Results tagged ‘ tigers ’

Tigers acquire Alfredo Simon from Reds

The Tigers have acquired right-hander Alfredo Simon from the Reds in exchange for infielder Eugenio Suarez and Minor League pitcher Jonathon Crawford.

Simon fills the void in the Tigers’ rotation left by the trade of Rick Porcello to Boston for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Simon, 33, was 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA over 32 starts in 2014. He had a great first half of the season, going 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts to earn his first All-Star selection.

Crawford, 23, was the 20th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He spent the 2014 season with Class-A West Michigan, going 8-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 23 starts.

Suarez, 23, made his big league debut this year and played 85 games with Detroit, mainly at shortstop. He can also play third base. Suarez hit .242 with four home runs and 23 RBIs with the Tigers.

“We are excited to be acquiring two players we think will have a positive impact on our organization for years to come,” Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said in a statement.

–Austin Laymance

O’s among the teams interested in Cespedes

The Orioles reportedly view Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes as a potential fit in Baltimore, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, though Bradford adds that there is “nothing remotely imminent” at this point.

It’s unclear at this point who the Red Sox would target in return, but Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen would have to be considered a possibility. Chen, like Cespedes, is set to become a free agent following next season.

The Red Sox are also said to still be discussing a potential deal with the Tigers, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, that would involve swapping Cespedes for Rick Porcello, another starter entering the final year of his contract.

Boston doesn’t appear to be close on any potential trade involving Cespedes, but it’s starting to seem more and more likely that the Red Sox will solve their logjam in the outfield by moving Cespedes in exchange for starting pitching.

– Paul Casella

Scherzer market set to take off

With Jon Lester reportedly deciding to sign with the Cubs, the market for fellow free agent starter Max Scherzer should now begin to take shape.

That was immediately apparent on Wednesday, with CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reporting that — with Lester’s decision looming — owners from two unidentified teams had flown to the Winter Meetings on Tuesday to meet in-person with Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras. Though it’s unclear who exactly those two owners were, the market for Scherzer figures to come into focus in the coming days.

The three teams that ultimately came up short in the Lester sweepstakes — the Red Sox, Giants and Dodgers — could all turn their attention toward Scherzer, while Heyman also mentions the Yankees, Cardinals and Tigers as other possibilities. Reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Tigers were ready to spend big money to bring back Scherzer, but general manager Dave Dombrowski denied such a notion, saying instead that the club’s position has not changed.

Scherzer is said to be looking for a contract north of $200 million and, with Lester out of the way and so many teams still in the market for an elite starter, he seems likely to land one.

– Paul Casella

Romo talking to Giants

Free agent reliever Sergio Romo has reportedly had talks with the Giants, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. He had previously reported that the Tigers had also engaged in talks with Romo, but he later recanted that report.

The Astros were also believed to have interest in Romo, though that door is likely closed with Houston reportedly closing in on deals with both Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek.

The Giants demoted Romo out of the closer’s role last season, but the right-hander seemed to have rediscovered his touch by season’s end. After struggling to a 4.74 ERA over 40 first-half outings, Romo notched an impressive 1.80 ERA in 24 outings after the All-Star break. San Francisco also has plenty of money to spend after missing out on in its pursuit of both Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have insisted that they remain confident with Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria at the back end of their bullpen, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them ultimately pursue some insurance. After all, Detroit’s bullpen posted a 4.29 ERA last season, third-worst in the American League.

Romo’s market could develop even further with Gregerson and Neshek now reportedly off the board, as well as top relievers Andrew Miller and David Robertson.

– Paul Casella

Tigers intent on keeping Scherzer

The Tigers’ primary focus is on re-signing marquee free agent Max Scherzer, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The market for Scherzer has been relatively quiet so far this offseason, though that’s likely to change over the next 24 hours with fellow free agent starter Jon Lester expected to announce his decision.

Olney writes that the Tigers are not only “prepared to spend big, big dollars” to sign Scherzer, but that they also plan to keep co-ace David Price in the fold for 2015, as well. Again, there has been very little talk surrounding Scherzer to this point as teams wait to see where Lester ends up.

Aside from the Tigers, other teams that have been linked to Scherzer in varying extents include the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, and Blue Jays. The team that ultimately signs Lester will obviously drop off that list.

Regardless, the final cost for Scherzer figures to be enormous, given the amount of deep-pocketed teams that are in the market for an elite starter. Scherzer, keep in mind, turned down a $144 million extension offer from the Tigers last spring.

– Paul Casella

Red Sox extend one-year offer to Masterson

The Red Sox have reportedly extended a one-year offer to free agent right-hander Justin Masterson, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

The Red Sox are pursuing Masterson as a potential starter, not a relief option. That said, they are certainly not alone in their pursuit. It was reported on Monday by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that the Rangers also have an offer in to Masterson, while a number of other teams, including the Marlins, White Sox, Royals, Giants, Cubs, Tigers, Indians and Twins are all known to have interest as well.

