Monday, November 22, 2010

Torturous Names + MVP Talk

There are no major moves to speak of today, but the Tigers did add some players to the 40-man roster in preparation for next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Now, I’m not a prospect expert, nor do I wish to be, so I will leave the detailed analysis of the additions to those bloggers who have more of an interest in minor league matters. This is probably the first year that I recognize the names of all those added, though again, I can’t tell you much about them besides the bare minimum. After all those moves, there was one space left on the 40-man roster. That got filled a few hours later when the Tigers signed a career minor league reliever by the name of Alberto Alburquerque, and he is supposed to compete for a bullpen job in spring training. Are the Tigers trying to make my life difficult? Am I going to have to repeatedly type “Alburquerque” all through next season? If that’s the case, then the Tigers owe me one (And I know what that could be!). Anyways, Alburquerque has never pitched above Double-A, but a lot of teams were after him, hence why the Tigers had to sign him to a major league contract. And since I’m not the prospect expert, I’ll leave it at that.

Because of Thanksgiving, I don’t expect there to be a ton of signings or trades this week, but this has been kind of a strange offseason because of the stepped-up deadlines, so you never know. Tomorrow is the deadline to offer arbitration to the departing free agents with Elias ratings. The Tigers have three: Gerald Laird and Johnny Damon are both Type Bs, and Magglio Ordoñez is a Type A. MLB Trade Rumors, for one, does not expect the Tigers to offer arbitration to any of them. I understand not offering arbitration to Damon or Laird, since I find that there would be a good possibility of them accepting and the Tigers don’t have much desire to have them back, but I don’t see that there’s much risk in offering arbitration to Magglio. I really don’t think Scott Boras would let him accept, and speaking purely as a fan, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he did. However, there is probably some compelling argument out there for why they won’t and I just haven’t picked up on it, and since the arbitration process is not really something I’m interested in, I’ll leave it at that. Tomorrow will also mark the announcement of the AL MVP. As I said last week, for Miguel Cabrera to have had a shot, we would had to have seen Austin Jackson beat out Neftali Feliz for Rookie of the Year, and that didn’t happen. And of course, there are plenty of valid arguments for Josh Hamilton just as there are for Cabrera. However, the arguments for Hamilton that I keep seeing are really dumb ones. There was one article that quoted a voter who said he voted for Hamilton because of an “incredible 3-month stretch” and that took the Rangers from a first-place tie on June 1st to a 9 ½ game lead on September 1st. Too bad the season is five months long, not three. If you’re going to use that argument, you may as well have given Michael Cuddyer the MVP last year. It was his ridiculously incredible September that gave the Twins their surge last year. Second, this argument ignores the fact that the Athletics and Mariners weren’t very good to start with, and the Angels lost Kendry Morales on May 29th and never recovered (in stark contrast to the Twins, who only get better when they lose their big stars). And the arguments about his battles with drug addiction are compelling, but Miguel Cabrera has also overcome substance abuse problems of his own. And by the way people dismiss Cabrera by saying “The Tigers were not a playoff team” you’d think they’d started the season in last place and stayed there, which is not how it happened. In the end, however, I think my arguments will fall on deaf ears because there’s just too much media love for Hamilton. What’s a Tiger gotta do to get himself an MVP?

And with that, I probably won’t post again until next week unless there’s some major news to be had. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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