Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oh My God, They Killed Victor. You Bastards!

We’ve been hearing it the past few months from several Tiger fans. “What a boring offseason.” “Why isn’t there any Tiger news?” “Zzzzzz.”

Today, a bit over a month before pitchers and catchers report, we found out that Victor Martinez tore his ACL and will most likely miss the entire 2012 season.

I read the news on Twitter while at work today and think I handled the news as well as I could. First, I screamed the f-word for about five minutes straight in the office. Then I made several “I hate everything” texts to some fellow Tiger fans. Next, I went upstairs and threatened to fire a cook for some stupid reason. After that, I called my bartender a dumb whore. Don’t worry…they’re used to it.

And now, my stages of grief progression has reached the “What do we do now?” portion of development. The obvious thing to do is sign one of the remaining free agents out there to replace V-Mart as the DH. And the following is a look at who’s available and other possible solutions.

Also, real quick, keep in mind that Prince Fielder is not an option. They don’t have $20 million to throw at Cecil’s boy. Also, Lynn Henning tweeted that the team will get back around half of Victor’s $13 million salary from their insurance company. So there’s a little bit of money to play with here for a short term option.

(In order of my personal preference)

1. Bobby Higginson:

1. Vladmir Guerrero: .290/.317/.416, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 101 OPS+

Vlad’s numbers were down last year in Baltimore’s crappy lineup, but he was still quite impressive in 2010 with Texas. Put him in a lineup with Cabrera, Avila, Young, and Peralta and I think you’d see much better results than those of Vlad the Oriole. Just don’t expect him to take a pitch. He and Delmon would get along well. Would probably cost $6-8 million for a season.

2. Carlos Pena: .225/.357/.462, 28 HR, 80 RBI, 123 OPS+

Many might object to a homecoming for the former Tiger first baseman due to his low batting average, but the guy still consistently gets on base and led the league in homers as recently as 2009. He could also spell Cabrera at first from time to time and keep the big man rested. Expect to pay $8-10 million for a year of Pena.

3. Magglio Ordonez: .255/.303/.331, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 74 OPS+

Yes, I know this is a homer pick because I worship the man and can’t stand the thought of him playing anywhere else. And agreed, he has had the last two seasons cut short by breaking his ankle. And I KNOW, his power is gone. But I refuse to admit that he doesn’t have another good season left in him so BACK OFF, ASSBAGS. Be happy I didn’t put him first. Could probably had at a bargain, say $3-4 million for one last season?

4. JD Drew: .222/.315/.302, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 68 OPS+

Drew was hurt most of last year, but hit over 20 homers in 2009 and 2010. When healthy, he’s a 3.0 WAR player (like Victor) and can play some outfield and keep Delmon out of the field. He isn’t going to command the $14 million he’s made the past few years…probably closer to $6 million. If he still wants to play. The guy has never seemed to care much which will upset a big part of the “rah rah” loving Tiger fanbase.

5. Johnny Damon: .261/.326/.418, 16 HR, 73 RBI, 110 OPS+

I like Johnny. He’s a great dugout presence and I think Austin Jackson missed him DEARLY last year as a mentor. But I don’t Johnny’s the guy we want replacing Victor since we need a hitter with more pop to protect Cabrera in the lineup. Damon would have his moments, but we’d have to resort to batting Peralta or Raburn behind MIg and Cabby would end up walking 200+ times. Johnny will want $5 million or so. But we need a more intimidating bat.

6. Cody Ross: .240/.325/.405, 14 HR, 52 RBI, 105 OPS+

Another former Tiger that’s available. Cody turned into a mild success story after being traded by Detroit in 2004 for a bag of magic beans. He may have some juice left and would probably cost around $6 million. Thing is, I despise people named Cody. Worst name ever.

7. Yoenis Cespedes: No Major League experience.

I don’t think he’s ready and I think he’s going to be a strikeout machine. We have enough of those and he’s going to cost a fortune. I may be the only Tiger fan that is praying for the Marlins to overpay him to stay out of Detroit. But his potential still has many drooling over him.

