2011 American League Preview: Detroit Tigers

Offseason analysis: The Tigers set the market for what turned to be a crazy market for relievers by giving Benoit a three year deal to leave the Rays, and then pried Martinez out of Boston with a 4 year, $52 million contract. V-Mart should add some pop to the middle of the lineup alongside Cabrera, but Detroit may wind up regretting that deal if he can’t perform adequately behind the plate in a couple of years.

Projected lineup: (2010 wOBA)

Victor Martinez C (.364)

Miguel Cabrera (.429)

Carlos Guillen 2B (.323 in 275 PA’s)

Jhonny Peralta SS (.309)

Brandon Inge 3B (.314)

Ryan Raburn LF (.354)

Austin Jackson CF (.333)

Brennan Boesch RF (.323)

Magglio Ordonez DH (.375 in 365 PA’s)

Projected rotation: (2010 FIP)

Justin Verlander (2.97)

Max Scherzer (3.71)

Rick Porcello (4.31)

Brad Penny (3.40 in 55.2 IP)

Phil Coke (1 game started)

2011 outlook: The Tigers added some back of the bullpen depth and another bat in the middle of the lineup, and depending on how the Miguel Cabrera mess turns out, stand to improve in 2011. They’re pitching is solid enough, and they have the best pitcher in their division in Verlander, as well as perhaps the division’s best overall hitter in Cabrera. If everyone stays healthy and they get a little bit of luck, this team can definitely compete for the division crown.