Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Victor Martinez named Tiger of the Year

Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez was named Tiger of the Year for 2014, and in the process becomes the first Designated Hitter to be named award winner since it was first awarded in 1965.

Martinez becomes just the 3rd player to win the award since 2007, Miguel Cabrera has won the award 4 times, and Justin Verlander 2 times, since Magglio Ordonez was named Tiger of the Year in ’07. 

The 35-year old DH/1B led the American League in on base percentage (.409) and intentional waks (28) and finished 2nd in the League with a .335 batting average and .565 slugging percentage. 

The Detroit Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America voted on the award, and Martinez garnered 17 of 21 1st place votes.  

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Tigers have 7 become Free Agents

With the World Series now complete, the following players; Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke, Joel Hanrahan, Jim Johnson, Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez, Max Scherzer are set to become Free Agents as the off-season gets started.

On Friday, Detroit extended Qualifying Offers to both Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer.  Neither player will accept the 1-year $15.3M offer from the Tigers, but in the case that either (or both) players sign with another team this off-season, by making the offer, the Tigers guarantee themselves a compensatory draft pick in the 2015 Entry draft.  Martinez and Scherzer have until 5 PM on Monday November 10, 2014 to decline or accept the qualifying offer. 

One of my favorite sites to visit during the season, but especially in the off-season is www.mlbtraderumors.com.   If you are new to TigerTizzy, you will find MLBtraderumors one of my frequent sourced sites.

Every off-season mlbtraderumors.com lists the top Free Agents and, in addition, they predict on what team each of the top free agents will end up signing with, as well as a guess on the contract they sign. 

I bring this up because, the 2014-15Top 50 Free Agent list was just posted on Saturday. 

They predict that Max Scherzer will sign with the Yankees, Victor Martinez will sign with the White Sox, and that Torii Hunter (won’t retire) and will sign with the Texas Rangers. They also predict that FA LHP Andrew Miller (who the Tigers attempted to trade for at the summer trade-deadline) will become a Detroit Tiger this off-season, as Dave Dombrowski works to improve the bullpen. 

Welcome Back Tramm!

Alan Trammell 
Tom Gage of the Detroit News is reporting that Alan Trammell has returned to the Detroit Tigers and will fill the role of Special Assistant to GM Dave Dombrowski.

At this point Trammell's specific role is yet to be determined, however the team has indicated that Trammell will be involved in some community relations, as well as on-field activities at the major-league and minor-league levels, and involved in all personnel decisions.  Also, the Tigers created this position for Trammell after he was fired (along with Kirk Gibson) from his duties with the Arizona Diamondbacks at the end of September.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tigers make Qualifying offers to Scherzer and Martiez, lose Dirks and McCoy on waivers.

By extending the Qualifying offers on the contracts of SP Max Scherzer and DH/1B Victor Martinez, the Detroit Tigers have guaranteed that they will receive compensation picks (at the end of round 1 of the 2015 Entry draft) if either player signs a contract with another team this off-season.

Max Scherzer
Fans should expect that both players will reject the Tigers 1-year $15.3MM qualifying offers, and to be highly sought as Free Agent targets for many clubs looking to improve, as Scherzer and Martinez are both looking for multi-year offers.

Both Scherzer and Martinez have indicated that they want to return to Detroit; said Scherzer: "I do hope I’m back. I love this clubhouse, love everybody in here, been to battle with these guys for five years. It would mean a lot to me.”  
Victor Martinez

Meanwhile, Martinez has hinted that he would prefer to return to Detroit; but he also has expressed interest in playing another 4 years, so he might be looking to sign a 4-year contract, putting the 35-year old Martinez at 39 when he (currently) thinks he will walk away from the game.

Dave Dombrowski, speaking to the Oakland Press,  gave the following quote: “We have the most generous owner in baseball you could possibly have in sports. But we’re in a situation where $200 million payrolls aren’t what is common here. … It’s a situation where we’re really in a spot that if you’re going to have four starters being paid and you’re going to have a couple superstars in the middle of your lineup, that means there’s not as much availability to do some other things. And you have to determine what you’re going to do.”  