Teams are banking on a bounceback year for Masterson, who is coming off a season in which he posted an unsightly 5.88 ERA over 28 injury-hampered outings (25 starts) between the Indians and Cardinals. Now seemingly healthy, teams are hoping to find a bargain with a one- or two-year deal for the 29-year-old righty.

– Paul Casella

Braves sign Jim Johnson to one-year deal

The Braves added to their bullpen mix on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with free-agent right-hander Jim Johnson on a one-year deal, the club announced.

Johnson, 31, split last season between the A’s and Tigers. He made 54 appearances and went 5-2, but had a 7.09 ERA. However, last season was more of an outlier, as he had a 3.11 ERA with the Orioles from 2006-13.

With Atlanta, Johnson projects to share set-up duties with David Carpenter, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.

A nine-year veteran and former All-Star, Johnson led the Majors with back-to-back 50-save seasons in 2012 (51) and ’13 (50) with the O’s.

–Austin Laymance

Pitching decisions loom for Tigers

With right-hander Max Scherzer a free agent and left-hander David Price entering his final year of club control, the Tigers have some big decisions to make regarding their starting rotation.

Detroit is considered to be a contender for Scherzer this offseason, but as probably the top pitcher available, he will have a lot of suitors. Speaking to MLB Network Radio on Friday, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said he feels his club still has a shot at retaining Scherzer, but that he isn’t counting on that happening.

Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA to win American League Cy Young honors in 2013 and followed that up by going 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA last year. The 30-year-old is most likely to land with the Nationals, Yankees, Tigers, Cardinals or Dodgers, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

Price, whom the Tigers acquired from the Rays at the Trade Deadline, is 29 and arbitration eligible for the final time this offseason after making $14 million in ‘14. The ‘12 AL Cy Young winner is a four-time All-Star with a 3.21 career ERA, but Dombrowski said during his radio appearance that while Detroit remains “open-minded” to a long-term relationship between the two sides, it isn’t exploring an extension right now.

Though Dombrowski said he’s not looking to trade Price, such a deal wouldn’t be out of the question, considering the GM’s history. That’s a topic MLB.com Tigers beat writer Jason Beck recently explored on his blog.

With Rick Porcello also set to hit free agency next winter, Justin Verlander trying to bounce back from a rough ‘14 and Anibal Sanchez returning from injury, it’s certainly an interesting time for the club’s pitching staff.

– Andrew Simon

David Robertson generating interest

David Robertson became the top closer on the market after declining a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees on Monday, and he’s certain to have many suitors this offseason.

In addition to the Yankees, there are at least six teams interested in signing Robertson, according to a report by the New York Daily News. Any club that signs Robertson would surrender a draft pick as compensation, but that doesn’t appear to be a major hurdle.

The Tigers, Brewers, Blue Jays, White Sox, Indians and Astros are among a number of teams with needs in the bullpen. Robertson would be an upgrade for any of those clubs.

Robertson, 29, saved 39 games last season in his first year as the Yankees’ closer. He earned $5.215 million and is set up for significant pay raise.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday he has not yet begun negotiations with Robertson’s agent, Scott Leventhal. The right-hander is a likely to receive at least a three-year contract.

Cashman also said it’s not yet clear what the market value is for Robertson. It’s worth noting Jonathan Papelbon earned $13 million with the Phillies in 2014 as baseball’s highest-paid closer. Already this offseason, Koji Uehara re-signed with the Red Sox for $18 million over two years.

Robertson’s impending contract could affect deals for other free agent closers, including Francisco Rodriguez, Sergio Romo and Rafael Soriano.

–Austin Laymance

Rockies Tulowitzki does not have no-trade clause; talks are intriguing if not imminent (Also, a look at many possible Rockies deals)

Tulo turn

Contrary to what has been repeated in many reports, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki does not have a no-trade clause — at least not at this point — in his contract.

Going strictly by the contract language (and consulting with sources with direct knowledge of the contract), if traded, Tulowitzki would receive a $2 million bonus from the club he would land with, and only then would a no-trade provision go into effect. That is in addition to the five years and $104 million, plus incentives and escalators, left on his deal.

Now, from the standpoint that Tulowitzki is one of the game’s most-respected players and someone who has been through thick and a lot of thin with the Rockies, it stands to reason that if such a decision were made the club would at least listen to Tulowitzki’s preferences — especially if there were places he didn’t want to go. However, he does not have that right within his contract, and he is not a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the Majors with the last five with the team).

All that said, the chances are low that Tulowitzki would be dealt by next Thursday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. Tulowitzki has said all along he doesn’t expect a deadline deal, and the more likely scenario is he would meet with his family and club officials after the season and get an idea of the team’s direction before deciding whether to press for a trade. Sources around the Majors say Rockies owner Dick Monfort’s position with them is the same as it is publicly — he is not seeking a deadline deal, and there is no guarantee he wants to make a deal even after the season.

Tulowitzki’s being on the 15-day disabled list with a hip flexor strain also complicates the chance of a deal now.

By the way, Major League sources say the Rockies aren’t anywhere close to dealing outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, a sublime talent who has dealt with injuries the last two years.

