Results tagged ‘ tigers ’
When a team is looking to improve on one facet of its club, it helps when it has a surplus in another area. Read ahead in today’s Hot Stove roundup to find out which club is in such a situation, and plenty of other news:
- Between Jurickson Profar, Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler, the Rangers have a wealth of infield depth. The Dallas Morning News‘ Evan Grant reports the Rangers could very well trade one of those players (with some top prospects also working their way into the picture) to fill other needs. ”We have three guys at the major league level and two guys at Double-A [Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas]; it would be irresponsible not to consider it,” general manager Jon Daniels told Grant. “Will we ultimately make a deal? I really don’t know. Teams are getting the lay of the land, see what’s out there and make a decision.”
- The Blue Jays are looking to add starting pitching talent. But would they be willing to part ways with Jose Bautista in order to get it? The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo says it’s a possibility.
- Cafardo also notes there’s a “growing sentiment” that the Padres will deal third baseman Chase Headley this winter.
- It’s no secret the Tigers need a closer, and Joe Nathan and Brian Wilson are two names that have been closely linked to Detroit. It was reported earlier this week that there has been mutual interest between the Tigers and Nathan, but Buster Olney tweeted that the Tigers may prefer Wilson because of salary.
- Right-hander Jeff Samardzija has the potential to be a building block for the Cubs moving forward, and David Kaplan is reporting that the Cubs have reached out to him about a contract extension. Samardzija, who will become a free agent after the 2015 season and turns 29 in January, had a 4.34 ERA last year and logged a career-high 213 2/3 innings.
- Because of the unique structure of Bryce Harper‘s contract and some unresolved issues, the Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore reports, Harper and the Nationals could be looking at a grievance hearing next winter.
– Joey Nowak
The Tigers have declared their interest in a closer, and Joe Nathan is the most successful closer on the free-agent market this winter. Nathan is looking for a chance at a World Series ring, and the Tigers might be the closest contending team that’s looking for a closer.
The pieces are there for mutual interest. And according to Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com, the interest has already developed.
Nathan’s agent, Dave Pepe, isn’t commenting on teams’ inquiries or interest, and intends to keep negotiations in general as quiet as possible. He did, however, say it’s very early in the process with any team and nowhere close to a deal. If there are talks, they aren’t serious yet.
That said, the expectation is that these two sides are going to try. Morosi cited sources saying Nathan has the Tigers high on his list of teams. And Tigers manager Brad Ausmus’ comments on local radio a few days ago seemingly reflected interest on Detroit’s part.
“I am a Joe Nathan fan for sure,” Ausmus told Detroit Sports 105.1 FM last week. “But where Joe Nathan ends up is a little out of my control.”
The Tigers know Nathan well from his days with the Minnesota Twins, where he and Torii Hunter were teammates from 2004 to 2007. Nathan is 36-for-36 in save chances for his career against Detroit, allowing just 10 runs on 33 hits over 62 2/3 innings with 23 walks and 75 strikeouts. His only loss against the Tigers came on July 19, 2007, when Brandon Inge doubled in Neifi Perez in the 10th inning at the Metrodome.
He posted some of his best numbers this past season at age 38, going 6-2 with a 1.39 ERA and 43 saves in 46 chances. The stats sound a lot like his career against Detroit: 64 2/3 innings pitched, 36 hits, 10 runs, 22 walks, 73 strikeouts.
“We’re going to have a closer,” team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said last week. “We’re going to pursue somebody to pitch at the back end of the bullpen. Joaquin [Benoit] is in that group, but there are a lot of closers out there. It’s the one area where there’s a lot of guys. That is one area I think we need to address, with him or someone else, and then we’ll look at the rest of our club.”
– Jason Beck
There has been speculation about this previously, but CBSSports.com‘s Jon Heyman reported on Monday that the Tigers are indeed listening to trade offers for starters Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello.
Scherzer is a top choice for the AL Cy Young award after going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and league-leading 0.97 WHIP this season. Porcello has been a back-of-the-rotation starter since he broke into the league. Both will be free agents after the 2014 season.
– Joey Nowak
Max Scherzer made an appearance on MLB Network’s Hot Stove morning program and talked on a wide range of topics, from new manager Brad Ausmus to what went awry in the playoffs. He said Ausmus called him earlier this week and introduced himself and he was impressed.
“He called me up the other day and I talked with him for a bit,” Scherzer said. “I think we made a great hire. For him, his pedigree speaks volumes. He caught in the big leagues for 18 years. I think with his knowledge of the game, he’s going to be able to fit right in for us and take us where we need to go.”
Whether Scherzer actually makes a start for him, of course, remains to be seen.
Scherzer is staying out of speculation over a potential trade, saying that’s part of the business. But he also said that there are no talks going on about a contract extension, at least to his knowledge.
“We really haven’t had too much talk previously about an extension,” Scherzer said. “Taking care of one this offseason, really I haven’t even approached it. I haven’t even stepped back and thought about it, just because we’re not at the right time to discuss a contract. I’m sure something can be talked about throughout the winter.”
Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, said earlier this fall that he anticipated talking with the Tigers about a potential extension this offseason. Boras has a well-earned reputation for believing players, especially pitchers, should test the free-agent market when they get close to free agency, a factor that played into the trade that brought Scherzer to the Tigers four years ago (Detroit strongly believed Edwin Jackson was going to test the market in a couple years). That said, Boras pitchers have signed extensions ahead of free agency, Jered Weaver being a notable example.
Fitting a potential Scherzer extension into payroll is another matter, which is why it wasn’t lost on reporters have team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said unprompted that they have a surplus of starting pitchers.
“We have some pieces we need to fit together. I mean, we do have six starters at this point,” Dombrowski said Sunday. “People are aware of that, with [Drew] Smyly being available to start.”
Ken Rosenthal, part of the Hot Stove show, said earlier in the show that the Nationals are looking for an elite starting pitcher and could be a good fit for a deal, because of their depth in young power pitchers and their strong relationship with Boras (gee, that sounds familiar).
Scherzer tried to downplay the speculation.
“It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “I understand the business of the game and the reality of the payroll. And so, I mean, I get it. But at the same time, for me, I want to be a Detroit Tiger. I’ve been in Detroit for four years and we’ve had a great run. With all the friends that you have on the team, you just want that to continue, so hopefully it can.”
– Jason Beck
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski spoke to the media Sunday about the hiring of new manager Brad Ausmus, and also touched on some of the team’s other hot stove issues. He said the club is looking for an experienced closer — which could include Joaquin Benoit — and also spoke about the middle infield situation.
“We’re going to have a closer,” Dombrowski said, according to MLive.com. “We’re going to pursue somebody to pitch the back end of the bullpen. Joaquin is in that group, but there are a lot of closers out there. That’s the one area where there are a lot of guys. That is one area I think we need to address with him or someone else and then we’ll look at the rest of our club.”
Possible candidates beyond Benoit could include free agents Joe Nathan, (former Tigers reliever) Fernando Rodney, Brian Wilson and Grant Balfour.
Dombrowski also said he “[doesn't] think it’s likely” the club would bring back Jhonny Peralta next year, essentially confirming what he’s been saying all along about Jose Iglesias being the team’s shortstop for the future. There are decisions to be made at second base, as well, with Omar Infante a free agent. The Yankees have reportedly reached out to Infante in case talks with Robinson Cano break down, but he’s also a plausible option to remain in Detroit.
– Joey Nowak
The Hot Stove was focused on new managers on Sunday, with the Tigers making their choice official, and the Mariners and Cubs continuing to search. Notes on those situations, plus other tidbits from the offseason, are below.
- The Tigers introduced Brad Ausmus as their new manager on Sunday, with the longtime Major League catcher stepping into a pressure-packed spot at the helm of the reigning American League Central champions.
- The Mariners, still looking to fill their managerial opening, now have brought back three candidates for a second interview, as general manager Jack Zduriencik tries to find a replacement for Eric Wedge.
- Meanwhile, Wedge is one of the candidates known to have interviewed for the only other available manager position. The Cubs are expected to reveal their choice sometime this week.
- It appears that teams hoping to add a big bat to the middle of their lineups this offseason can cross one option off their list. Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said on Sunday that slugger Giancarlo Stanton “is not available” in trade talks and will open the 2014 season as the Marlins’ right fielder.
- Masahiro Tanaka earned the save as the Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants in Game 7 of the Japan Series on Sunday. With that series over, Rakuten is expected to post the 25-year-old right-hander, which would make him one of the top arms available this offseason.
- The Rays picked up their $6.5 million team option on David DeJesus and are trying to work out a multi-year deal with the veteran outfielder, whom they acquired on July 23. The club still must decide whether to exercise its option on reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo.
- The Giants aren’t going to pick up right-hander Ryan Vogelsong’s $6.5 million option, but the sides are discussing a new deal for a lower guaranteed salary, according to a report from CSN Bay Area.
– Andrew Simon
The Tigers announced that outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo has been claimed off waivers by the D-backs, left-handed reliever Darin Downs has been claimed by the Astros and the team has declined the 2014 club option on reliever Jose Veras.
The Veras move is probably the most surprising, as he proved to be a relatively dependable setup option after being acquired from the Astros at the Trade Deadline, and figured to be a closer candidate moving forward.
Veras appeared in 25 games for the Tigers, going 0-1 with a 3.20 ERA (19.2IP/7ER) and 16 strikeouts. He gave up two earned runs in five postseason innings.
Downs had a 4.84 ERA and 2-0 record in 29 games for the Tigers this season, while Tuiasosopo hit .244 with seven doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 81 games. After securing the left field platoon spot in Spring Training, Tuiasosopo faltered down the stretch, going hitless in the month of September before being left off the playoff roster.
