Dombrowski and new manager Brad Ausmus still need another right-hander in the back end, which could end up being free agent Joaquin Benoit, given the two sides' mutual appreciation.
A team wants to win a world championship in 2014. So, it trades one of its foundational pitchers, a right-handed sharpshooter with an assassin's cool, for — are the fans ready? — a pair of semi-anonymous, 22-year-old, left-handed pitchers and a 25-year-old utility man with a career batting average of .264.
The Tigers aren't interested. Not when they would part with their first-round pick in 2014 as part of the penalty (including a nice, fat contract) for signing a player who these days is more average than above average.
Prince Fielder's exit unclogs the entire Tigers lineup and reduces what could have become a paralyzing payroll albatross in the years ahead. The Tigers can consider it a bargain, not only because of the payroll obligations it sheds, but more integrally, because of the lineup efficiencies it stands to create.
You begin to see the improbability – feel free to call it silliness – of any Tigers trade that sends Scherzer to another team ahead of his date with free agency 12 months from now.
Fans who wanted a new face, new administration, and new managerial style, have gotten their guy in a 44-year-old ex-catcher, heavy on IQ, and familiar with Detroit's baseball culture.
This is a nice bunch of guys, the Tigers. Maybe too nice. They need more of a mean streak. They need more often to get mad. They need to smile less and to bare their teeth when post-season games they should win are within their grasp.
This natural urge for a fresh face is making Lloyd McClendon's candidacy difficult, and perhaps unjust, as Tigers front-office czar Dave Dombrowski wraps up interviews and sorts out his contestants.
Lynn Henning joined The Detroit News sports staff in 1979 after 3½ years as a sports writer and columnist for the Lansing State Journal. A lifelong Michigan native (St. Johns) and a 1974 journalism graduate from Michigan State, Henning has specialized through the years in covering baseball, as well as Michigan and Michigan State, Lions and Red Wings, and in writing about the outdoors. Henning spent seven years during the 1990s as editor of PGA Magazine and as a writer for the national weekly, Golfweek.
- Lynn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynn Henning's favorites:Favorite movie: Fargo
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