microphoneIt’s Tuesday folks, which means it’s your day! Tuesday is the day for you to be heard. Today is the one day during the month where you get the opportunity to comment on the Tiger topic of your choosing. It’s time once again for “Open Mike!”

As usual, this is the one day of the week where we open up the comment parameters for you, so you can really get those juices flowing. Comments on THIS DAY ONLY can be expanded to a maximum of 8 sentences. So let ‘er rip!  Pick a topic and let us hear from you. We know there’s a lot on your minds…


Holly Bio PicBy:  Holly Horning

This has been a very strange – and very different – Hot Stove season this year. It’s been quiet – and boring. And not just for the Tigers.

We were forewarned in the late fall that the names available would not be as stellar as in years past. That this was going to be an off-year in terms of blockbuster deals and flashy, expensive players.

But despite the yawns the Hot Stove season has generated, big things have been happening within baseball. A sport that changes so slowly, sometimes the evolution goes unnoticed. But not now. New trends have emerged that are sudden and alarmingly rapid.

First, the growing hesitation by teams to offer long-term contracts. Followed by organizations now loathe to offer contracts of more than 2-3 years to players already in their 30’s. GMs are now realizing that it’s not good business sense to lock down a player who has started the decline in performance and who will become generally untradeable within a year or two.

But the biggest trend we’re seeing is the overall reluctance to part with top prospects. Teams now are showing a death grip on their most promising players and refusing to cough them up. We saw more deals not get done this year because, in the end, the prospects were more important to the future performance of the club than the established player.

There were only a couple of teams willing to deal from their farm systems, led by – surprise, surprise – Dave Dombrowski. And that was because Dave moved to the Red Sox when their farm system ranked near the top with one of the largest collections of promising players.

Ironically, one of the most significant events that undoubtedly inspired teams to take a closer look at their trading habits can be traced to the Tigers. The infamous moves by former GM Dombrowski in which he traded David Price and Yoenis Cespedes and received one of the most notable hauls in pitchers Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris and Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer.

These Tigers’ moves were roundly recognized as brilliant and many within baseball took notice. Many analysts believe these were the catalysts that inspired the majority of teams to refuse trading their top pitching prospects in the 2016-2017 Hot Stove season.

But there are other reasons, too. A noticeable jump in pitchers’ contracts and the new focus on hanging onto young, club-controlled talent. Teams save a ton of money by developing their own players, keeping them for pennies and then allowing them to leave around the age of 30.

There are teams like the Mets with a starting rotation that has just only jumped to $11 million for 2017. The Indians pay out $14 million for their rotation. And the Tigers? $71 million.

See the problem with this?

The Tigers are now encountering the perfect storm where they have a depleted farm system and no longer have the capital to trade for top pitching prospects. Salaries are skyrocketing. Which means only one thing.

The Tigers need to start developing their own players. And in a hurry.

But unfortunately, if you go back at least 10 years, Detroit does not have a good record of drafting and developing, especially starting pitchers. Other than Justin Verlander, the only other pitcher worth mentioning is Rick Porcello. The rest of their all-star rotation over the past decade was developed by other teams.

An issue of concern is that Al Avila kept the entire scouting and drafting departments intact when he took over the job. In fact, he re-hired some older scouts who used to work for the Tigers way back when. All of them the same guys with the aforementioned track record.

Will these same people suddenly change their methodology and start making different decisions? Will the new analytics department kick in and be a game-changing element? Will the Tigers break their long scouting drought?

There’s no doubt about it – they must. It’s a whole new era in baseball.


Holly Bio PicKurt Bio PictureBy:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible.  It’s hard to imagine that we are on the doorstep of February already and soon Tiger pitchers and catchers will be headed to Lakeland. So there is much to contemplate as Spring Training nears.

Kurt and Holly don’t share their Saturday topics and it’s only for the readers’ benefit. It almost always translates into a wide array of thoughts.



Congrats to former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly, who will be honored this season for leading the Twins to 2 World Titles; a statue will be erected in his honor. Congrats to David Ortiz, who will be honored by the Red Sox this season through the retirement of his #34. Boston will waste no time in honoring one of their greatest players who helped lead them to 3 World Titles.


The Tigers announced this week that Jack Morris will no longer be part of the TV broadcast crew. I can’t get behind a common opinion that Morris was one of the weakest of the color analysts. Without ranking strengths of the 3, I thought Morris brought the most to the broadcasts; a successful pitcher’s perspective is an underrated broadcasting attribute.


