By: Kurt Snyder
We can only hope that the Tigers show a heartbeat in January and actually make an attempt at improving their club. December was a confusing month, but these are my thoughts heading into the New Year.
1. Still puzzled by how a major league team can be caught totally off guard and unprepared with their plan for the offseason. Where is their plan B now that A is out the window?
2. Seeing how the Tigers reportedly are asking a lot for their top talent is encouraging, but are they overvaluing their talent? And is it their plan to wait until July and ask again?
3. It may be that the Tigers are indeed realizing what we have all been talking about. July would be the better time to deal, if needed. Please tell me they thought about it before us. (Carryover from November)
4. Since injuries dominate the Tiger conversation every season, who are you most worried about on that front? Isn’t it Jordan Zimmermann?
5. The Tigers aren’t even making the list of speculation. Rumors don’t include the Tigers. No discussion! Nothing! Do bad signings now represent the good old days?
6. When Dave Dombrowski considered which team he would head to after leaving Detroit, the minor league system certainly came into play. In Boston, he’s been handed a whole slew of trade pieces to help build that team into a World Series contender.
7. Jarrod Dyson would appear to be a good fit in centerfield for the Tigers. But are they on the list of potential suitors? Nope, the Dodgers of course, lead that list.
8. If the Tigers do indeed decide to delay any deals until the trade deadline, what should they do in the interim to contend and compete with the Indians? Is the answer really nothing?
9. Did Al Avila put a timetable on his plan for change? Not sure he did. Should we give him the benefit of the doubt for attempting to get more than some of our top money players are worth right now?
10. Was July always the plan for getting younger and leaner? If so, why did Tiger management announce it as something immediate? Dangerous message for a fan base always looking for hope.
11. Every year, you hope for that injury-free phenomenon where your team is able to realize its full potential. But in Detroit, it has been fool’s gold. It’s a team unlike others who are able to fill holes created by injury with talent that contributes. The Tigers don’t have that.
12. Who is the most important reliever? Who offers the most potential star power? Who offers both talent and trade value in July? It’s Bruce Rondon.
13. What well-rounded offensive ballplayers do the Tigers have to offer suitors? Do you wonder how the White Sox were able to get so much young talent for Adam Eaton? But the Nationals got a ballplayer. How many ballplayers can the Tigers offer? There are deficiencies (defense / speed) that play such big roles in those deals not going forward.
14. From a starting pitching standpoint, the Tigers only offer the risk of potential injury prior to the contract expiring. They have pitchers already experiencing those injuries while they decline. Who would want them? High cost, high risk and no way out.
15. Here is an old topic for you. Filling your roster with players appropriate to the type of ballpark they play in. It comes up every so often. Speed and athleticism needs to be sprinkled in with their pitching heavy drafting.
16. If the Tigers are indeed heading for a sale, who else other than Tom Gores would be an obvious suitor?
17. Here is a radical move I hope the Commissioner makes someday. Dump the unbalanced schedule! If it means the end of interleague play to accomplish it, so be it. (May be carried over forever!) Aren’t you tired of playing the teams in our division 19 times?
18. David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Joakim Soria really made the Tigers better. Even more now that they are gone. (Carry over from August AND September AND October AND November)
19. The Yankees have been incredibly creative in selling at the deadline last season and immediately shifting to spending big after acquiring high potential prospects.
20. The quietest guy in the room this off-season has been Brad Ausmus. Given the Tigers’ inactivity this off-season, how much pressure will be on Brad to deliver? Not a lot.