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Report: Tigers “are deeply interested in Carl Crawford”

Oct 27, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

Image (1) Crawford%202.jpg for post 3045

Carl Crawford will obviously have no shortage of suitors when he hits the open market as a free agent next month and now Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Tigers will be among the many teams making a run at the speedy outfielder.

According to Rosenthal the Tigers “are deeply interested in Crawford” and could push teams like the Red Sox and Angels for his services.

Crawford and Austin Jackson would form two-thirds of an amazing defensive outfield and as Rosenthal notes spacious Comerica Park would give Crawford a chance to pile up even more triples than usual.

Of course, whether Crawford has any interest in playing for Detroit and whether the Tigers actually have the payroll room to get into a bidding war for him are unclear. Detroit is reportedly close to re-signing Jhonny Peralta after already locking up Brandon Inge, which would mean committing more than $10 million to a pair of .700 OPS infielders for the next two seasons.

  1. sparty99 - Oct 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Aaron, if you’re going to question whether a team has payroll room to compete for a top-of-the-line free agent like Carl Crawford, you should actually look into the team’s payroll situation.  The Tigers have roughly $55M coming off their books from 2010 (contracts of Ordonez, Bonderman, Willis, Robertson, Inge, Laird and Everett).  Signing Inge and Peralta for $10M may look like bad moves, but there really aren’t any great options at 3B or SS in this free agent class, so they handle those holes relatively inexpensively.  They’ve still got $45M to spend on areas for improvement (of which there are admittedly many), which means they’ve got the payroll room to splurge on guys like Crawford, Jason Werth, Victor Martinez or Cliff Lee.

  2. uyf1950 - Oct 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    sparty99 – Sure the Tigers have payroll room in 2011 but what about after that. For example if they were to sign Crawford. He obviously is going to get at least a 5 or 6 year contract and probably for between $15 to $18M per. Do the Tigers really want to have $60M in payroll tied up in just 3 players in 2012 and beyond (Cabrera, Verlander & Crawford)? According to MLB attendance records the Tigers drew about 100,000 less fans in 2010 versus 2009 a trend that’s likely to continue.

  3. sparty99 - Oct 27, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    What leads you to believe that the drop in attendance will continue? My guess – I haven’t looked into it in great detail – is that the attendance drop was directly related to the fact that the Tigers were out of the race shortly after the AS break in ’10 while they were in the playoff hint until the last day in ’09. Give a fan base something to pull for and they will show up in droves.

    The Tigers’ owner has proven he’ll spend money, even if it means eating bad contracts. As a fan he’s a wonderful owner because he doesn’t blame the market or the struggles of the area as a reason not to compete. If you can get players on the level of Crawford, Verlander and Cabrera, I see no reason not to lock them up, even if it costs the team $60M/year, and then look for bargains at other positions.

  4. uyf1950 - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    Numbers don’t lie. In 2007 Detroit’s attendance was 3.1M, in 2008 3.2M, in 2009 2.6M and in 2010 2.5M. It’s more then just not being in the playoff hunt. The economy is a big part of the drop off in attendance as well, and that doesn’t look like it’s improving much in the next year or two at best. $60M for 3 players for several years out when you still have to sign 22 players to the active 25 man roster and 37 players to the 40 man roster is a lot I would think in the case of the Tigers. Even “bargains” in today’s baseball market go for $2 to $5M per except for players with less than 3 years service. The teams that win and win consistently with that type of roster are the rare exception not the rule.

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