Did the Tigers overpay for Alex Avila? This week the Toronto Blue Jays signed former Tiger catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor league contract that could be worth $1.5M if he makes the team. Salty certainly didn’t help his cause hitting just .110 for the Tigers after August 1st in 2016, but Alex will have a hard time providing the deep threat that Salty brought off the bench, as so many of his 12 home runs were game changers.



Why have the Tigers not made more of an effort to get more left-handed bats into the lineup for more than a couple of years now? Analysts keep referring to their unbalanced right-handed lineup and how it limits them in creating consistent run production. They also said this is why the Indians dominated them last year given that they have a stellar starting rotation and bullpen of dominating right-handed pitchers.


It appears that Al Avila can keep a secret given the news that Vmart had hernia surgery almost 4 months ago. But while the Tigers typically downplayed the seriousness of it, other reports say it is identical to the surgery that both JV and Miggy had. But my greatest concern is why the Tigers seemed to have cornered the market on hernia surgery with 3 players now having had it in such a short time period.


No one should be surprised that Kirk Gibson was retained for the broadcast booth in ’17 despite poor audience feedback. Even if you disregard the Tigers’ infamous loyalty factor, no team is going to fire anyone who is battling significant health concerns which would shower the team with a virtual storm of negative publicity. Even the Red Sox, mired in last place with the second highest payroll, did not fire John Farrell who was experiencing serious health issues.


Holly Bio PicBy:  Holly Horning

Let the predictions begin! As we move into the latter part of January and going into February, we transition into the season of predictions. Oddsmakers, both the professionals and those within baseball, give their prognostications on how well each team will do in the coming season. And in the vast majority of cases, everyone gets it wrong.

Sure, there is a value to this work, outside of the industry itself and the increasing number of people placing bets. The reports that fill the papers and TV can offer a hint of a team’s ability. They can be one of many sources that will offer information about your team. Just don’t go by their reports alone.

But you know what? In all honesty, I tune these reports out. I refuse to read the articles. I stick my fingers in my ears and go “la, la, la, la, laaaa” loudly when they come on TV. Call part of it superstition, part not wanting to adopt that mindset, but call the other part a failure to include the non-measurable aspects. The intangibles. Just as important – and maybe even more at times – as the skills you can quantify.

How else to explain their importance than the story of a general over 250 years ago who took a team of ragtag non-professional soldiers and managed to defeat a country with the best army and navy in the world. The same principles also help explain the Amazin’ Mets, the ’87 Twins and also the ’11 Red Sox, but for different reasons.

We always talk about how a team looks “on paper.” You see the player’s historical performance. You look at his stats from last year. For more, you dig into the sabermetrics/analytics to get a better understanding of how a player ranks against his direct competition, his efficiency and his strengths and weaknesses.

All quantifiable factors based upon physical skills. Stuff that is black and white and easy upon which to hang your hat. Stuff you can understand. Easy stuff.

But there are few teams, if any, who win it solely because of the physical talent. The winning teams have more. They have aligned their physical strengths with their mental ones. Something Theo Epstein knows a thing or two about.

The teams that win consistently have their you-know-what together. They go beyond the roster and reinforce the organization from top to bottom in order to turbo-charge their team’s performance.

It starts with a good foundation within the organization. Developing a defined winning culture and instilling it in everyone. It means bringing in real leaders with a clear message and getting everyone to buy into what they are saying. Motivational people. People who inspire players to listen to them and to perform at their highest levels – and consistently.

It also means developing a big tool bag of goodies that help you stay one step ahead of the competition. Software programs, analytic departments, specialized coaches, top medical and training staff, sports psychologists, nutritionists, mentors and more.

And then you’ve got the supporting staff – the owner, GM, Front Office, Scouting and all the departments that have a say on who gets to go on the field now and down the road. And in the clubhouse, it’s about getting the right mix of people and personalities. People who will complement and support each other. At least of handful of them with the highest levels of mental fortitude to keep the team focused and effective.

As we’ve seen recently, your team can be unanimously selected by oddsmakers to win the World Series because you have the greatest amount of talent out of any team. But that team spends the entire year out of first place and ends the year with a pitcher choking the team’s star player in the dugout.

It’s only later that we learn it was a dysfunctional clubhouse with clashing personalities and an ineffective rookie manager. And a team with too many health concerns that don’t get resolved.

