Stop your eye-rolling scoffs right now. One of the largest oxymorons in sports is that fans want to win the Championship with seemingly every fiber of their beings, but at the same time harbor attachments to players that make them completely unable to view personnel transactions with impartiality.
Magglio has been working out with Miguel Cabrera this off season, and is reportedly at 70%. He won't be game ready by the beginning of the season, but neither will someone like Cespedes. After coming off consecutive ankle-breaking seasons, many say the man is just done. The truth is, you never know with aging players (hello, Lance Berkman!). It would be a low-cost move that would give the man his place in a Tigers uniform. It might not work out, true. I'm willing to take the risk, because Brennan Boesch is healthy, and there is a little something called the trade deadline at which we could make an additional move, if needed.
Sorry folks, this candidate has accepted an assignment with the Tampa Bay Rays. High on a lot of lists, I would have been fine with this move, but had a lingering uneasiness about his high strikeout rate.
Trade whispers indicate Andy Oliver might go to the Astros for Lee. Every trade rumor makes me cringe immediately, because our system is already so thin, and what do we have to trade away???? This move doesn't worry me so much, though. Although he is 35, Lee has been durable, playing in 162 games twice in his career, and consistent. I think he'd be a solid acquisition.
Sigh. I would not even list him, but since so many delusional fans keep clamoring for him, let us outline why Prince will not be coming here.
1. He's looking for a long term deal, and there is no reason to think he won't get one. His agent is Scott Boras. Do you really think Boras would even allow him to entertain the idea of a one year contract? Please awaken from this dream state and return to the realm of possibility.
2. He's famously estranged from his pops, and would face nothing but constant hounding about Cecil if he played here. Even fond memories of hitting batting practice home runs as a 13 year old at Tiger Stadium will do nothing to sway him.
3. He plays first base. Ahem.
Let's move on, shall we?
Cespedes is a high profile Cuban defector who is still trying to establish residency so that MLB can declare him a free agent. With many teams vying for his services, the Tigers would likely overpay. I'd love to have the guy, but I think Dombrowski will be more conservative, and the Tigers will not win the bidding. It's ok. Remember that we still need a fifth starter. (subliminal messaging--don't rush Jacob Turner, don't rush Jacob Turner)
I had to go back and completely change my stance on this candidate. I HATE that, because I really wanted to be dead set against Johnny. It's because I am biased. Yup. My prejudices wrongly influenced me at first. I have never cared much for Damon. If you want to be a hired gun and go where the money is, no problem. Just don't say stuff like "I could never play for the Yankees," and then go denude yourself of facial hair and sign with them five seconds later. Well, I looked at the numbers. Compared him to options like Rick Ankiel and J.D. Drew. We'd be MUCH better off signing Damon. That's what happens when you do the research instead of letting personal slant strap the blinders on. I feel so tolerant and large-minded now! We may still not be cosmopolitan enough for Mrs. Damon, but I know Johnny liked playing here, so who knows?
I could go on for days here, and we have a lot of flexibility, because we can get a DH who can't play a lick of D, or we could sign an outfielder and put Young at DH, which would suit me and a legion of others quite nicely. So, even though I mourn the fact that Victor will not be stepping into the batter's box any time soon, and want to sob every time I think about HIS loss, we do have some things that can be done to try to compensate until our man can return.
Who's YOUR candidate?