It's always chaos when a great player that has a position locked down on a contending team, and the news that Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers will be lost for the year is no different. Now add in the fact that we're nearing the end of the off-season and there are fewer and fewer options to replace him, and you can see both the urgency and the resulting self-assuring "we got this" stuff from the fans. Don't be fooled: the Tigers need to do something, and likely will.
That said, Buster Olney points out that many teams are using the DH slot (V-Mart's home) as something of a flex position, giving guys rest, etc. Olney also mentions in an abstract tweet suggesting they don't even have to spend a lot of money on remaining FA's since the players will be desperate for anything at this point.
Kurt Menshing of Bless You Boys makes the same point, and Jon Paul Morosi says the club will likely make the playoffs anyway, since the AL Central is mostly in flux (I'd say complete disaster, barring a miracle shot the Royals find one more serious starter, but hey).
Then there's arbitration stuff and a SWEET new complete organizational chart that we're building and maintaining here at MLBDD, and it needs your love. Tell us what you think:
Detroit Tigers Complete Organizational Chart - MLB Daily Dish
"...It's a complete organizational chart, from the upstairs offices all the way down to the last open bench spot in Single A, and it includes salary, arbitration, and option details in a single handy chart you can't get anywhere else."
Tigers Post-Victor Martinez Options - Buster Olney | ESPN (Insider)
"I wrote here yesterday that a lot of teams are beginning to value the DH for positional flexibility and prefer to use it for regulars who are dealing with nagging injuries or need a day off from full-time duty. Alex Avila could use that kind of respite from time to time, and so could Cabrera."
Twitter / @Buster_ESPN - (on FA's still left on the market taking next offer)
"For example: With injury to V-Mart, Tigers have a whole lot of similar FA options, so they're not going to overpay for anyone."
Detroit Tigers still the favorite to win AL Central... - Jon Paul Morosi
"The Royals have an intriguing lineup, but they don’t have a rotation to counter Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer — yet. The inert Indians aren’t spending the money it will take to beat Detroit. The Twins are rebuilding. The White Sox are really rebuilding."
Valuing Victor Martinez's contributions to the Tigers - Bless You Boys
"The real loss in Martinez is flexibility. Martinez provides a switch-hitter in the middle of the lineup. He pushes every other batter down a spot to give opposing pitchers fewer chances to rest. The best suggestions for replacing Martinez all involve substituting two players for one, costing a lineup spot and its corresponding flexibility."
- Tigers Sign Porcello to 1-year, $3.1M Deal; Coke to $1.1M deal - MLB Daily Dish
Avoiding Arbitration: AL Central - MLB Daily Dish
With that in mind, numerous players have agreed to one-year contracts for the 2012 season on Tuesday in order to avoid arbitration and keep things a tad simpler. Here are the AL Central players that have avoided arbitration by agreeing to deals...
Victor Martinez Likely To Miss Season, Detroit Tigers Could Need DH - MLB Daily Dish
With the injury, a major need at the designated hitter position opens up for Detroit. This is a team that had been expecting Martinez to be a major factor on offense once again after a strong 2011 season, but now they may need to play the entire 2012 season without one of their best hitters. Martinez hit .330/.380/.470 in 595 PA's for Detroit last season, and was expected to be the full-time DH in 2012.
Jim Leyland on Victor Martinez and Johnny Damon - MLB Network Radio
"Jim Leyland, Tigers Manager, joined MLB Network Radio and talked about the loss of Victor Martinez and the potential return of Johnny Damon."