The Winter of Our Discontent

A couple days ago, Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila announced that the Tigers’ era of free wheeling and big spending is (likely) over.

GASP!

Gone are the days of monster free agent contracts like those doled out to Prince Fielder, Justin Upton, Jordan Zimmermann, and Victor Martinez. Also (probably) gone are the huge contract extensions to stars like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, and Victor Martinez.

The Tigers, Avila stated in an offseason press conference, have been operating well over their means and it’s time for the team to cut back and “get leaner.”

Avila’s comments, in fact, seem to suggest the Tigers will look to trim some of the fat while attempting to remain competitive, but it won’t be easy. It could even become painful. The Tigers might part with several familiar, well-loved faces in their efforts to cut back and operate within the means of the organization (whatever that means).

What does this all mean for the Tigers heading into the 2016 offseason and looking ahead to 2017?

More after the cut!

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Tigers and Rangers Pull Off Blockbuster Deal In the Dark of the Night; DD Confirmed Ninja GM

Ian Kinsler is excited to be joining the team.
Ian Kinsler is excited to be joining the team.
So. I thought all those tweets I was seeing about a possible Prince-Fielder-for-Ian-Kinsler trade were an elaborate trolljob by Jon Heyman.

Ha ha! The joke was on me! The Tigers really did trade Fielder for Kinsler! The Tigers are also going to send $30mil to Texas in the deal.

More after the jump

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Tigers Trade Top Prospect (Well, One of Them) and Bullpen Depth for Sexy Spanish Singer

Hawt.
Hawt.

Teh reputable blogs and beat writers have the nuts and bolts of the trade:

Tigers acquire Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias as part of three-way trade (Bless You Boys)
Red Sox Acquire Jake Peavy In Three-Team Deal With White Sox, Tigers (MLB Trade Rumors)
Tigers deal Avisail Garcia, Brayan Villarreal to get shortstop insurance in Iglesias (Oakland Press)
Detroit Tigers trade Avisail Garcia, Brayan Villarreal for Jose Iglesias as part of three-team deal
Trade means Jhonny Peralta’s days in Detroit are numbered whether or not suspension comes (MLive)

This blog has a stupid photoshop and unoriginal jokes. Sorry.

Brandon Inge Released, Ramon Santiago Left to Carry On the Legacy of the 2003 Tigers Alone

Tigers bid adieu to one-time mainstay. (Detroit Free Press)

As you probably heard, long-time Tiger and lightning-rod-for-controversy Brandon Inge was released following Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners:

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Tigers Option Andy Oliver to Toledo, Cost Blogger Cheap Pun

The Tigers optioned fifth starter candidate Andy Oliver to Toledo this morning, narrowing the current field down to Drew Smyly and Duane Below and, unfortunately, costing this blogger a cheap pun at Oliver’s expense (had Oliver not been sent down, I would surely have titled a blog post “Oliver to Dombrowski: Please Sir, May I Have Some More”).

What this means about the race for the final spot in the rotation: who the hell even knows? The Tigers won’t need a fifth starter for a little while, and may even option Smyly and/or Below to Toledo as well, so that they can go with an 11-man pitching staff.

There has also been a little talk on Twitter of the Tigers possibly making a trade, but this appears to be nothing more than speculation from Detroit News writer Tom Gage, who spotted Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland talking animatedly and decided to write about it, which then sent the unwashed masses into a frenzy.

It does not appear that a Brandon Inge/Andy Oliver for Joe Blanton deal is on the horizon, Tigers fans. Sorry.

VMart’s (possibly) done for the season. What now?

my creys
photo by Alexandra Simon (AKA me)

Surely you’ve all heard the news by now. On the off chance you live under a rock, however: Victor Martinez suffers knee injury, likely out for 2012

Semi-relatedly, a potential VMart replacement target in Carlos Peña just signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Dombrowski has time, resources, and options, and it seems like he’s going to explore all those options before making a decision. Some fans hammer him for being too deliberate and thorough, but at this point in his tenure, I think it’s safe to trust he’ll make the decision that’s best for the team in the short- and long-term.

Agent P takes his talents to the nation’s capital.

As you may have heard, Ryan Perry was traded to the Washington Nationals for Collin Balester last night.

This move doesn’t really improve the team, although Balester has some starting experience and can probably fill the long relief role Perry struggled in at times. Also, Perry has options left, while Balester doesn’t.

I admit I’m a little torn on this one. Obviously, the addition of Octavio Dotel made Perry the odd man out but part of me thought maybe the Tigers would hang on to him. I do kinda think they gave up on Perry a little too soon. He, as was mentioned before, still has options left, will turn 25 in February, and has shown potential. He’s never lived up to the tag that was placed on him when they drafted him—closer of the future—but he’s been very good at times. Though his overall numbers don’t show it, he was one of the Tigers’ best relievers down the stretch in 2010. Yes, they were, for the most part, out of it by then, but someone needed to pitch those innings. He did, and he was very effective.

That being said, there’s no denying Perry took a major step back last season. I do think some of it was due to inconsistent playing time (late in the season, even as Perry was racking up scoreless outings, Leyland used him sparingly; the longest Perry went without pitching seems to be a week). He also missed some time due to illness/”injury” (an infected eye and, later, a scratched cornea from rubbing the eye) and also had a couple stints in Toledo. Nothing seemed to go right for him this season, and one of the Tigers beat writers noted that Dombrowski spoke with Perry’s agent on Monday, and the agent expressed Perry’s frustration at how the season went for him.

As for Balester, it seems that he’s a failed starter who was finally converted to long-relief when he was unable to crack the Nationals’ deep rotation. He was drafted out of high school, when the organization was the Montréal Expos, and has been working up the ranks ever since. It’s worth noting that Balester was much better in relief than he was as a starter. I’ve seen comparisons to ex-Tiger Zach Miner thrown out in re. Balester, and his potential role on the team.

So, one chapter ends and another one begins. Best wishes to Ryan (and Vanessa) in Washington. And welcome to Detroit, Collin Balester. You’ll fit right in with that wacky mustache.

Collin Balester has a Twitter. Find him at BallyStar40. His mustache also has a Twitter of its own at StacheOBally.