Detroit Tigers president Dave Dombrowski held his annual state of the team address with the local media Tuesday afternoon. No real surprises were revealed during the press conference, but many decisions that have been speculated upon were confirmed.
For instance, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen very likely will not return next year. Dombrowski said he and manager Jim Leyland told both players during the final month of the regular season that the team would not be bringing them back. Injuries and lack of production limited Ordonez to 92 games this season, while Guillen played in only 28 games while recovering from offseason knee surgery and a late-season calf strain.
Other items of note from the Dombrowski presser:
- Dombrowski said that he would like to bring back Ramon Santiago, but acknowledges that the infielder might find a better contract — and a starting job — on the open market. Santiago ended up as the Tigers' regular second baseman after Leyland rotated several players at that position through the first five months of the season.
- Second base and perhaps third base will be offseason priorities, but Dombrowski warned against expecting the Tigers to bring in an All-Star caliber player at those positions. Role players are the preference, and Detroit could have platoons in each spot.
- Delmon Young will probably be back, but the Tigers won't offer him a multi-year contract. Young is eligible for arbitration for one more year, so Detroit controls his rights for next season. But the team would like to see how he performs during a full season.
- Brad Penny is also unlikely to return, though Dombrowski said he was happy with Penny's performance this season. Jacob Turner is a possibility to take a spot in the starting rotation, but the team would also like to have a left-hander among the starting five. (That lefty will not be Phil Coke, who will be a reliever.)
- Another item on the offseason shopping list will be a right-handed hitting catcher to back up Alex Avila. The Tigers' preference is for Victor Martinez to be the full-time designated hitter next season.
- The Tigers would like to bring Joel Zumaya back, but with the frequent uncertainties with his health, he'd probably be invited to spring training on a minor league contract.
- Dombrowski said the Tigers have two $20 million players in Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, and can't see adding a third. For those of you who were hoping for a pursuit of Jose Reyes, that statement seems to rule him out.
No word on whether or not Dombrowski said the team would also look at signing a reliever in the offseason, but I would add that to the shopping list, as well. And after the Tigers' performance in the ALCS, it's hard to imagine management not drawing the same conclusion.