The Tigers are making a big push to sign Shin-Soo Choo, one of the top free agents on the market (and one of the best Indians of the last decade), according to the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand.
In the last few weeks the Tigers have saved themselves $76 million by trading Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler, and another ~$17 million by trading Doug Fister for a mediocre return from Washington, and now it appears that we know what they intend to do with that extra money.
The only free agent outfielder in the same class as Choo this offseason is Jacoby Ellsbury, and he's now agreed to a 7-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees (which means the are either out of the running for Robinson Cano, or have given up on the notion of staying below $189 million in payroll for next year), so Choo should be able to command something like 5 or 6 years at $17-20 million per season.
Oh, did I mentioned Detroit is also reportedly close to signing Joe Nathan, the best relief pitcher on the market?
I knew the Tigers weren't just going to pocket the money they'd saved, that's just not how Little Caesars barons operate, but I did hold out some hope it was earmarked for extending Max Scherzer or planning ahead for Miguel Cabrera, rather than immediately going towards signing a new great player. As has been so often the case over the years for Tribe fans, that hope now seems destined to be dashed.
My gosh though, if they were going to sign someone, did it have to be Choo?
Oh how it pains me to see Victor Martinez playing for the Tigers. Then there's Jhonny Peralta, whose production rebounded upon his arrival in Detroit. The Tigers also signed Omar Vizquel as a coach a couple weeks back, and now it seems we're going to have to suffer through watching Choo play for them too... I tell you, if they sign Grady Sizemore and he turns his career around, I'm heading to the Motor City with a flamethrower.
This is a bummer, man...