Tigers fans seem to have the notion that this offseason was a simple payroll dump similar to the fire sale Dombrowski put together with the Marlins after their 1997 championship . I may be in the minority on this, but I actually liked the Tigers offseason.

Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson were dealt in a three-way deal that brought in CF prospect Austin Jackson, starter Max Scherzer and relievers Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth. In my book that’s called a baseball move, not a salary dump. The Tigers bullpen was awful last year, so they went out and picked up two good young relievers in Coke and Schlereth. They also signed a good closer in Jose Valverde to a two-year deal. They get a big prospect in Jackson to take over center field right away, but the prize piece of this trade for Detroit was Scherzer, who has the talent to be an ace in the big leagues for years.

Let’s also not forget that Granderson has been in decline since his breakout 2007 season. Sure he hit a career high 30 homers last year, but every other major offensive category were down including runs, triples, on-base percentage and plummeted to a .249 average. Plus, his performance against lefties continues to decline (.183/.245/.239).

Detroit faithful are also questioning the decision not to resign Placido Polanco. There’s no doubt that Polanco is one of the better gloves to have at second base, but his offense wasn’t blowing anyone away. He’s also 34 years old, so how many more years can you expect to have his kind of production at the position before breaking down. The Tigers also have prospect Scott Sizemore in waiting to take over the position and sending him back to Triple-A for another years made no sense. The Tigers have had a lot of success bringing talent through the minors with Granderson, Brandon Inge, Clete Thomas, Alex Avila, Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, so giving Sizemore the chance without having to look over his shoulder at a veteran makes sense.

And if this offseason was a salary dump, why would the Tigers go give $8 mil to Johnny Damon for one year? Detroit needed another left-handed bat and Damon made the most sense, so they went out and got him. You don’t bring in a veteran for one year and a closer for $7 million if you aren’t going for it. Oh and the Tigers brass locked up Verlander to a long-term deal to be their ace for the foreseeable future. Yep, total fire sale going on there in Detroit…

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