But a year later, this team has a much happier ending because the owner stepped up and spent more time addressing the intangibles. Problem players traded, a manager traded in for an experienced skipper, a complete overhaul of the coaching staff and an entirely new medical and training department. And this time, they played into October.

So when the predictions start to come out, listen to them if you must. And if you do, take them with a grain of salt. But if you want a real measure of how your team will perform, dig beneath the surface if you can. Have changes been made within the organization? Is there a new way of doing business? Is there a new attitude?

Theo Epstein went into 2 organizations known for having the 2 longest World Series droughts and making them winners. People familiar with both the Cubs and the Red Sox all said he completely “changed the culture” and focus of each organization.

The question now to consider is whether other organizations will understand and implement the importance of addressing the intangibles.


By:  Holly Horning & Kurt SnyderKurt Bio PictureHolly Bio Pic

It’s normal at this time of year to be bombarded with articles loaded with positivity – a proverbial ‘all is well’ message coming at you from every angle.

Most are meant to give fans hope for the upcoming season, but how can everything be rosy for a team so decimated with problems the previous year?

Holly and Kurt will not share their answers to the following question until today. In doing so, it gives readers the best shot at gaining a wide range of perspectives. Will you get that today? We’ll see.

What feel-good propaganda that’s been published do you actually believe and why?


My work is complete. If you’re a regular reader, you’re familiar with the recent blog that explains this time of year when the Tigers coordinate with the local media to write feel-good articles on their players and management.

Articles that offer redemption for players who were not at their best, reminders of those who had great years and reassurance for those who raised the fans’ eyebrows last year.

I believe everyone I listed in those blogs now has been accounted for within those 3 lists.

So which of these do I believe? Well, I’d like to believe them all. I know that every player wants to be better next year. That everyone wants to win. And I’m almost tempted to say the story about the Avilas catching the big fish is the one I believe because there are actual photographs of it.

But I’m going with the interview with Brad about the key to this team. Health. He believes the Tigers are a truly scary team if they remain healthy. And they really are.

If you look at the big picture for this year, it’s almost the same team as last year’s and still pretty potent. In fact, the recipe – top notch pitching and big bats – has been the go-to standard for most of this decade.

But this decade has also seen the same major roadblock hit this team. The same excuse offered every year by management and players alike when the Tigers have failed at the end of every year. Injuries. Multiple injuries to Miggy, VMart, JV, Castellanos, Iggy, JD, Maybin, Zimmermann, Greene, Norris, Price, Sanchez, Rondon – the list goes on. It appears that pretty much everyone was injured and spent some significant time on the DL save for Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler.

The same rationale that has been used year after year to excuse the team from winning that ring. The same answer that has saved the jobs of many within management and the Front Office.

So if the Tigers can manage to stay healthy for the first time in many years? Yes, they really could be “scary good.”


Many of the stories out there are based on hope. Is Jordan Zimmermann healthy enough to have a bounce-back season? Can Justin Upton reduce his strikeouts and begin the season as hot as the last one ended? Can Mark Lowe give us that lockdown late inning reliever we all hoped we would get last season? All these emphatic questions can be answered with a resounding – “I hope so!”

But there is only one statement that you can put stock in. Brad Ausmus feels that a healthy Tiger team can be very dangerous. And who out there can really disagree with that? The lineup is loaded with big hitters, but routinely is held back by key injuries, usually a gaggle of them, every season. And every season it seems you ask yourself, what if?

What if the team could somehow stay healthy for an entire season? How far could they go? The starting pitching has a chance to be really good this season. The rotation consists of loads of veteran talent and loads of young, emerging talent. It really is a great mix. But if you take Jordan Zimmermann out of that equation and he is unable to give you 200+ innings, then you are forced to head down that Sanchez / Pelfrey road, which has not been a reliable source for consistently good and injury-free starting pitching either.

This team has the potential to be very good. It always has. But it’s a fragile team, and Brad is no different than us when it comes to wondering what could happen if for one season, the injury bug didn’t hit them so hard. It could really be fun, wouldn’t it?

No team or fan base can really expect what we are looking for; injuries are part of the game and are felt by every team out there. But if for one season you can avoid those lengthy absences of key pieces of the lineup and starting pitching, great things can happen in Detroit.


microphoneIt’s Tuesday folks, which means it’s your day! Today is the day for you to be heard on a selected topic.   You have the rest of the week to hear from Kurt and Holly, today is the day to let them know what you’re thinking on a given topic.

This is the one day of the week where we open up the comment parameters for you, so you can really get those juices flowing.