Given that, current trade rumors are to be seen as laying the groundwork for talks after the season.

Those talks could become really interesting. Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote today that the Mets are interested in being players if the Rockies ever decided to deal Tulo or CarGo. Sherman names pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, plus outfielder Brandon Nimmo and infielder Dilson Herrera as players the Rockies like. Given the Rockies’ perpetual need and desire for young pitching, the names Syndergaard and Matz would make it hard for club officials to dismiss if talks were to become serious.

Of course, anything the Mets do is related to the Yankees. Sherman points out that Tulo’s love for Derek Jeter, the Yankees shortstop who must be replaced, and the fact the Rockies like the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, righty Luis Severino. And the Cardinals have been rumored as a possible trading partner since last winter.

In other developments:

–The same article by Sherman points out that the Rockies have had interest in Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and notes the Rockies have pieces the Yankees want – lefty starters Jorge De La Rosa and Brett Anderson, and catcher Wilin Rosario, who could preserve his bat and mitigate his defensive issues by being a designated hitter or playing another position. But we are told that the Rockies aren’t looking to deal Rosario before Thursday’s deadline.

But expect Rosario to be an offseason topic of conversation. The Rockies have been sticking with him, believing his power hitting can make up for defense that has been a work in progress ever since he was promoted from Double-A in 2011. However, the Rockies may be forced to re-think.

The pitching staff will continue to be young. Left-hander Tyler Matzek and right-handers such as Eddie Butler and Jon Gray (Matzek and Butler debuted this year, and Gray is on the radar) will be in the rotation sooner than later. Righties Jhoulys Chacin and Jordan Lyles have been around, but are in their 20s.

It might be time for a veteran catcher, or one with frontline all-around ability who is special at calling games, to trim the learning curve for the pitchers. Two examples come to mind: 1) Late in his career, Pudge Rodriguez went to the Marlins and later to the Tigers, teams that didn’t have recent histories of winning. He made a major difference to those young staffs, and the result was a World Series win wit the Marlins and a World Series appearance with the Tigers. 2) It’s hard to quantify but easy to appreciate the impact Russell Martin had last year with the Pirates, who ended a 20-year postseason drought with pitchers who needed help reaching their potential.

–The Rockies are in a quandary when it comes to dealing their own pitching. They want young pitching under club control, but what if the best bargaining chips are their own desirable pitchers.

The Rockies are listening to trade offers, but the price they’ve set with the Orioles shows that they’ll take only the cream of another team’s crop. But even if they receive pitchers with bright futures, is there any guarantee they’re going to have the present that De La Rosa has?

De La Rosa has been by far the Rockies’ best pitcher at Coors Field, and whether he qualifies as the best pitcher in club history is a growing debate. Dude is 42-14 at Coors Field. And he likes pitching there. After seeing top prospects — lefty Drew Pomeranz, now with the Athletics, is a clear example — flame out at Coors, who’s to say anyone else’s prospects are going to make it?

Maybe the Rockies take the plunge. Or maybe they are better off retaining De La Rosa, who is in the final year of his contract. The $11 million qualifying offer the Rockies would need to make to preserve the right to compensation in case3 he left is $3 million more than he is making. That could give them another year with De La Rosa, or it could be the basis for a longer-term deal for a pitcher who wants to be here.

–Everyone says the Rockies need starting pitching. Heck, the Rockies say it. That being the case, it’s puzzling to see lefty Brett Anderson’s name in possible trade reports, although teams would be sensible to check on his availability.

Anderson missed 16 starts with a broken left index finger, and injuries have been an issue throughout his career. But let’s look at his two starts since coming off the disabled list: 1) Clearly rusty and still with little experience at Coors Field, he gave up five runs in the first inning against the Twins at home in the final game before the All-Star break. But he got through six with just one additional run. 2) At Pittsburgh, lacking his best stuff, Anderson pitched with savvy and professionalism and held a lineup for a contending club to one run in seven innings.

Once again, do you trade this top-end ability for guys whose best may or may not arrive at all or may or may not arrive at Coors Field?

Of course, there is a money issue. Anderson has a $12 million club option for 2015, or a $1.5 million buyout. If the Rockies believe that they’re a good team that has been ruined by injuries, it stands to reason that they pay the money and hope to be healthy next season.

–Well, we’ve laid out how the Rockies are leaning against dealing Tulo and CarGo, are likely to wait until after the season to address the catching situation, and have plenty of reasons not to deal De La Rosa or Anderson. So where do they get the young pitching they crave?

They’ll listen when teams discuss outfielder Drew Stubbs. The Mariners are the hot rumor. They’ll also listen to offers for righty pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. But there will be debate about how much a team is willing to give up for Stubbs, whose home/road splits and low on-base percentage history are concerning, and Hawkins, who is fit and effective but also 41.

Still, being in a pennant race makes giving up valuable pitching prospects sound like a better idea. So we’ll see. If Stubbs or Hawkins don’t bring offers of top-level prospects, the Rockies still must listen. This year’s injuries exposed a startling lack of starting depth, and they have to get it from somewhere.

– Thomas Harding

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