illustration by Samara Pearlstein
So many rumors, so little substance. I’ve had my fuzzy little ears perked up for anything interesting, but so much of what’s being bruited about these days is more along the lines of tentative proposals and hopeful speculation, as opposed to leaked details of actual trade chatter from the FO. For a lack of anything better to do (while the next comic is in progress), let’s take a look at a random selection of the wispy hints of rumors and unrumors that have been going around.
It would probably just be for a year (since everyone and their pet poodle is sounding the horn of Cale Iorg in 2010), he’s supposed to be solid-to-sparkly defensively (and almost certainly would not be worse than Edgar), and his basic career numbers (.248/.304/.427) are not bad.
I still am not a fan of this rumor. He hit .213/.260/.339 last season, and dealt with his vexation by punching a cabinet or something and breaking his hand. Honestly, I had my fill of those sorts of shenanigans with Jordan Tata and the memory of what Kyle Farnsworth did to himself when he was with the Cubs. The problems of ’08 are not all going to be fixed by the time April rolls around, and there is every probability that the Tigers will be an extremely frustrating team in ’09. We don’t need guys who have already demonstrated an inability to deal with frustration.
Also, his Win Shares dropped from 19 in ’07 (quite good) to 4 in ’08. I’ll just point out that, for comparison, Inge amassed 10 Win Shares in ’08, Edgar had 11, and even Ramon friggin’ Santiago had 6 (the most he’s ever had, aww).
Miguel Olivo/John Buck
I know Olivo was a name we had been tossing around some at the start of the offseason, but give it up, kids and kittens. The Royals have picked up his option AND declared him the ’09 starting catcher. I suppose they could technically still trade him, but that’d be one hell of a jerk move.
Does this mean that Buck is on the market? The Royals right now sound like they’re happy with a Buck/Olivo tandem, and quite honestly I don’t think we want Buck anyways. Veteran presence hurr hurr hurrrrr, he can’t hit. I mean, he hit better than Inge did last season, but that’s not saying much. (sigh)
sauce: old rumor now being revived like some sort of horrific zombie rumor
sauce: Arizona Republic
He’s a baby catcher (just 25), and apparently the Dbacks are getting him some more time behind the plate in winter ball so they can fatten him up for the ravenous catcher market. He wasn’t terrible in a limited role in ’08, hitting .255/.330/435 in 184 AB. I have no idea what his defense is like. Regardless of what he may turn into in The Future, I don’t think he’s starting catcher material right now, so I don’t know how interested in him the Tigers would be. If we dispense with the concept of veteran catching leadership entirely, a platoon of this kid and Dusty Ryan might not be the worst thing in the world.
sauce: Jason Beck
Ian and his people took a look at this already. I saw the words “younger Todd Jones” and blacked out in terror. When I awoke hours later, slumped on the floor and bleeding profusely from my forehead, I closed the window on my computer and slowly backed away. It seemed like the only reasonable response.
some catcher from the Rangers
sauce: they have so many
Not familiar with the Texas catching situation? They have Gerald Laird (29 years old, .727 OPS), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (23 years old, .716 OPS, longest name in the majors), Taylor Teagarden (24 years old, limited playing time), and Max Ramirez (24 years old, limited playing time). That’s right: three catchers under 25, and not one single catcher over 30. Obviously this is unfair and they should give us a catcher because NO ONE LIKES THE GUY WHO HOARDS ALL THE CANDY AND WON’T SHARE, MR. DANIELS.
Teagarden is an interesting thought: not a lot of data at the major league level, of course, but he’s young and was a monster in the Big 12 and tends to hit OK when he gets 100+ ABs at his various minor league stops. Plus: TEAGARDEN. C’mon now.
I don’t really think Texas would be crazy enough to deal him, but the idea of getting to say ‘Taylor Teagarden the Tiger’ all the time is so wonderful that I don’t want to let go of it just yet.
Jason Varitek/Julio Lugo
sauce: Detroit Free Press
Jason Varitek is a bad idea. We’ve already gone over this. Old, expensive, represented by Scott Boras so doubly expensive, old, old, will want more years than we would sanely give him, has mostly lost his bat, would spend the entire time pining for Boston, and he’s old.
I don’t think the Julio Lugo thing is an actual rumor, just Morosi making speculative farting noises, but I still feel obligated to say that it’s also a bad idea. I don’t think he’s regaining the bat of 2005!Lugo any time soon, and the quad strain he struggled with in ’08 (to the tune of a 60-day DL assignment) is kinda ominous for a soon-to-be 33 year old shortstop.
sauce: Bernie Wilson, AP report
This is a new one, mostly because his departure from the Padres is a recent thing (sidenote: the Tigers have problems, but at least we don’t have the Padres’ problems) and we obviously need bullpen help. He’s a big name and even though he’s widely supposed to be in a precipitous age-related decline, he still managed to post a 1.037 WHIP last season (compare to Fernando and his 1.587 WHIP; heck, even compare that to Bobby Jenks’ 1.103 WHIP, or K-Rod’s 1.288 WHIP) (of course Hoffman had a higher ERA than Jenks or K-Rod, but not higher than Fernando) (because Fernando sucks).
However, there’s no getting around the fact that Hoffman will be 41 in 2009, will have 16 years on his arm, all those years will have been against NL batters, and he will cost more than $4 million (which is where the Padres were low-balling him). Just say no.
sauce: Detroit Free Press
Again, I think this is more Morosi screaming in the night than it is an actual ‘rumor’. Putz put up a 1.60 WHIP last season, which is… not good, for a closer. He had some sort of weird rib cartilage inflammation injury that landed him on the DL near the start of the year (see here) and another DL stint related to elbow problems mid-June and into July (see here). Neither of those things are good, ESPECIALLY because it sounds like they were both stressy inflammation injuries and he’s a hard thrower.
I totally don’t care. HE’S A MICHIGAN WOLVERINE!! Trade for him immediately.
I think that’s all I’ve got at my fingertips (pawtips?) right now. How about you cats: heard anything interesting/horrifying lately?