Thursday, November 16, 2006

Casey at the bat

The Tigers resigned Sean Casey to play first base, the only hole in the lineup. Detroit was going to look for more power at the spot, but after signing Sheffield decided Casey's left-handed bat was a good fit.

I like Casey, mostly because I think I can run as fast.

So much to catch up on

First, a big cheer to AL Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander and Manager of the Year Jim Leyland. I'm sure Mr. Met would like to offer a lusty "boo" to the NL Manager of the Year choice, Joe Girardi, over Willie Randolph. I think Randolph did a great job, but was hurt by the fact the Mets had the division wrapped up by the All-Star break. Even though Willie had no pitching staff, no one paid attention to the fact he still nearly won 100 games.

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The Tigers are going to lose one of the key pieces to the team, lefty reliever Jamie Walker. He's heading to Baltimore, where they should love him. I saw some of the names of lefty relievers still available, and my stomach started to ache.

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Philadelphia signed infielder Wes Helms yesterday. I've seen him referred to as "third baseman" even though he played many more games at first base last season. Obviously, the Phils got him to play third. He has become a better hitter the past two years by shortening his stroke, Charlie Manuel said. The Phils believe he is above average defensively, even though his range factor over the years is horrible when compared to the league average.

Helms hit .329 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs in 250 at-bats last year. Helms has had more than 275 at-bats just once in his eight-year career.

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The Diamondbacks reportedly have made free agent pitcher Randy Wolf their No. 1 target.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ramirez signs with Cubs

Bad news for the Phils, and to a lesser extent if you believe the Tigers were interested: Aramis Ramirez reportedly signed with the Cubs on Sunday.

Motown to sample Sheff's cooking

I have mixed feelings about the Tigers trading three pitching prospects to the Yankees for Gary Sheffield. I'll start with the secondary concern: Anything that could make NYY better is bad.

But the effect of the deal on the Tigers is the primary concern. The pitchers given up were apparently some highly thought of arms, but really didn't figure in Detroit's long-term future if Bonderman, Verlander, Maroth, Robertson, and Miller remain healthy.

Sheffield can be a pain in the butt, but he loves Leyland and Leyland loves him. There's something to be said for that. Furthermore, Sheffield surely makes the Tigers' lineup far better. I imagine the lineup would look like: Granderson, Polanco, Maggs, Sheff, Guillen, Pudge ... not too shabby.

The rest is up in the air. The futures of Monroe and Inge seem to be in question. From what I've read, the Tigers are going to explore the free agent market for a third baseman (Ramirez?) and also were supposed to be interested in Soriano, although I don't know if the Sheffield deal takes that off the table.

I'm surprised the Tigers are looking for help at third because I really like Inge. If nothing else, the Sheffield move shows free agents the Tigers are serious about winning now. It should be an interesting offseason.

Friday, November 10, 2006