June 04, 2014

#Tigers — is this season a bit iffy in Detroit?

Yes, Miggy Cabrera has bounced back nicely from a slow start to the season.

Yes, the team obviously made the right move in trading Prince Fielder for Joe Nathan, and arguably in trading for Robbie Ray.

However, a couple of darker clouds on the horizon mean that not everything baseball is hitting on all cylinders in the Motor City. 

First, it looks like $10M a year on free-agent closer Joe Nathan may have been misspent money.

Let's say the Tigers, even though last year's ALCS made the team worried about its bullpen, had found out a way to spend, say, just $6M for a closer, if the team felt it had to dip into the free agent market.

Then, maybe, with the extra $4M and a few other dinero, Dave Dombrowski could have beat the Red Sox to the punch and signed Stephen Drew for that prorated $10M. Or, Dombrowski could have gambled that a change of location was all Joba Chamberlain needed to close successfully and had a full $10M of money.

Because, since Jose Iglesias is looking like he'll be out the full year, the Kitties now have no real options at short. I mean, Andrew Romine and Danny Worth together aren't the answer. Combine their OPS+ ratings and they're at 52. Both are below the Pete Kozma line, described here.

They're lucky they're in what's overall a fairly weak division. The AL Central is a -50 on run differential so far this year. For comparison, the AL East is-36, the AL West is +101, the NL East is +6, the NL Central is -13 and the NL West is -5.

And, all that about weak division said, the White Sox just got Jose Abreu back. The Tigers can't be sleeping on anything.

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