‘ lean and mean’ ap­proach to re­build

The Detroit News - - Front Page -

which made such a fi­nan­cial splash shock­ing at the time.

Do not ex­pect a sim­i­lar shock early in this present Tigers re­build.

“Back then, it wasn’t just Pudge,” said gen­eral man­ager Al Avila Tues­day. “It was Mag­glio (Ordonez), it was Kenny Rogers –— through a pe­riod of years we went af­ter sev­eral play­ers on the free-agent mar­ket.

“We didn’t build to­tally from within. This one is go­ing to be more of a build­ing from within, more so than not.”

For­give Avila if he’s a lit­tle wist­ful about the old days. He was Dom­browski’s top lieu­tenant back then and wouldn’t it be nice if he could again open the owner’s vault, buy a few choice free agents and be in the World Se­ries in two years, as the Tigers were in 2006.

Not go­ing to hap­pen. Af­ter a decade of bloated pay­rolls and no cham­pi­onship pa­rades, this next jour­ney will be paved with a lot more blood, sweat and tears. Avila made it clear the club had paid its last lux­ury tax bill for a while.

“I think you are go­ing to see us be­ing pretty lean and mean,” he said.

And it’s not about fol­low­ing some­body else’s path. The Astros way is in vogue now be­cause they are the cham­pi­ons. The Cubs way was the talk of the league the pre­vi­ous year. Cham­pi­onship teams

Robin Buck­son/Detroit News

GM Al Avila said the team’s pri­or­ity is so­lid­i­fy­ing its base from within.

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