Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dave Dombrowski, baseball's Nostradamus

Being away from TWFE for 10 days, I haven't had a chance to comment on the fiscal insanity that has overtaken MLB over the past 2 weeks. After seeing the money owners have been throwing around in a weak free agent market, don't the deals the Tigers cut with Sean Casey and Gary Sheffield look that much better in hindsight?

You have to give Dave Dombrowski credit. He must have seen this craziness coming, moved swiftly, and acted accordingly. Why else would he have not given a second thought to the contract he gave Sheffield? As many were wondering what in the Hell Dombrowski was smoking, the market quickly changed. Sheffield's contract began to look like a bargain, with a sensible length.

As you know, I continually pimped on TWFE for the Tigers to acquire Alfonso Soriano, right up to the trade deadline. But if I had known it was going to take an absolutely crazy type of deal, similar to the contract Juan Gone turned down oh so many years ago, to keep him in the Old English D? To be honest, I might not have been quite so enthusiastic. I can live with Craig Monroe in left field and The Mayor at first for another season. The Cubs will be paying for Soriano's career year for a long, LONG time.

I was on the road with the GF Up North, reading the latest news on my Sprint Fusic, when I first heard about the Astros signing Carlos Lee. After I read the details, the first words out of my mouth were, "Oh my God, what where the Astros thinking?" Obviously, any team that plays the punchless Brad Ausmus full time needs hitting...Desperately.

But come on! We can all agree that Carlos Lee is a very good hitter. I think we can also agree that he's not 6 years at 100 million dollars worth of very good, though. That contract is going to be an albatross on the Astros 3-4 years down the line, especially in the National League, as Lee will be DH material sooner than later. Much sooner. Giving Sheffield, who is a better bat than Lee, those extra 2 years at 13 million per suddenly seems more than reasonable.

I wasn't at all happy to see Jamie Walker leave the Tigers. He has been a solid situational reliever for several years. But you don't give LOOGY's multi-year, 12 million dollar contracts, let alone to one that is 36 years old. I'm happy for Walker in that he got his one big payday, but I'm even happier that it won't be the Tigers paying him. It won't be that hard for the Tigers to find a replacement.

Those are just 3 examples of baseball's out of control spending. And there is no sign that it's going to stop. When JD Drew finally signs, and from all accounts, it's going to be a massive contract, I'm positive that will just leave us shaking our heads, wondering how much money the owners must be making to allow them to make such silly, shortsighted deals.

So I'm not upset that the Tigers have been sitting out the insanity. You might say that it's not my money, so what's the big deal in spending it? You don't go crazy in an already crazy market when you have core players due for BIG raises in the next couple of seasons. Jeremy Bonderman, Carlos Guillen, Brandon Inge, and Craig Monroe, to name just a few, are due for big money, multi-year deals. I don't want to see the Tigers hamstrung by a series of questionable contracts, either in dollar amount, length, or both, as they were after Dean Palmer, Damion Easley and Bobby Higginson were signed. Talk about dead money...

There's nothing wrong with the Tigers current method of operation. It's not as if the Tigers are being cheap, as their payroll is going to be in the 90 million range, and going higher by the season. And as shown by the signings of Pudge, Ordonez, and Sheffield, the Tigers have shown that they aren't afraid to give out above market deals. They are playing their dollar cards close to the vest, strategically targeting players they think will help, without strangling their future flexibility.

It just goes to show that the Tigers own Nostradamus, Dave Dombrowski, is smarter than the average bear, or should I say, Cub.

1 comment:

  1. Why you gotta pick on my Brad?