This article is a few days old. Maybe it was just a throwaway line by Detroit A.P. sports editor Larry Lage. But I didn’t like it.
If Rogers re-signs with Detroit, it might be the last significant move the club makes in what already has been a busy offseason.
The last significant move? What does that even mean? The last player who costs any amount of money? The last player of any renown? The last player, period? In any of those cases, the Tigers would have a difficult road back to the playoffs, because it’s not enough. And let’s be frank here. While Bilfer reports the payroll is at $100M, if you’re going to spend that much money to get near the finish line, you may as well spend enough to cross it, too.
The bet in adding Rogers and calling it quits is that last year was an injury-plagued fluke. The reality is next year already has a key injury (Joel Zumaya), and the Tigers are bringing back a starting pitcher with a sore elbow (Jeremy Bonderman) already and could possibly resign a player with a sore elbow after major shoulder surgery (Rogers). This goes with an unknown fifth starter (Andrew Miller? Somebody else?) and a bullpen that didn’t get the job done last year. Sure, the Tigers can score runs (5.2+ according to a lineup projection done by D-Town using Bill James’ stats), but have they done enough to prevent the other team from scoring, too? I don’t think so.
I like Rogers. I like that Rogers fired his agent, Scott Boras, presumably so he could sign with Detroit. And I respect that Detroit doesn’t want to give him the shaft after that. Bilfer even found he’s worth about $7M and should be given additional money for making so many starts for the year.
But if the Tigers signed Rogers and maybe some minor league relief pitcher and called it quits? I just don’t see it as enough. Minnesota is probably worse. Chicago seems worse. Kansas City looks better. And Cleveland? Honestly I don’t know. I could see them coming back down a bit this year. But they seem to team to beat right now.
Detroit needs to do more to get back to the playoffs.
(I still have my eye on Kuroda but so do the Mariners)