Blog Entry

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 7:15 pm

By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

For today's installment of the Homegrown series, I can't stop thinking about a certain trade. Earlier this week, I was reminded of the deal anyway. In a pretty minor move, the Rays traded for relief pitcher Burke Badenhop. That's worth discussing here because he was the last standing of six players Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski sent to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera (and Dontrelle Willis, for that matter). To acquire one of the biggest superstars in baseball -- and a now-washed up pitcher -- Dombrowski dealt Badenhop, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern and Mike Rabelo. Upon Badenhop being dealt, the Marlins now have nothing left to show for the 28-year-old Cabrera. Trahern is stuck in Double-A and appears unlikely to help the big-league club, either.

So, yeah, this homegrown club is missing a huge bat in the middle of the order. But this is also an opportunity to praise Dombrowski for one hell of a trade.


1. Omar Infante, SS
2. Matt Joyce, RF
3. Curtis Granderson, CF
4. Brennan Boesch, 1B
5. Alex Avila, C
6. Cody Ross, DH
7. Jack Hannahan, 3B
8. Cameron Maybin, LF
9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

Starting Rotation

1. Justin Verlander
2. Jair Jurrjens
3. Rick Porcello
4. Guillermo Moscoso
5. Charlie Furbush


Closer - Francisco Cordero
Set up - Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya, Jason Frasor, Burke Badenhop, Ryan Perry
Long - Andrew Miller

Notable Bench Players

Will Rhymes, Ryan Raburn, Scott Sizemore, Danny Worth, Brandon Inge, Andy Dirks, Don Kelly, Casper Wells, Andres Torres

What's Good?

That guy sitting atop the starting rotation is pretty decent, no? Getting 34 or so starts out of Justin Verlander gives this ballclub a great chance to win plenty of low-scoring games. Jurrjens is a fine number two as well. I love Avila behind the plate and Maybin in left field would be a defensive force -- most metrics showed Maybin as a far superior defender in center to Granderson this past season, but I went with the logic that Granderson would stay in center as the star of the team. If he wanted to pull a Cal Ripken and move, OK, the defense gets even better. Finally, the bench depth is pretty good, as there are several guys capable of providing good spot starts.

What's Not?

While it's definitely not awful, that batting order leaves a lot to be desired. Joyce is really good and Granderson is great. Otherwise? I'll channel my inner Larry David and just say "eh." There would be an awful lot of pressure on Boesch and Avila in those run producing spots, that's for sure. Also, while it's not horrible, that bullpen bridge to Cordero isn't exactly one that eases the mind. Can you imagine how many cigarettes Jim Leyland would have to choke down to stomach a night with Badenhop, Frasor and Rodney tasked with putting up zeroes? They can do it, but they'll just about give you a heart attack in the process.

Comparison to real 2011

I'll go out on a limb here (please note sarcasm) and say winning 95 games and cruising to the AL Central title is about as realistic with this group as this exercise. A winning record might be possible, as this team feels just mediocre. The likes of Verlander, Granderson, Avila, Joyce and Jurrjens keep them away from "suck" territory. I'd go high-70s in wins with a ceiling of 83 victories.

Next: Houston Astros

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Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:26 pm

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

The timing of the article changes a lot, as well. A couple of years ago and Bonderman is an outstanding #2 and Jurrjens an outstanding #3. Agree that the bullpen is laughably bad. And let's be honest, Granderson is considered a "superstar" because he now hits in a Little League ballpark.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2011 7:13 pm

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

Don Kelly isn't homegrown.  He came from the Pirates.

Drafted by the Tigers in the 8th round in 2001. Signed with Pirates in 2006, D-Backs in 2007 and Tigers in 2009.

Since: Dec 15, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:10 pm

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

Don Kelly isn't homegrown.  He came from the Pirates.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:04 pm

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers


Dallas Trahern is still with the Marlins. He played for New Orleans and Jacksonville this season.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2011 9:29 am

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

Fernando Rodney and Jason Frasor setting up any game spells disaster. Verlander better have 34 eight inning apperances or this team ain't going anywhere let alone the playoffs.

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2011 7:40 am

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

I have to agree Inge would be starting over Hannahan. I think the team defense looks great on paper too, but the offensive onslaught would be far from exciting.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 7:20 pm


Hanahan would be behind Inge, Kelly and Raburn at 3B. 

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:21 pm

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

I would think that a simulation would not do this team justice.  Could you imagine an outfield of Maybin, Grandy, and Joyce in spacious Comerica Park (started to type Tiger  I doubt a fly ball would ever hit the grass!

The lineup woul hinge on Boesch developing into the power hitter I expect he can be, and Porcello shaking off the blahs and giving an impersonation of a #3.

Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:49 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:27 pm

Homegrown Team: Detroit Tigers

Fun. Entertainment.

Sounds good. When do we start?

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