Tuesday, November 23, 2010

V-Mart Doesn't Stand for "Value Mart"

It may be a mistake to talk about this until the deal is finalized (reportedly after Martinez takes a physical) but reports are that the Tigers have reached an agreement with Victor Martinez and have pried him away from the Red Sox. According to most reports, the Red Sox offered him a deal of $43 million over four years. The Tigers' deal is reportedly at $50 million over those same four years.

There are a couple of ways to look at this deal. First, the Red Sox's offer was slightly under his projected worth over the next four years ($46 according to BP). The Tigers' offer is slightly over. But if you look at it that the Tigers chipped in a few million to get Martinez to leave the Red Sox, then it seems to make more sense. But the Tigers and the Red Sox were both betting on Martinez being the kind of player he has been for the foreseeable future and that's a risky proposition for any team to make.

There is one other reason why this deal bothers this writer. Comerica Park is a beast. And when you have a beast of a ball park, the last thing it seems you should do is to bring in a bunch of big, slow guys with just over marginal power. The ball park is going to cost Martinez some homers which is a contributor to his current valuation. It seems more logical to get a guy like Carl Crawford who can use more facets to his game to get you a win.

The Tigers have apparently also agreed to forget about defense behind the plate for offense. There is really no blame to make there. It's a choice that many teams make. Laird and Avila just couldn't hit even though they were terrific receivers. So do you loose a lot of value messing with that defense and does it offset the offensive value that Martinez brings? No. The offense Martinez brings is worth much more than the difference of his defense to Avila's and Laird's.

But the Tigers also need a DH and with Cabrera not being exactly Keith Hernandez over there at first base, you can rotate the two players in and out of the DH and first base. That should keep them both happy and productive.

You have to give the Tigers credit. They are active and heavily trying to get back to the playoffs and their aggressiveness has to be gratifying to their fans. If V-Mart hits the way he has in the past, this will be a good deal for the Tigers. They will slightly over pay for it AND they will lose a first round draft pick, which hurts, but they thought this deal was worth it. Time will tell as it usually does.

In the meantime, the Red Sox face the prospect of losing Beltre and Martinez, two major cogs in their offense last year. To be sure, the Sox have a plan, but it's sure looking scary at the moment for their fans.

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