– Joey Nowak
The action began to crank into high gear on Tuesday night, with less than 24 hours remaining before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, which comes at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Here’s where things stand going into the final day:
- The Red Sox made a bold move late on Tuesday night, landing veteran starting pitcher Jake Peavy in a three-way deal with the Tigers and White Sox, along with reliever Brayan Villareal. While the right-hander will bolster Boston’s rotation, Detroit’s acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias gives them insurance if Jhonny Peralta is served with a long suspension as part of MLB’s investigation into the Biogenesis case. Chicago, meanwhile, received young outfielder Avisail Garcia and a trio of prospects in the deal.
- The A’s acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo from the Angels for former first-round pick Grant Green and plan to add the switch-hitter to their mix at second base. General manager Billy Beane said afterward that he was “not currently” involved in additional trade talks.
- The Indians added the left-handed arm they were seeking for their bullpen, nabbing veteran Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals for a Minor Leaguer. Rzepczynski had spent much of this season at Triple-A Memphis.
- St. Louis has been linked to some big names ahead of the Deadline and could be in the mix for a shortstop or starting pitcher, but GM John Mozeliak downplayed the likelihood of a trade. But with All-Star catcher Yadier Molina headed to the disabled list with a knee injury, it’s possible the club could be spurred to action.
- Astros right-hander Bud Norris continues to draw plenty of interest from contending teams.
- The Yankees are one of the clubs in pursuit of White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, although New York is one of six teams on his no-trade list.
- The Dodgers took a shot at bolstering their bullpen by signing former Giants closer Brian Wilson, but there might not be much else for GM Ned Colletti to do.
- The D-backs could part with right-hander Ian Kennedy, who started for Arizona on Tuesday.
- The Pirates seem likely to stand pat after grabbing the NL Central lead with a doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals on Tuesday.
- Andrew Simon
The Angels — 14 games out of first place and eight games below .500 — have been fielding a lot of phone calls in the last couple of days, with a multitude of teams gauging their interest in parting ways with some of their position players. One person familiar with the team’s thinking said Tuesday afternoon that the chances they strike a deal before Wednesday’s 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline are “better than 50/50.”
“Vultures appear to be circling,” the source said.
Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar appear to be the most likely to be traded, given how solid they’ve been on both sides of the field and the team-friendly extensions they signed last year. The Royals — with Chris Getz, Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada — are looking for a second baseman with offense and would be willing to include veteran starter Bruce Chen or Luke Hochevar, who’s been effective out of the bullpen but hasn’t started all year, in a deal. They also have two top guys in the Minors in Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura, but Royals reporter Dick Kaegel doesn’t believe they’ll be included in a deal.
And according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Royals are one of the 12 teams Kendrick could block a trade to this season.
Aybar, however, has no such no-trade protection in his contract. And if Jhonny Peralta gets suspended as part of the Biogenesis investigation, perhaps they get interested. So far, though, they’ve shown no signs of being on the lookout for a shortstop, per Tigers reporter Jason Beck.
So, we’ll see. There can be a lot of surprises this time of year, especially in the final hours. But there’s definitely incentive for the Angels to wait until the offseason to swap a position player for cost-controlled starting pitching. More teams can get involved, and plenty more time permits.
Early on Monday, the Angels traded veteran lefty reliever Scott Downs to the Braves in exchange for Minor League reliever Cory Rasmus.
– Alden Gonzalez
We’re about 24 hours away from Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, and it still has been a pretty quiet week. Some wheels were evidently set in motion on Tuesday afternoon, so let’s take a look at where some things stand around 5 p.m. ET:
- White Sox starter Jake Peavy and Astros starter Bud Norris were both scratched from their Tuesday starts, and rumors started flying. The D-backs have interest in Peavy — Arizona GM Kevin Towers has history with the right-hander dating back to their San Diego days — along with a handful of other clubs with starting pitching needs.
- The Phillies called up third base prospect Cody Asche, prompting rumors about Michael Young leaving town, but Young was slotted into Tuesday’s starting lineup when it was first unveiled this afternoon. There have been reports that Young’s no-trade clause would be waived only for a deal to the Rangers, though MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported a Texas reunion is “unlikely” and the Red Sox and Orioles have also been tied to Young. And on top of the Young chatter, there are still rumors flying about Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon and Cliff Lee.
- Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Jose Veras deal was the big one that Detroit wanted to take care of, and the Tigers are not looking for a bat (even with shortstop Jhonny Peralta looking at a possible suspension with his ties to Bioegenesis). Javier Lopez and Kevin Gregg are other bullpen names that have been floated in connection with the Tigers.
- A league source tells MLB.com‘s Joe Frisaro that if there’s any darkhorse team who could put together the right package to land Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, it would be the Red Sox.
- Even with a wealth of quality relievers, it might be a quiet Trade Deadline for the Padres.
- The Cubs have already dealt away some big pieces, and manager Dale Sveum says that any rumors about starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija being the next to go are “far-fetched.” Kevin Gregg and right fielder Nate Schierholtz could be a different story, though.
– Joey Nowak