Results tagged ‘ tigers ’
The Royals made the biggest move of the day on Thursday, bolstering their starting rotation by signing free-agent left-hander Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract. Vargas, who will turn 31 in February, went 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA last season for the Angels, who now have another hole to fill on their staff.
Meanwhile, Wednesday night’s big trade between the Rangers and Tigers continued to hold the baseball world’s attention. The swap of Ian Kinsler and Prince Fielder could have far-reaching implications. Among them:
- The trade gives the Tigers additional financial flexibility they could use to pursue contract extensions for Max Scherzer and/or Miguel Cabrera, writes our Jason Beck. There also is the issue of how Detroit will adjust defensively, with Cabrera likely shifting to first and opening up a spot at third that could be filled by top prospect Nick Castellanos.
- The ripple effects from the deal could surface in Cincinnati, says our Mark Sheldon, impacting the Reds’ potential plans to move second baseman Brandon Phillips.
- Kinsler’s departure from Texas likely eliminates the possibility of the Rangers parting with Elvis Andrus. That gives the Cardinals one fewer option in their pursuit of a shortstop, as our Jenifer Langosch explains.
In other news from around the league on Thursday:
- The Tigers moved quickly to their next order of business, re-signing lefty Phil Coke to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.
- The Giants have agreed to a deal to keep left-handed specialist Javier Lopez in San Francisco, with multiple reports indicating he will receive a three-year contract.
- The Angels and Cardinals have discussed a swap that would send third baseman David Freese to Anaheim in exchange for an outfielder, such as Peter Bourjos.
- After adding Josh Johnson to their starting rotation, the Padres will return their focus to acquiring a left-handed hitter, tweets our Corey Brock.
- Our Adam McCalvy writes that the Brewers aren’t likely to trade Ryan Braun but could move him from left field to right.
- Ike Davis tells our Anthony DiComo that while he would like to stay with the Mets, he understands that there is a significant chance the club could deal him this offseason.
- Lance Berkman’s agent told Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his client is leaning toward retirement. The 15-year veteran, who turns 38 in February, posted a .700 OPS for the Rangers last season, and injuries have limited him to 105 games over the past two years.
- The agent for free-agent catcher Brian McCann told Alex Speier of Boston’s WEEI that his client is willing to spend some time at first base and designated hitter with a new team.
- The Rays are working toward a two-year deal to retain the services of catcher Jose Molina, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
- The Dodgers and Giants have free-agent right-hander Dan Haren among their targets as they look to add pitching, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network.
- Although outfielder Curtis Granderson became a free agent when he rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer, the club remains interested in bringing him back, reports the New York Post.
– Andrew Simon
The Hot Stove was cranked up to full blast on Wednesday night, thanks to a surprise exchange of All-Stars. In a deal first reported by CBSSports.com and later confirmed by the teams, the Tigers will send first baseman Prince Fielder to the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Detroit also will include $30 million to help offset the disparity between the two players’ remaining contracts.
Despite the move, the Rangers still want to add a free-agent hitter such as Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network.
In other news from around the league:
- The Giants and left-handed reliever Javier Lopez are nearing an agreement on a new three-year contract.
- After losing Tim Hudson to San Francisco, the Braves are looking to add a veteran starting pitcher, writes our Mark Bowman. A trade for the Brewers’ Kyle Lohse is one possibility.
- The Padres finalized their one-year pact with free-agent righty Josh Johnson.
- The Indians might have found a new right fielder in former Ranger David Murphy.
- The Marlins would like to add a few good bats this offseason, particularly at catcher and third base, our Joe Frisaro writes. But that’s easier said than done, considering the high demand for such players.
- Our Todd Zolecki wonders if the Phillies have finished tinkering with their lineup after signing Carlos Ruiz and Marlon Byrd.
- The Orioles signed former Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona to a one-year contract.
- Free-agent righty Dan Haren and the Dodgers have “mutual interest” as Los Angeles looks to add to its rotation, reports ESPN Los Angeles.
- The Royals have talked about pursuing A’s left-hander Brett Anderson, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
- The Mets are suffering from “sticker shock” as they evaluate the free-agent market this offseason, reports the New York Post.
– Andrew Simon
The Tigers and Rangers have agreed to a blockbuster deal that would send first baseman Prince Fielder to Texas and second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. It was uncertain if other players would be involved.
The deal would make some sense for both clubs. The Rangers have depth in their middle infield, with top prospect Jurickson Profar ready to join shortstop Elvis Andrus. Trading Fielder would allow the Tigers to move Miguel Cabrera to first base and replace free agent Omar Infante at second.
Both players are signed to long-term contracts already. Kinsler will make $57 million over the next four years, with a $12 million team option or $5 million buyout in 2018. Fielder is set to make $24 million for each of the next seven seasons.
– Andrew Simon
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