By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

The Tigers finally broke the seal on their off-season with the arrival of a closer for next year and the acquisition of an outfielder we have all seen before.

So, what are your thoughts on the moves? Are the Tigers better than they were a week ago? Are they worse? What concerns do you still have, if any?

Our writers share what they have on their minds as the activity ramps up.



Dave Dombrowski took quite a risk by obtaining Craig Kimbrel. Did he put the cart before the horse by obtaining a top closer despite having no decent starting pitching? If he doesn’t sign a minimum of 2 top pitchers, this could be the equivalent of putting NASCAR wheels on a minivan.


It’s known that Billy Beane traded Josh Donaldson, this year’s MVP, because of personal, not performance or business reasons. I’m amazed that more hasn’t been said about a GM who allowed his personal feelings to override his business acumen by trading such a talented player. The A’s went from 2nd place to last with baseball’s 4th worst record.


Rumors say that the Tigers are exploring a return of Doug Fister to Detroit. If they prove right, how will the reasons for his original departure be rewritten? What will his return say about Dave’s decision – and about Al Avila?



It was my feeling going into the off-season that the Tigers would have to make most of their hay on the free agent front with little to offer in a trade. But so far they have managed to do the opposite. A couple of shrewd deals have brought the Tigers an experienced closer and a still young and athletic Cameron Maybin to strengthen the outfield. This is a better team already.


The acquisition of Maybin is a big deal and the only real question is where in the outfield he will be plugged in. You can’t have enough speed in that outfield. Maybin brings both speed and defense to a team that can’t have enough.


Centerfield seemed set going into the off-season, but I didn’t feel the same way about our leadoff spot. Cameron Maybin will certainly make a bid for the top spot in the batting order, it’s just a matter of whether he will replace Gose in center or fill the left field spot. Gose struck out way too much to continue to lead off and really belongs in the 9 spot because of it.


  1. Not sure how the Maybin trade will work out. Offensively, he hits right handers better than he does left handers (.260 to .211). How does he spell Gose or Collins, who are both left-handed hitters? Defensively, there doesn’t seem to be too many fans of Maybin. His defensive stats look pretty pathetic. Don’t see that playing out well in Comerica’s outfield.

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  2. Don’t get Kurt’s elation about Maybin, but agree with trade comment. Holly, you need to put DD in rear view mirror, but you totally hit it out of the park with Billy Beane observation; horrific trade. AA has improved team already, but all eyes on building rotation. Ford family doing nice job obscuring Tiger-ownership-in-absentia.


    • Hi, Hughie – I can’t ignore DD as his moves have impacted this team greatly and will continue to do so for at least the next couple of years. Avila’s action are, in part, a response to what DD did, and didn’t do. Owners, GMs and managers continue to impact a team long after they’re gone. Don’t you think it will be fascinating to watch how both Dave and Al develop their teams for 2016? Thanks for keeping the conversation going! – Holly


    • Hughie – I wouldn’t call it elation, just approval. Acquiring speed for the outfield and on the base paths is a valuable commodity. And if Davis isn’t coming back, that variable has to be replaced. And it has been. Strong move.


      • Fister would be the #4 starter. Holly, remember AL was involved with everything Dave did and if I remember right, AL was for pretty much for what DD did. He was bragging how involved he was when he got hired as GM.


  3. Cam Maybin is serviceable at best. Rajai replacement. Al didn’t advance the club but didn’t hurt it either. Give it a solid “C” grade. I like the sound of a prodigal returning. Thought of Fister wearing the oeD again brings a smile. If he stays healthy, is solid 5th starter. Could Fister deliver better than Alfredo? Yes with look of doubt.


  4. Couldn’t it be said that the mess Randy Smith left behind after he was fired six games into the 2002 season was felt for almost four years after his dismissal?


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