I hold you the highest regard, and thank you for your many years of service to us once suffering Tiger fans. However, given the demands of your job, and the strain it must put on your personal life, I would like to offer you some advice. Accepting such counsel may just give you restful nights in the future.
First, Don’t overpay for Anibal Sanchez. And I don’t just mean dollar amount, but especially years. Your team is in the position now where it doesn’t need to jump and overpay for players like the Toronto Blue Jays have to do. Sanchez is reportedly seeking 6 years and $90 million. Let someone else jump at that offer. If no one does, offer up 4 years in the $50 million range with an option on a fifth. Maybe if Anibal doesn’t get his first choice contract he would decide to stay with a team he liked playing for.
Next, go ahead and offer Torri Hunter a two year deal. He seems intent on being more than a one year player. We can also offer him the other thing he wants – Championship potential. Torri Hunter will not be a bad signing. Worst case scenario his average sits around .270 and his power drops to around 15 home runs. Best case, he repeats his 2012 performance hitting over .300 with an .800 OPS. Besides, his defense and veteran leadership will never take a day off.
Give Bruce Rondon the closer job. Don’t just have him compete for it. Take out the suspense and tell everyone he is your guy. It seems to me like the idea of someone setting up for a while so as too not rush them to the closer role is for players who haven’t closed before. Rondon has been closing for 3 years. His highest ERA in that time was 2.02. His WHIP has steadily dropped, and his K/BB ratio has gotten better. He has the stuff, he knows the 9th inning, let him do it. If he fails, Dotel, Benoit, or Alburquerque can be given the next shot.
Hang on to Jhonny Peralta for one more year. People keep saying you might trade Jhonny. I know it must be tempting as he is an average all around shortstop who had a down year at the plate. Unfortunately, any upgrade would have to come via trade, and any trade would likely cost a big timer like Avisail Garcia, Nick Castellanos, or Rondon. Wait it out one more year. If Jhonny struggles again, check the market in July.
Tell Andy Dirks he will be an everyday outfielder. The man has earned the job and he brings a lot to the table. Alternating Dirks and Infante as the number 2 and 9 hitter based on opposing pitchers will work well.
Sign Yuniesky Betancourt or Ryan Theriot. Its enough already with Ramon Santiago. God love him but its time to show him the door. Betancourt and Theriot would be upgrades as utility infielders over Santiago or Danny Worth. Both are veterans that have been everyday players at some point. They can play multiple infield positions and have proven to handle a bat well during their career. Having one of them in the mix will allow Peralta and Infante more days off (perhaps they aren’t 150 game a year players anymore?).
Ok, Dave, that was just a taste of the guidance I can give. Are you left wanting more? Then heed this final piece of advice: put me on the payroll.