The rumors have been swirling in recent days as Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson have been bandied about in baseball rumor mills in deals to other MLB clubs. Whether these proposed deals are true or not, they are telling for a team that should have been playing postseason baseball in 2009.
With Placido Polanco essentially already on his way out of town, President and GM Dave Dombrowski has found himself in a difficult situation to rid the team of any bad taste going into next season.
The one consistent point that has been mentioned with any of these top Tigers players, is the baggage that would leave town as well. I would be shocked if Gerald Laird is not gone following his performance down the stretch. The saying for the longest time has been that Laird defense makes up for his lack of production at the plate. According to a source at Baseball Prospectus, that becomes untrue if he plays more than 90 games in a season. Laird is a dead weight for a team looking to improve and make the postseason in 2010.
Dombrowski must also be feeling the pressure following deals from the Twins, White Sox and Royals. The most shocking deal of the two came from the Twins who acquired J.J. Hardy for speedy CF Carlos Gomez. Hardy is a power hitting SS, who fills that same power hitting SS void the Twins had last season. The Royals now have an impressive young infield of Butler, Getz, Fields and Gordon following the Teahan deal with the White Sox.
With the many new faces likely to be in the clubhouse next season, the focus will be on Leyland early on to show some early results before fans and the media begin to call for change. Likely manager-in-waiting Tom Brookens will also happen to be at Comerica Park this season as first base coach awaiting his chance to take the Tigers helm.
Look for Dombrowski to act quickly to prove to the team he means business, and to fans that they should begin to buy tickets immediately.