By: Holly Horning
It’s the quiet before the storm – that time of year when baseball play has ended and Front Offices are visibly revving up.
But hopefully in a matter of days, trades and signings will start to be made. It’s Hot Stove season, which I’ve always believed is second in holiness only to Neiman’s Last Call sale. It’s that exciting!
This marks the first year in 14 where we’re not quite sure in which direction the Tigers will be headed. A new GM who is now just stepping out from the shadows into a vocal role and without a track record for fans to dissect.
So while we’re waiting for the first shoe to drop, we have no answers. But I’ve got questions. Lots and lots of questions. And hopefully, all of them will be answered before the team heads south to Florida.
Join with me as I identify my Fifteen for Friday:
1. How differently will AA run the Front Office now that Dave is gone?
2. With Dave’s departure, will Scott Boras try to get back into Mr. I’s good graces?
3. Will the Tigers and Dave Dombrowski engage in any trades with each other?
4. What is the potential that the Tigers and a regular trade partner, the Nationals, makes a trade or two with each other?
5. Can VMart manage to get through an entire off-season without injuring himself?
6. Just how much will Mr. I be willing to spend this year?
7. Will the Tigers sign an expensive closer instead of adopting the newest strategy of multiple inexpensive relievers used in the highest risk inning?
8. Will we ever know how long each of the coaches’ contracts have been extended?
9. Will Al Avila change his style of communication and play his strategy closer to the vest?
10. What are the chances the Tigers trade someone from their starting lineup for a pitcher?
11. Will Gibby or Morris return to the broadcast booth – or will the experiment continue?
12. What are the chances Alex Avila signs with another team?
13. Will the Front Office take into consideration that the clubhouse needs additional players with real leadership skills?
14. For the first time in years, will the team avoid having players with unexpected and significant injuries during the off-season?
15. Will Rich Dubee become the most charismatic and likeable member of the coaching staff given his first interviews?
Keep this list in mind. We’ll return to it in February when the dust has settled and the gear has been packed up for Florida.