8. Rick Ankiel: .239/.296/.363, 9 HR, 37 RBI, 81 OPS+

Not the most attractive choice. But he could get Delmon out of left and make Will Leitch a Tigers fan. Would be cheap, too, at around $1.5 million.

9. Carlos Guillen: .232/.265/.368, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 71 OPS+

Good gawd, has it come to this? Thanks for the memories, Carlos, but we’d probably be better off letting Victor play on crutches. If he gets $1 million to sit on the DL all year, he should consider himself lucky.

10. Manny Ramirez: .059/.059/.056, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 OPS+

In his prime, there was no one this side of Barry Bonds more intimidating that ManRam. But age and suspensions have taken away his luster. Manny hasn’t been good since 2008 and anyone that takes a chance on him will probably get burned. Plus, he's nuts. Then again, Leyland has handled crazy folks well in the past.  See Bonds, Sheffield, Ilitch, etc. Manny’ll work cheap, though. Probably at $1-3 million.

Other available clowns that I have no interest in include Hideki Matsui, Jonny Gomes, Raul Ibanez, Austin Kearns, Milton Bradley, Brad Hawpe, Jorge Posada, and Juan Pierre. If they even DISCUSS Juan Pierre, I will become a Blue Jays fan and rename this blog “Where Have You Gone, Kelly Gruber?”. Hope Eno doesn’t sue.

Longshots: Dmitri Young and Gary Sheffield. The former wants to attempt a comeback and we’re already paying the latter. Plus, I need comedy material. These guys would be perfect.

There are other possibilities, too.

-Do nothing. Move Delmon to DH and put Ryno in left. Hope the rest of the AL Central continues to suck and wait for the trade deadline to get a bat.

-Make a trade. I’m not even going to get into speculation here.

-Move Delmon to DH, Ryno to left, and acquire a second baseman or third baseman. Trouble is, no one is available and every trade the Tigers have apparently explored would require them to empty the farm system for someone that’s not worth the price.

Whatever happens, the offseason got a LOT more interesting today. I hope you jerks that were whining are all happy.

Oh, and in other news, the Tigers signed Don Kelly back for $900K in 2011. Imagine being terrible at your job and getting paid almost a million dollars to do so. That, my friends, is the true American Dream. I salute you, Donnie!

/raises middle finger


H2OPoloPunk said...

Jeez ma, I know batting average is considered a weak metric, but the options you've presented are unacceptable. Either Damon or Vlad are our only options outside of the organization. At least Vlad can hit a 55 ft pitch out of the stands. And Damon had a decent run with us. The rest of those options -- fuck them.

SRogo said...

Inching close to February, Pena isn't that bad of an option. If this happened two months ago, I'd be willing to agree. But he's arguably the best option left. Dude gets on base and has power. Believe me, I'm not crazy about it either...

MotorCityCat said...

Bring Back MAGGS! I believe!

No more angst for the Kelly signing than that? I'm crushed...

MotorCityCat said...

I'm also with water polo. Always like Guerrero...

Jordan C said...

Kill me. They had better make some moves and quick.. They need a bat to protect miggy.. unless you're happy with him leading the league in walks.

H2OPoloPunk said...

He gets on base then what? He's got wheels made of squares. No mobility whatsoever.

There's only one +1 for Pena, and that's defense @ 1B. But Miggy seems like a guy that needs to be involved in the entire game to have his head in it. I don't want him as a DH.

JacksTigers said...

I disagree. Pena is a far better option. If Billy Beane has taught us anything, it's that it doesn't matter how you get on base, but that you do. Pena has the Adam Dunn Effect, not that he will suck when he is DH, but that he walks so much, his BA doesn't matter. Then when you compare Pena to Damon, Pena actually has a better K/BB ratio. He also has far better power and would give some protection to Cabrera while Damon and Vlad would do no such thing.

I suppose you could make the argument to get both and trade DY for an average 2B/3B. I like Edwin Encarnacion I think that would be the best way to try and replace Victor. It could even make the team more complete than with just V-Mart.