Comments on THIS DAY ONLY can be expanded to a maximum of 8 sentences.

So let ‘er rip!  We can’t wait to get your thoughts on the following topic.

 Collins, Gose, Machado and Moya are out of options.  If you could pick only one to make the roster,  who would it be and why?


By:  Holly HorningHolly Bio Pic

Until this year, the Tigers turned over their roster in significant fashion every year for over 10 years. Sometimes even as high as 50%.

Contrast that to the team’s penchant for retaining Front Office personnel and coaching staffs for decades. In fact, when Al Avila assumed the GM position, he retained every single person who served under Dave Dombrowski . An unusual move considering that the common protocol for new GMs is to turn over most or all of their staff within a year of taking the job.

In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the significant loyalty factor within the organization as well as the close band of brothers who have stayed on under Brad Ausmus after Jim Leyland left the managing position. If you didn’t catch the original article, read it here at:

So when it was announced that Lloyd McClendon, who returned to the Tigers last year, was being brought up to Detroit this year, it made me wonder about how much power Brad Ausmus actually has in choosing his staff. Standard procedure within baseball is that the manager selects his coaching staff with a customary sign-off by the GM.

We know from written reports that one of Jim Leyland’s conditions of staying as manager for the Tigers included having Gene Lamont as his bench coach. They came as a set. And when Ausmus became manager, it seemed logical that Gene stayed for that first year to help ease the transition and communication. Besides, the two had worked together briefly in Houston.

But Gene continues to hang on. Could it have anything to do with Leyland’s continued employment with the Tigers and a friendship with Lamont that spans almost 50 years?

Other coaching changes are easier to explain. New first and third base coaches, along with a pitching coach, were brought in because their predecessors did poorly in their respective positions. And with the advent of analytics, specialized personnel were added to fill those new needs.

And given that the Tigers have a penchant for collecting former managers (6 now), it was no surprise when they re-hired Lloyd McClendon to manage Toledo. But it’s a whole ‘nother story when it came to bringing him up to Detroit.

You see, Lloyd has been friends with Jim Leyland for over 25 years. Played for him, had his first coaching job with him, and came to Detroit with him. And even though he was the Tigers’ hitting coach, he was the acting manager when Leyland had to take time off or got booted from games. Not Gene, the bench coach.

So the move to bring Lloyd back up to Detroit is a rather interesting one. At the end of last year, eyebrows were raised when he appeared in the dugout for the remainder of the season “to observe.”

The same guy who interviewed for the managerial slot after Leyland stepped down. The same guy who lost the job to Brad Ausmus. A guy who became manager of the Mariners, got fired, returned to Detroit and is on the record saying he wants to manage again.

Now, Brad is a smart man. Do you think that he would, on his own, bring back the man he defeated for the job? A guy who has already stated his desire to manage another team? A guy who has been friends with Leyland, Lamont, Clark, Avila and many others within the Tigers’ organization for decades? Afterall, Brad has only been with the Tigers for 3 years. He’s not in the same loyalty clique as the others.

Ausmus is also in his last year as manager with no contract extension. How convenient.

It’s not hard to imagine that Lloyd will be sitting and waiting this year. Waiting for an opportunity to step in. Afterall, the Tigers are his best chance at managing again. Any business-savvy person would see the opportunities for advancement.

I find it hard to believe that Brad would independently welcome Lloyd’s return to the dugout. Someone who will watch his every move. To wait for the mismanaged games or losing streak. To watch how the Tigers do in conceivably their last good year to get back to the playoffs. To breathe down Brad’s back.

If I were Brad, I wouldn’t want that. Would you?

Someone had to influence Ausmus to hire Lloyd. Or someone made the decision for him. Once again, we have to wonder who within the organization actually holds the real power. It may not be the natural or customary choice.


By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly HorningKurt Bio PictureHolly Bio Pic

Saturday’s segment is a day to touch on as many issues as possible. Even as the Tigers have barely made a whisper this off-season, there is still 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.



Well, Dad … Pudge Rodriguez is on the way to the Hall of Fame. Dad, a former minor league catcher with the Reds, was often critical of Pudge while he was a Tiger catcher and I often had to remind him that he was headed for the Hall of Fame. He would scoff at the notion as I jarred his memory about Pudge’s years with Texas, 12 of them, where he was arguably the best catcher in baseball; it’s why he will go to the Hall as a Texas Ranger, the uniform he wore at his best.


