By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Now that the Hot Stove League is heating up, there is plenty to contemplate about the home team and where they are headed.
Kurt and Holly don’t share and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.
If the Tigers actually do what the media is speculating about and they do indeed deal Verlander, Cabrera, JD Martinez and who knows who else, does anyone have concerns? Do we have the right people in place to head into such a radical transition? Unlike the Cubs, we didn’t bring in an All-Star like Theo Epstein to reshape the franchise.
Since we have let all of baseball know that we will consider deals for our top stars, why not let teams sit on that notion until the trade deadline, when contenders are more vulnerable and desperate to get over the top? That way you can do 2 things. You give yourself another shot at a playoff run with a still very good team and the caveat that if we fail, we deal at a time when you can get the best talent.
I understand that given the years that both Verlander and Cabrera had last season, they are probably sitting at their highest trade value possible. It’s why the Tigers look like they are considering this now more than later. But are they prepared for the scrutiny and the bevy of empty seats at Comerica? If they are and that doesn’t matter, than it’s more clear than ever that this team is for sale.
Remember those couple of years where Miguel Cabrera had amazing seasons of productivity and yet didn’t win the MVP Award because the common thought was that the winner had to take his team to the playoffs? So why is Mike Trout being heralded by many of these same people as deserving to win this year’s MVP Award despite the Angels finishing in 4th place and below .500? I am really getting tired of the media’s doublespeak and insane lovefest with him.
I had no idea just how bad the Tigers’ defense was in 2016 until I saw the stats. Defensively, they placed second-to-last out of 30 teams. JD Martinez ranked dead last by a mile out of all RFers and cost the Tigers 22 runs, mostly due to his lack of range. Add this factor to the pile of reasons that he will be traded this Hot Stove season.
When you look at the stats, and especially those focused on run support, Justin Verlander clearly deserves to win the AL’s Cy Young Award. And I don’t blame him – given recent years where writers don’t do their homework and the Tigers notoriously don’t support their own players when it comes to awards and the Hall of Fame – for publishing proof and supplying it to the media. As Will Rodgers said, “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true.”