1. Jackson
2. Damon
3. Boesch
4. Cabrera
5. Pena
6. Peralta
7. Avila
8. Santiago/Raburn
9. Encarnacion

I don't know if this is 'rosterbation' but it's my personal solution to a big problem. We would have a good number of left/right handed batters. Damon would be a good #2 batter and could mentor Jackson. Boesch would see some great pitches like DY did this year. Pena would protect Cabrera. And Encarnacion is a good fix for the dreaded Inge/Kelly platoon. I'm perfectly content with a 2B platoon. So, thoughts?

Kevin C. said...

Exuse my language but this is horrible fucking news, what could he have been possibly doing that resulted in a torn ACL? I hope he wasn't playing pick up basketball like a certain Aaron Boone.

SRogo said...

Via Kevin Rand, the team's trainer: It happened last week as he was doing his agility drills, part
of his conditioning program. he was doing a lateral move, his right foot
slipped, all his weight came down on his left knee.

SRogo said...

I find it highly doubtful that they'd get both, especially since what you suggest would put Damon on defense...he won't last the year out there. As for Encarnacion, he's a .260 lifetime hitter that's awful on defense.  He's defensive WAR is -6.3 for his career. He'll hit you some homers, but I'm actually happier with Inge and (gulp) Kelly's superior defense than I would be with the small increase in offense with EE. I'd rather have Betemit back then him.

SRogo said...

Victor wasn't exactly a speed demon on the basepaths. And Pena's .892 OPS vs righties is better than anything else out there without the possible exception of a healthy, motivated Vlad. I'm not a big fan of Carlos either, but shit...our options are limited.

JacksTigers said...

Damon is still a better defender than DY. Maybe try to get Murphy from the Mets. It's kind of a lose lose no matter who goes out in left. I'd rather take Damon's ability to hit second than DY's ability to hit sixth, though.

H2OPoloPunk said...

VMart hit in the clutch better than Pena. His mobility was much less of an issue. Pena seems like a HR or walk kind of guy. 

H2OPoloPunk said...

One more thing:

If Rick Ankiel could be made into such a great hitter, why not Dontrelle Willis?

Brasky said...

Is anyone else thinking about a certain player who recently announced he's looking to come back to baseball...I'm sure day meat hook would be thrilled to play with his younger brother...

PaulBakosNumberOneFan said...

1. Paul Bako: 
I've always been a Vlad fan. That would be fun and probably their best option, especially since the Geico lizard (or whoever you do insure knees through) is footing the bill.

Zach said...

Give Marcus Thames a 1-year deal.  Rod Allen has been dying to say the words "country strong" again.

Riotgear16 said...

Am I the only one thinking the Man-Ram would be a great acquisition? 

Kevin C. said...

I don't know about Manny, he is 39 years old and hit a whopping .059. Although it was only 17 at bats. I think he may be too old and washed up to have any impact.

Jay Hathaway said...

Hmmm, didn't several of us cite Bad Vlad as one of our wannabe Tigers in a recent blog post (I'd link to it, but I'm totally lazy)?  that dream could be a reality kids.  His numbers weren't bad last year, for an Oriole. 

My first thought upon hearing this news was to move Delmon to DH, then find another option for LF, like Raburn, which would essentially put a utility man (Ramon) as our full-time 2B.  So that plan is shit, I guess.

I could get down with signing Pena or Damon.  Ironically, they are kind of opposites when it comes to appeal.  Pena should make the saber guys happy with his solid OBP, and Damon is an intangibles guy if there ever was one.

If Manny came here, I would pay money to observe the interactions between him and Leyland.  Dude, your website would be comedy gold (not imply that it isn't already).

SRogo said...

No chance we go after ManRam. But wow...the material it would give me would be worth any cost.

Heliosphan said...

He'd only demand 1-1.5 mil, and he'll probably hit 20 bombs. 

Cnil1284 said...

Yes. He likely comes with a 50 game suspension. His bat speed is terrible. He won't stay long in the majors IF some poor team actually gives him a job.