The Tigers made a little noise on the first full day of the Winter Meetings at the Hilton Anatole by means of inquiring about Daniel Murphy of the Mets.
The “scrappy” 26-year-old infielder who can play 1B, 2B, 3B, OF, and..bench. Before we get too excited, he’s basically Don Kelly with pop, which means that Leyland would fall in love with him and we’ll all explode halfway through the season.
From Joel Sherman via Twitter:
#Tigers #Bluejays #Padres have called #Mets on Murphy. Mets like Tigers Andy Dirks as potential CF alternative to Pagan“
Now, Dirks batted .320 with a .362 OBP and a .448 SLG last year. That’s in 391 at bats, which is more than a sample size, but my issue is the fact he’s injured his knee significantly twice and doesn’t seem to stay healthy. He missed all of 2010 and 50+ games in 2011 because of the DL and in his full season of 2009 he hit .266/.313/.427/.741 with 38 walks in 556 plate appearances.
On the positive side, in 2009 he hit 38 2B, 4 3B, and 12 HR, with 63 RBI, and in his shortened season last year he hit 28/2/6/49. The fact that he also slashed .320/.362/.448/.809 is a nice improvement. His power would be nice, and I would imagine he would play 3B rather than 2B since the Raburn/Santiago platoon is serviceable, but the fact that he’s only played in 28 games there in his career means that his potential definitive role on the Tigers is still up in the air and an unknown.
If the Tigers can deal Dirks and maybe a relief arm like Pauley for Murphy, it’s worth the risk since Murphy is still under control.
In further notes:
Per Lynn Henning Twitter:
Dombrowski ‘fessed up that he had seen Cespedes last week: “He’s in better shape than anybody in this room.” That wasn’t exactly news.
Also from Henning:
(Dombrowski) Didn’t go into detail about Cespedes, fearing he’d give away TMI. It’s clear they’ll be bidding – heavily.
Cespedes sounds like he wants at least $60M. That’s fine with me. It’s not my money or your money. If Dombrowski feels that it’s worth it, then I’m into it. I’m not one to criticize contracts and dollars, especially with Dombrowski behind the helm. He’s proven to everyone he takes acceptable risks and has learned from the Bonderman/Robertson/Guillen etc. fiascos.
As for Cespedes himself, I’d love his talent on the team. Given the South American talent on the club I think that the Tigers have the advantage culturally over the Yankees and since Miami is running for Pujols (reportedly) I don’t think they are going to push for him, especially at $60M.
Also, it looks like the Tigers are out of the running on Mark Buehrle as he wants roughly 3 years $36-39M and a full no-trade clause. That’s fine. I’d rather have Cespedes or even another bat on top of that.