Monday, March 10, 2014

Detroit Tigers Offseason Review (In Happy/Grumpy Kurts)

Due to a strange combination of personal illness, depression over the weather, and my general apathy toward Spring Training, I’ve struggled to come up with much to write about this preseason. But perhaps I’ve been just making things too difficult. Let’s keep it simple today.

I’d like to quickly recap the major moves of the Tigers this offseason and give you my personal opinions on them. However, there’s a twist. You see, the lovely Melissa Heyboer from Bless You Boys has been kind enough to link my silly articles countless times in the past over at their site. So I’d like to give a friendly nod to BYB by incorporating them, in my own way, into this mini-review of the offseason.

You may have noticed that The Detroit News replaced BYB Editor Kurt Mensching’s former angry scowl photo on his weekly articles for them with a new, shiny happy Kurt photo. How nice.

For my offseason grades, we’ll be going with Happy Kurts and Grumpy Kurts. Enjoy.

11/1: Detroit declines the $3.25 million option on RP Jose Veras’ contract.

This one still has me scratching my noggin a bit. Veras was one of the few bright spots in the Tiger pen last year, along with Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly. And $3.25M isn’t exactly a lot for a decent reliever with closing experience. Yet the Tigers let him walk and he’s now penciled in as the closer for the Cubs while the Detroit pen is full of question marks. No sirs and madams, I’m not a fan of this one.

I give it two Grumpy Kurts.

11/3: Detroit names Brad Ausmus as Jim Leyland’s replacement at manager.
Manny Acta was my #1 choice for new manager, but Handsome Brad was my #2 pick. So I’m cool with the Ausmus decision. And I’m excited with his picks of Omar Vizquel and Wally Joyner on his coaching staff.


11/20: Detroit trades 1B Prince Fielder and cash to Texas for 2B Ian Kinsler.

I consider this to be a minor miracle pulled off by Dombrowski, considering the years and dollars left on Fielder’s ridiculous deal. I expect Prince to have a couple monster years in Texas’ tiny park before becoming an albatross. And the more I read on Kinsler, the more I like him. Great move.

Four Happy Kurts for this move.

12/2: Detroit trades SP Doug Fister to Washington for Ian Krol, Robbie Ray, and Steve Lombardozzi.

Words cannot express how much I hate this trade. Fister is a top twenty pitcher in MLB. Krol is a LOOGY, Ray is a project only rated high by the Tigers, and Lombardozzi is a Don Kelly clone.

Words can’t express my hatred. Know what can? FIVE GRUMPY KURTS.

12/2: Detroit avoids arbitration with Don Kelly with a 1 year contract.

WHY??? December 2nd, 2013 may be one of the darkest days in Detroit Tigers history.

Five more Grumpy Kurts.

12/4: Detroit signs RP Joe Nathan to a 2 year, $20 million contract.

That’s a lot of cash for a 39 year old pitcher with a declining fastball. Plus I’ve hated Nathan forever due to his domination of Tiger hitters and the Minnesota Twin stink that will always be on him. Also, Joaquin Benoit was fine…and much cheaper.

No Kurts given. I’m still not sure about this one.

12/11: Detroit signs OF Rajai Davis to a 2 year, $10 million contract.

I like the overall speed and the hitting ability against lefties to go along with a supposedly healthy this year Andy Dirks against righties. But $10 million for a guy that can’t hit RHP, sucks on defense, and is a part time piece? Meh. And now Dirks is hurt, killing the idea for a few months.

One Grumpy Kurt.

12/13: Detroit signs RP Joba Chamberlain to a 1 year, $2.5 million contract.

Shoulda kept Veras instead.

Two Grumpy Kurts.

There’s your offseason in review. Time to celebrate Spring by getting ready to shovel six more inches of snow tomorrow.


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