When can we actually feel comfortable with the health of Jordan Zimmermann? This week, he was asked about his health and he described how much better he is feeling and how the shots he has been getting in his neck are helping. I don’t know about you but I’m pretty nervous about a #2 pitcher, who we need 200 innings from in the worst way, receiving neck injections as part of his treatment.


Congratulations to another Tiger Hall of Famer! Given how little recognition Tiger players get, we should not have overlooked the induction into the West Michigan Whitecaps Hall of Fame of another great Tiger catcher … Alex Avila! Hey, we will take whatever we can get around here.



Players who have run afoul of their organization, combined with poor performance, should heed the warning signs that they are about to be released. Al Avila told us that the Tigers had received multiple inquiries about Anthony Gose which left us wondering if we had somehow entered the Twilight Zone of reason. But with Lloyd McClendon’s statements explaining that Gose’s behavior was nothing out of the ordinary came his designation a mere day later.


And with Anthony Gose’s presumed exit, another example of how the Tigers conduct themselves publicly is seen. The team practices admirable levels of professional conduct and has never spoken negatively about anyone associated with them. In the case of Gose, it was most probably an attempt to put him in the strongest position to succeed in getting an offer from another team.


Eyebrows were raised last year when Washington Nationals’ pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, signed an extension with his team despite his agent’s (Scott Boras) track record of always taking his players to free agency. But analysts believe this deal was completed because Strasburg has horrible mechanics – the biggest contributor to his frequent injuries – and Boras wanted to ensure he got a long-term contract before something happens to him again. This same panel of analysts then mentioned that the one pitcher with the best mechanics in MLB, and thus the guy most likely to age well on the mound, is Justin Verlander.


Holly Bio PicBy:  Holly Horning

For the first time in 43 years, someone who actually played for the Tigers was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cue the fanfare. Drop the balloons. Throw the confetti.

The only problem is that he, Ivan Rodriguez, will be wearing a “T” instead of a “D” on his hat when he is enshrined in Cooperstown. And for many fans, this is a bittersweet moment with feelings of happiness commingling with frustration.

But let’s look on the bright side. It’s been only 25 years since a full-fledged Tiger was voted in, but belatedly, by special committee.

You got a problem with that? I do.

For one of baseball’s oldest organizations, the Tigers have one of the lowest totals of Hall of Fame members wearing the Old English D. Nine players. Count ‘em. It amounts to one player getting inducted every 14 years.

And who knew that Al Kaline would be the last player to enter on a regular ballot for many decades? Especially when the Tigers put together what is considered one of baseball’s 10 best lineups back in 1984. Remind me just how many of these guys got in?

And with the Hall of Fame snub, combined with the infamous MVP one, Alan Trammell is probably hoping the third time is the charm.

So why is this happening? Do other teams just have better stars? Is it just a NY media bias thing?

For the most part, this is a self-inflicted injury perpetuated by the Tigers’ organization upon themselves. Decades of being quiet, leaving it up to other people to make the necessary moves and being stingy with the words and recognition. This was expected behavior back in the 1970’s.

Maybe it’s time for the Tigers to enter the 21st Century and step up to what savvy organizations are now doing – even if they are already a decade and a half+ behind.

A significant number of MLB teams have their own Hall of Fame. The Tigers don’t. And when it comes time to consider Hall of Fame candidates, most teams present binders and videos of their players on the ballot to the voters. The Tigers don’t. Many high-ranking executives make a push for their former players in the media. The Tigers don’t. And the majority of teams retire players numbers without waiting for them to enter the Hall, if at all. The Tigers don’t.

Sense a pattern here?

Over the past month, the Texas Rangers’ President was making the rounds during Hall of Fame voting to push for Pudge. And on his last day playing in Boston, the Red Sox retired David Ortiz’ number.

Just why the heck are the Tigers waiting? Why do they continue to sit on their hands and do nothing – and then wonder (silently, of course) why their players don’t get the recognition they deserve? Don’t they see that this is one of the biggest hot buttons for their fans?

When you aren’t vocal about players’ records or historical relevance, how important they are to the organization or offer any kind of official recognition within your own organization, don’t be surprised when others also gloss over your candidates in lieu of others. Especially when the majority of the voters now aren’t old enough to remember seeing your guy play. If you don’t think enough about your guys to go to bat for them, why should anyone else think they are special and deserving?

