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the tigers offseason is a disastrophe


Scherzer


The title says it all about my feelings on the Tigers’ offseason. A pure, steaming, regrettable, weak, cost-cutting pile of hot garbage. I’m reminded of a drop that Matt Dery uses on his show when something goes wrong: It’s a DISASTROPHE!


Those three seconds of radio side-fodder are haunting me right now, shortly after the news broke that the Tigers couldn’t reach an extension deal with Scherzer, leaving contract negotiations tabled until after the season.


IT’S A DISASTROPHE!


This is just another bad omen for the Tigers, who for the past 3 years have been serious World Series contenders, making it to the ALCS twice and the World Series in 2012. The expectations from their fan base haven’t dwindled, but another playoff birth seems much less secure from my perspective, unless the Tigers can improve by trading Scherzer, NOW.


The offseason did have promising beginnings. Prince Fielder, a sort of pariah in Detroit, was traded for Ian Kinsler as a brilliant salary dump from GM Dave Dombrowski. The Tigers get an exceptional 2nd baseman to replace Infante, rid themselves of a hemorrhaging contract, AND can move Miggy to 1st base, allowing the hot prospect Castellanos to play 3rd. Brilliant! The infield now consists of Cabrera, Kinsler, the sexual leather of Jose Iglesias, and a powerful bat in Castellanos, who can play a decent 3rd base (or at least much better than Cabrera).


That move alone made the Tigers a better team, and a World Series favorite. Sure, at that point, they had questions about their bullpen and a platooning left field, but it was a certainty that a closer would be had before spring training (enter Joe Nathan), helping shore-up the bullpen.


Then the bad things began. Let’s start with the other trades…


Doug Fister for… what, exactly? My boy, Dougie Fresh, gets traded, and in return, the Tigers get a backup infielder, Steve Lombardozzi, some bullpen guy, Ian Krol, and a “hot” lefty prospect Robbie Ray. Um… WHAT? This was the worst trade I’ve seen from Dave D. in long time. C’mon man!


IT’S A DISASTROPHE!


The other trade sucked as well. The minor league pitcher of the year, Jose Alvarez, who’s spot-started and done some bullpen work for the Tigers a few times, was traded for Andrew Romine of the Angels. Who? Who’s Romine? Isn’t that a type of lettuce? Are you sure he’s not Bro-mine, the tan, spikey haired brother of a Jersey Shore cast member? No? Oh yea, he’s that 28 year old infielder guy. That career .250 hitter who played 74 games over the last four seasons. He’s a guy that resembles another guy the Tigers already have in Danny Worth. Yea, Romine is that guy, apparently. So, to summarize this one, the Tigers traded a guy who could help their already suspect bullpen for another Danny Worth.


***UPDATE***
Yesterday, the Tigers traded Lombardozzi for SS Alex Gonzales, and not the good one. Is this a joke? Is this real life? Is the Tigers’ organization coked out of their minds? They’re probably panicking. Gonzales is 37, has an OBP south of .290, and has played less baseball games the past two years than I have in my slow-pitch softball league.


IT’S A DISASTROPHE!


Now let’s talk about the injuries. It started fairly harmlessly when Andy Dirks had to miss a while because of back issues and Jose Iglesias missed a week with shin splints. Rajai Davis is a competent outfielder who would have platooned with Dirks anyway, and shin splints shouldn’t keep a player out for more than a few weeks, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong.


Dirks needed back surgery and will be out for longer than expected. Jose Iglesias, the ridiculously powerful defensive shortstop (some call him Sexual Leather), would miss 4 to 6 months with fractures in his legs, caused by not resting his shin splints. To add insult to injury, the Tigers, and Iglesias, knew the shin splints were an issue when they traded for him last year, yet he still played every day and failed to rest in the offseason.


Oh, remember how I was mad at the Alvarez/Romine trade because I liked having Alvarez as a spot starter and bull-pen guy? Well Bruce Rondon, our shoe-in to be the set-up guy for Joe Nathan, exploded his elbow this past week and needs Tommy John surgery. Done. For. The. Year. The bullpen looks to be in shambles at the moment, and Alvarez could have at least helped that situation. The Tigers’ BP is largely responsible for losing several games last year, including playoff games. Oh, and Jaba fucking Chamberlain is our set-up guy. SMH.


IT’S A DISASTROPHE!


Finally, news came this morning that the Tigers were unable to reach an extension deal with Max Scherzer, making him a free agent at the conclusion of this season. The offer was reportedly worth $25 million a year. To make matters worse, it’s become very apparent over the last year or so that Max is interested in testing the free agent waters, especially after winning a Cy Young. The offer the Tigers made was indeed a “very substantial offer,” as the press release stated. Speaking of which, it’s incredibly rare for the Tigers to have a press release for news of that sort, confirming the enormity of the situation as it relates to them.


Basically, unless the Tigers trade Scherzer, somehow pull a rabbit out of their hat and get him signed before the season starts, or he has a terrible year, they’re losing him without getting anything in return. If you don’t think another team will overpay for a Cy Young free agent that has a four pitch arsenal and a filthy fastball, you’re dreaming. Hell, I thought the $25 mil/year offer was an overpayment, especially for a guy who’s only put it together for that one Cy Young year.


IT’S A DISASTROPHE!


If I’m the Tigers, I deal Scherzer now if possible. Not tomorrow, not after breakfast, NOW. The only way I wouldn’t is if it’s a bad trade, obviously. No more of this Fister-for-joe-schmoe crap. Keep in mind, I don’t just want to rid the team of him, but I’d support finding some other players and shoring certain areas (bullpen, outfield, ANOTHER shortstop?). I suppose if you think the Tigers have a better shot at winning the World Series this year, you keep Scherzer around and see what happens. If they struggle, then you can deal him halfway through the year. I would just like to see the Tigers get some value out of him while he’s around.


Another negative aspect of this offseason? Cleveland and Kansas City have real chances at winning the division now. A wild-card birth is generally laughable for the AL Central teams, because they rarely win the division with more than 90 or 91 wins. It’s win or bust!


So that’s the Tigers’ horrible offseason. It’s very apparent the team is trying to keep their payroll under control, which unfortunately won’t work with a farm system that’s one of the worst in the league at the moment. Maybe they can prove me wrong and give me some hope, but it’s glass half empty at the moment for this guy.


IT’S A DISASTROPHE!


Gah!


-RLB

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