Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Detroit Tigers: One of the Best Teams Money Could Buy?

Are the Tigers one of the 10 best teams that money could buy? Jon Heyman think so:
10T. Detroit Tigers, $119 million. They've got a few high salaries (Magglio Ordonez at $18.9 million, for example), but they also have a formidable team. As evidenced by their liberal draft strategy, they are always willing to pay for untested talent. Rick Porcello's a great deal, even with him being close to the highest-paid rookie ever ($2.1 million).
It's amazing to me that the Tigers are in contention this season with the amount of high priced, under performing/possibly useless parts they have on their roster right now. Take a look:

Jeremy Bonderman (injured): $12.5 million
Nate Robertson: $7 million (worth $0 million this season according to fangraphs)
Dontrelle Willis (injured??): $10 million
Aubrey Huff: $2 million (worth -$2.7 million this season according to fangraphs)

That's $31.5 million right there. And that's not even taking into account two of the more controversial players on the Tigers' roster right now:

Magglio Ordonez: $18 million
Carlos Guillen: $10 million

A case can be made that both of these guys are egregiously overpaid.

Ordonez had a terrible first half of the season and there was even chatter that the Tigers were going to bench the slugger, but luckily for him (and the Tigers), Ordonez has turned it on in the second half and now resembles a half decent ballplayer even if his power is non existent.

Guillen is another story. He has missed lots of time this season because of injuries and has only played in 74 games. During that time, Guillen has only hit .258 with 11 HR and 48 RBI. Fangraphs says that Guillen has only been worth $3.4 million this season, which is a far cry from the double digit total he's currently earning.

So if you want to say that the Tigers are one of the best teams money can buy, so be it. But that statement makes little sense. The Tigers have at least $31.5 million this season committed to players, who are either injured or performing very, very badly. In addition, they have another $18 million committed to two stars, who are not coming close to performing like stars.

All together, the total amount of under performing stars, struggling veterans, and injured players is $59.5 million.

Still think the Tigers are one of the best teams money can buy? Think again.


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