And as a branding consultant, I gnash my teeth when I see this. (I also swear but our blog rules prevent me from including them.) Not keeping up with modern times renders you obsolete fast. You fall behind. You become less relevant. And your value falls. Not branding your organization plays havoc with your finances, clients, reputation and sustainability.  This is especially important when all teams inevitably take that turn from consistent winning to troubled, rebuilding years.

What I can’t understand is the business end of it. Branding your organization increases your perceived and actual value significantly. It’s one of the best ways to draw new clients (or fans) and increase your bottom line. I simply can’t fathom why an organization refuses to adequately brand themselves so they may increase revenue.  For over a decade, the Tigers have consistently had payroll exceed revenue.  You’d think they would want to resolve that issue.

I believe we can safely add this lax attitude about branding and refusal to support former players to our list of greatest Tigers mysteries.

How many more fans would come to the ballpark so they could visit the Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame? Maybe even pay an extra admission? To visit the promenade near the outfield to touch the conjoined statues of Tram and Lou turning two?

So much potential. So little attempted. And too few Tigers in the Hall as a result.


Holly Bio PicKurt Bio PictureBy:  Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder

Well, isn’t this awkward?   On a day when we would question whether the Tigers would swing a trade before the spring, the incredible has happened! They made one!

Oh, but we must press on. And we must qualify things before you read on. Holly’s answer to the following question was written prior to the announcement that the Tigers had traded for Mikie Mahtook.

And Kurt? Well his answer was written after the trade!

Our writers’ answers to the following question have not been shared with each other until today, so readers will have the best shot at getting different perspectives on the same topic. Given the circumstances … it’s an absolute certainty. How fun is this?

With one month to go before pitchers and catchers report, what are the chances that the Tigers will make an actual trade before then?


We fans get impatient but historically, the Tigers have done their biggest deals in January. However, this year will be different as there assuredly will not be any big players coming into Detroit. Potentially, one may possibly leave.

It’s been a very slow Hot Stove season overall but as February starts to loom large, teams start to press in order to fill their holes and players still in need of a home start to sweat and change the trade parameters with their agents. And I believe the Tigers may be waiting for the timing to favor them the most. They are waiting to go bargain hunting.

It’s been rumored that they are in the hunt for a CFer, but don’t want to pay over $2 million for one. Sadly, just how much will that buy? But if you wait long enough, some of those outfielders just may come down in price.

It appears the Tigers have been hovering and staying in touch with at least 3 of them. If a trade/signing is to be made, it could end up happening just before spring training starts.

But the focus on what appears to be a ceiling of only a couple million dollars is further proof that Mr. I is no longer in charge of making payroll decisions. If Chris Ilitch is truly signing the checks now, he’s apt to repeat (or worse) what he did in 2013. And that was forcing Dave Dombrowski to trade payroll for payroll with the infamous move of trading away Doug Fister so Joe Nathan could be signed.

And if the Tigers can’t trade away anyone with a significant salary, they may not even be signing anyone either. So it’s really a wait-and-see if the Dodgers give up on Brian Dozier and go after Ian Kinsler which would free up $11 million dollars. Trading Jose Iglesias would free up only $4 million which sadly doesn’t buy as much as it once did.

But even if the Tigers end up cutting $15 million, the Tigers are still on the record as needing to cut payroll, not spend the savings. This means that any signing will be minimal at the most. The real excitement may actually turn out to be the competition for the CF slot in spring training.


Well, now that I know, I think the chances are pretty darn good! Like a 100% chance!

But you know, when I contemplated this question, I had in my mind something with a little more meat on the bone. And the real question for me was based on significance. I didn’t think and don’t think, the closer we get to spring training, that any significant deal will be made.

Pretend for a moment I have no knowledge of the Tiger deal. My answer would have been, yes, there will be a trade, but nothing significant. Seriously! There will be more deals, also insignificant, all in the interests of depth. The trade for Mahtook in exchange for cash and a PTBNL, doesn’t smell any different than all the guys we signed for the minor leagues.

Obviously, this is not a significant deal, nor should we have expected one, even if there is another. There is more interest in who we are designating for assignment than the guy we brought in. Anthony Gose is half way out the door. And frankly, I am surprised it took this long.

And given all the supposed interest that Gose was garnering, consider this part of the deal a failure. It’s really up to you to determine whether you believe all that interest really existed.

So, are the Tigers any closer to a starting centerfield solution today than they were yesterday? Not by a longshot. They have only further justified that their options will come from their internal pool. And don’t even think about it! That doesn’t include the player we just received for a bag of nickels and a horse with no name.