QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND CONCERNS

By:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

The Hot Stove League has cooled a bit but it’s still simmering as we wait on some still hot commodities to find a home.

But what’s up with the Tigers? Well, Al Avila has worked his way through his shopping list and has wrapped and put a bow on just about everything he was looking for.

But as we await the next move, what’s on the minds of our writers? Well, there’s always somethin’.


HOLLY

QUESTION

Why do so many fans insist on trading Ian Kinsler? He was the hardest working player on the team last year, put up phenomenal numbers, took on the role of team leader and owns the highest WAR by far of any second baseman in all of MLB. Don’t these same fans realize that there is no other player with his experience at 2B, his glove and his bat?

COMMENT

Michael Cuddyer is the first baseball player to walk away from $12.5 million salary and retire. Mentioning that his skills were no longer commensurate with that amount, he said he’d feel guilty accepting it without earning it. It will be interesting to see if anyone else ever duplicates this amazing level of integrity.

CONCERN

Interesting that fans and the media believe that the Tigers have to be either “all in” or “all out” on Cespedes and Gordon. Showing an interest in a player automatically ups the asking price so therefore keeping silent until the last moment is a wise move by any GM. I wouldn’t be surprised if Al Avila monitors the bidding and jumps in if the figures and contract length are lower than expected.


KURT

CONCERN

Rajai Davis became a Cleveland Indian this week, and I am not real pleased. I think he was a valuable piece for the Tigers off the bench.

That’s a lot of speed removed from a roster already devoid of Yoenis Cespedes who provided plenty himself. But Davis was THE base running threat for the Tigers, and we can only hope Cameron Maybin will fill that role.

QUESTION

Could the moves the Tigers have made turn a bullpen that had been a disaster in 2015, to a strength in 2016? I would not be surprised; and that’s just based on what we do know, not what we don’t.

All signs point to Michael Fulmer as being the one who they won’t be able to keep off the plane to Detroit in April, potentially as another big piece for the pen.

COMMENT

It will be real important to both Bruce Rondon and the Tigers for him to make the team out of the spring. I think we are looking at a pretty fragile psyche and now more than ever, he needs to impress this team enough to bring him north.

If he ends up in Toledo, I am not optimistic about his future with the team and it may break him.

12 thoughts on “QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND CONCERNS

    • I think Rajai would have helped the team more than Aviles. They will make about the same salary. Rajai adds base stealing and better hitting against lefties, and probably better outfield defense than Aviles. Why do we need two utility infielders or a guy who can play both infield and outfield?

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  1. I don’t understand how Maybin is an upgrade over Rajai Davis. And I’m already not optimistic about Rondon’s future, with or without the Tigers. If his psyche is truly that fragile, I’d say his chances of being a successful closer are pretty slim anyway. Just saying.

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  2. The only reason fans mention Kinsler going is to unload the payroll, but for how Avila has moved in the offseason don’t see that coming. Kudos to Cuddyer! Hopes are that Maybin can be a younger Davis with a little better defense. Again IFs A. Wilson, Hardy and VerHagen can repeat last year performances the bullpen should be ok. Very interesting point about Rondon.

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  3. Cuddyer isn’t breaking new ground. Al Kaline turned down $100,000 in 1971 saying “I’d prefer to have you give it to me when I rate it.” Al did take $100G the next year and played a few more seasons. Now Miggy makes that much in half a game.

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    • Hi, BBB – It’s always hard to compare situations that are almost 45 years apart. Kaline just turned down a $5K raise – he didn’t refuse to take a salary. Cuddyer walked away from millions. Nevertheless, what both men did was admirable – and very appropriate that you bring up Kaline on his 80th birthday! Thanks for reading and commenting. – Holly

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      • Yes, but a few thousand then is equivalent to millions today. Maybe not in our world but in the world of sports salaries. And Kaline wasn’t ready to retire so in a sense he was giving up more of his future. But it’s true, both are admirable. That is unless you take the cynical view that current players are paid so much that money no longer has the same value.

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  4. How responsible was Avisail Garcia for the turmoil in the Tigers clubhouse in the weeks /days leading to his abrupt trade back in ’13? That was our best chance to win a championship during the DD era. It’s a shame that the alleged actions of one person and the after effects are still being felt today.

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  5. CONCERN, starting almost immediately, Avila started his complete “repair” of the Tiger franchise. He has certainly accomplished restocking Tiger fan interest while constructing a “bridge” squad for 2016; a repair job on the fly. The Tigs could contend..IF they remain healthy and Ausmus can show he can “manage.”

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  6. Holly I agree 100% on Ian. It wasn’t that long ago second base was a revolving door and our defense suffered mightily. Ian brought talent and drive that was sorely needed. I hope he retires a Tiger. Kurt, I’m with you. We should have kept Rajai. His speed and threatening presence were a distraction to opposing pitchers and an asset to the team.

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  7. In defense of BA we can no longer call him an inexperienced manager – not with a few hundred games, a division title, a last place finish and the victim of an ALDS sweep. He appears to be a student of analytics. AA has embraced analytics as well and hired four full time analysts. The last thing we need is a Grady Little type manager who will disregard info given to him.

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