Well, the Pistons and Lions seasons both look to be squarely in the pooper already; so, let us get excited for one of my favorite seasons, the beginning of the hot stove season in baseball.
The Tigers have approximately 50 million dollhairs coming off the books this offseason, and it looks likely much of it will go to Victor Martinez. To me, this makes all the sense in the world. We need a middle of the order hitter, a catcher/DH and a strong left handed bat. He is 31, so his production might dip on the tail end of an expected 4 or 5 year contract…but the Tigers organization-wide have about the most putrid farm system in all of baseball at this position. If it dips a little, it’s still much better than we can expect from a replacement. Seriously, Laird and Avila were awful offensively, but then I’d scan our farm system looking to see who could replace them and we had guys hitting .200 at all levels at catcher. It was depressing.
IF we do sign Martinez, I’d expect him to split time with Avila at catcher. Against righties, I’d expect Avila to catch (he’s MUCH better defensively) and Martinez to DH. For lefties, stick Martinez behind the plate and put either Magglio/Guillen at DH if they are around. This will keep Martinez fresher, and he’s here to protect Cabrera in the order most importantly.
Checking his stats, he’s very consistenly around .300, 20 HR’s and 100 RBI’s. Those kind of stats would put him among the all-time greats for catcher production by a Tiger. Most importantly, they’d be a huge improvement over the abomination we ran out at catcher/DH from last year. Plus, after 11 years of baseball at Comerica Park, we’d finally have a legitimate left handed bat to take advantage of Comerica Park’s dimensions. So Dave, consider this an edorsement from this writer at Detroit4lyfe to spend some of Illitch’s money. If you do, I promise to suffer through one of his Hot-N-Ready pizzas to celebrate like I always do when you spend a bunch of money on the Tigers.