, he still has value a a back up. I also like his skill set. He showed flashes of power last year for the first time in his career (considering years with 250+ PA), he plays solid defense, he's a good baserunner, and he can bunt.

rea said...

Sign Pujols, and convert Cabrera to a 2nd baseperson.  Problem solved!