Also in the article Dombrowski also admitted that he was “taking the blame as much as anyone else” for a disappointing 2014 season.  

Joakim Soria
So, as the Tigers start the process of reshaping the roster for 2015, the team announced today that they extended the Club Option for $7M on relief pitcher Joakim Soria’s contract.  So Soria will be back filling in what the club expects will be the 8th inning role for next season, setting the table for Joe Nathan to close the games out. 

Detroit also announced that utility man Don Kelly and RHP Evan Reed have been out-righted off the 40-man roster, and also that OF Andy Dirks has been claimed on waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays and that LHP Pat McCoy was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles.  

The Tigers have between now and November 20 to extend the Club Option on Alex Avila's contract, according to mlive.com's  Chris Iott. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Arbitration Deadline is today

Later on this afternoon, at 1PM Eastern Time, the deadline for arbitration filing ends. The Detroit Tigers have previously settled with RP Phil Coke and OF Don Kelly. 

Detroit still has RP Al Alburquerque, C Alex Avila, OF Andy Dirks, OF Austin Jackson, and SP’s Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, who are arbitration eligible.

What this means is:
 By 1PM today, if the Tigers have not reached a settlement with each player, the player/and or his agent, will submit a salary proposal and the team will also submit a salary proposal to the arbitrator who will then weigh each proposal and declare a salary compromise that the player will earn for the 2014 season. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Time is running out on Alan Trammel's Hall of Fame ballot

Think Jack Morris is the most upset former Tiger now that the results of the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame election have been published?  

Think again…  Well actually don’t. 

Alan Trammell might be upset, but he won’t say so.  He will praise the newly elected Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, and then say something along the lines of “what a privilege it was to play baseball with and against them”.  

That is how I imagine a conversation with “Tram” would probably go.

Alan Trammell won’t be upset at the results of the voting, Jack Morris might be, but Trammell won’t.  So let me be outraged on his behalf.

After examining the election results despite not playing a game, making an error, dropping the ball that would have been the final out in a perfect game, or failing to walk a little old lady across the street AND failing to hold the door open for his wife, Alan Trammell has lost 92 precious votes in the past 2 elections.

This after climbing steadily from a low of 73 votes (13.4% of ballots) in 2007, to a high of 211 votes (36.8%) in 2012. 

Now, with his final 2 seasons of eligibility looming, Trammell also has to compete with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz (a former Tigers minor league farmhand, lest you forget), Gary Sheffield (also a former Tiger), and Nomar Garciaparra joining the ballot in 2015, with Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Edmonds eligible for the first time in 2016, Trammell’s final year on the BBWAA ballot.

Trammell’s candidacy, which is truly legitimate, to join the immortals enshrined in Cooperstown will fade away over the next two voting cycles. 

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has been evaluating ballots for years and his latest column  (gives more details, if you are so inclined). Tram, by the way, doesn’t fare as badly as Lee Smith, if you don’t bother to look, so news COULD be worse.

Look if you are reading this, you are probably a Tigers fan, and don’t need me to spout all of Tram’s stats. You know them all.

What you probably don’t know is that using Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor: for Batting Alan Trammell scores a 118, with a “likely HOFer = 100”.

Using Jay Jaffe’s JAWS scoring system, Alan Trammell ranks as the 11th best Shortstop of all time:

Shortstop (11th)
, 70.3 career WAR/44.6 7yr-peak WAR/57.5 JAWS
Average HOF SS (out of 21) = 66.7 career WAR/42.8 7yr-peak WAR/54.7 JAWS

(info courtesy of baseball-reference.com)

Looking into my crystal ball at the results of the elections for 2015 &16,
in 2015 First year eligibles Johnson, Martinez and hold-over Craig Biggio will probably be elected.

In 2016, I think Smoltz, Griffey Jr. (in his first year) and possibly Mike Piazza or Jeff Bagwell get elected into the Hall. 

The BBWAA won’t elect more than 3 into the Hall in either year.  The last time more than 3 players were elected was 1955, and it has only happened 3 times (including the original HOF class that consisted of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson) since 1936.  

Bad news Tiger fans: Alan Trammell misses out on election, which is a shame.