As it turns out, there was some major news to be had. Yesterday morning, Ignacio Serrano of ESPN Deportes reported that Victor Martinez was close to signing with Detroit (the article is in Spanish). I happen to follow a few Venezuelan writers on Twitter, Serrano included, so I actually found this article firsthand. The incoming reports of the Tigers not offering arbitration to any of their free agents kind of pushed this report aside, but by afternoon, American baseball writers were confirming what Serrano had said. And now it looks as though the signing is official (though the Tigers have not confirmed it yet; and yes, I am slightly nervous about the upcoming corresponding move to make room for him on the 40-man roster). Now, I made it perfectly clear a couple weeks ago that I had concerns about his defensive shortcomings, but the bottom line is that he’s still a good hitter and he’ll give a fair amount of protection to Miguel Cabrera in the lineup. Still, the less time he spends behind the plate, the better (I feel for the Tigers’ pitching staff). I have no problem with him as the DH and when I take into account the fact that there really wasn’t anyone out there that I wanted, I have concluded that he was probably one of the better options in terms of offense. And with that signing seemingly done, I’d say all they have to do is re-sign Magglio Ordoñez and then they’ll be all set for the season to start.
As expected, Miguel Cabrera finished second in the MVP race. He received five first-place votes. Those votes came from Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Steve Kornacki of Booth Newspapers, Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald (in Chicago), Jim Ingraham of the News Herald (in Cleveland), and Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Note that all these writers are from AL Central cities, and as such, they had a better opportunity to watch Cabrera over the entire season. Also, for those of you who know Spanish, you might be interested in this interview with Miguel Cabrera from yesterday. Unfortunately, while I am pretty decent at reading Spanish, I’m rubbish when it comes to understanding spoken Spanish, so I can’t really give you a translation. I know he gets asked about Victor Martinez at one point, as well as finishing second in the MVP voting. However, I did talk to one of the interviewers in the audio clip on Twitter, and she was nice enough to give me a partial translation. When asked about the MVP voting, Cabrera said “Hamilton deserves it. I need to work harder. The Tigers need to be in the playoffs and then I’ll be the MVP.” She also asked him if he planned to play winter ball. She didn’t translate this part for me, but from what I can tell, he said he might if things were going well (I’m assuming his ankle is pretty much healed up by now, since I don’t think he mentioned it).
And now I return you to your regularly scheduled turkey, sleep, and shopping.