PhilMankowski77.jpgOne by one, the Tigers’ alleged free-agent targets are signing with other clubs and in the case of Adam Dunn, with the hated White Sox. Now that Jayson Werth has sign a gargantuan deal with the Nationals — the Nationals? — Detroit is left to shoot for the moon (i.e., Carl Crawford) or swing another blockbusterish trade.

I’m still betting on the latter, though the Tigers have fewer minor-league chips to parlay into an impact big-leaguer, and the ones they have — Andy Oliver, Jacob Turner — are the premier prospects. But who wants to see them dealt? Not many, I’m guessing.

Meanwhile …

  • Ken Rosenthal says that the Tigers could be a dark-horse team on Cliff Lee. He’s clear that he has no information on which to base this hunch, only Mike Ilitch‘s annual mad-money spending. How great would this be? As long as Lee doesn’t end up with the White Sox …

  • I received an email from our man Doug Hill this morning saying that a Detroit sports talk conversation centered on the alleged availability of Curtis Granderson — and whether a return to Detroit might be possible. The hosts speculated that Grandy could return, bat fifth and play left field. I’d have no problem with this, depending on the cost. What do you think?

  • The Werth deal has been skewered by just about everyone since it was announced, most recently by The News’ Lynn Henning, and justifiably so. Still, I think the Nationals wanted to make a splash much like the Tigers did in 2005 when they went after Magglio Ordonez. Sometimes a club has to make a bold move to get itself back on the map. For Washington, this was that move.

    I tweeted yesterday that most thought the Tigers seven-year deal with Ordonez was nuts. Despite his injury-shortened 2005, he was tremendous for the Tigers. The Common Man replied:

    @DailyFungo Correct me if I’m wrong, but #Tigers got, like, one great year out of Magglio while paying, like $82 mil. I’d say that’s nuts.

    Well, in the six seasons he played in Detroit, Ordonez amassed some pretty solid numbers: .318 average, 102 home runs, 501 RBI and OPS of .874. I’d say that’s hardly nuts. Plus, at the time the Tigers had zero punch in the lineup, with apologies to Rondell White, Dmitri Young and Pudge. They needed a slugger and after a decade of losing, they needed to overpay a bit. I think it worked out tremendously.

  • In case you’ve been wondering, Victor Martinez will wear number 41, his number in Cleveland and Boston, which means Oliver will have to go with another. Joaquin Benoit will wear number 53.

  • Speaking of Magglio,’s Rumor Central whispers that the Red Sox might have him on their radar but his age might drive them away.

  • While it’s only the first day of the Winter Meetings, the Tigers might make a splash today. In their history, December 6 has been a busy transaction day:

    1939 – The Tigers acquired infielder Dick Bartell from the Cubs for infielder Billy Rogell.

    1954 – The Tigers acquired RHP Leo Cristante and infielders Ferris Fain and Jack Phillips from the White Sox for LHP Ted Gray, infielder Walt Dropo and outfielder Bob Nieman.

    1958 – The Tigers acquired infielders Eddie Yost and Rocky Bridges and outfielder Neil Chrisley from the Senators for infielders Reno Bertoia and Ron Samford and outfielder Jim Delsing.

    1973 – The Tigers acquired LHP Ray Newman from the Brewers for RHP Mike Strahler.

    1975 – The Tigers acquired LHPs Dave Roberts and Jim Crawford and catcher Milt May from the Astros for RHPs Gene Pentz and Mark Lemongello, catcher Terry Humphrey and outfielder Leon Roberts.

    1989 – The Tigers acquired RHP Matt Kinzer and outfielder Jim Lindeman from the Cardinals for RHP Marcos Betances, catcher Bill Henderson and infielder Pat Austin.

Thanks to the record-number of responses — 1,308! — we received to our recent Fungo Flash Poll: What’s next on the Tigers’ offseason to-do list? The comments were terrific too.
Here’s how the voting came out:

  1. Sign Jayson Werth (39%, 512 Votes)
  2. Make a trade or two at the Winter Meetings (27%, 359 Votes)
  3. Sign a starting pitcher (24%, 309 Votes)
  4. Sign Adam Dunn (10%, 128 Votes)

With Werth and Dunn off the market, I still believe the Tigers are due for a big trade.

It should be a fun week. On Thursday, Ian and I will recap the Tigers’ activity on the next episode of the podcast.