November 21st, 2014 at 10:43 AM
By Max DeMara
As the rumors continuously swirl about the Detroit Tigers' interest in perhaps making more trades, a new name quietly surfaced on Thursday night.
Rick Porcello, Detroit's on-again, off-again starting pitcher who has enjoyed a nice start to his career but is still yet to prove himself as elite, could be available on the open market. ESPN's Buster Olney hinted at that, and also named Doug Fister, Ryan Zimmermann, Mat Latos and Mike Leake as arms set to be free agents in a year that could be had in deals now.
For Porcello, 2014 was an up and down season. He blasted off to a hot start through the first few months of the year, but then quickly fell backwards and finished with an average looking 15-13 record and 3.43 ERA by season's end. He did set a career high with three complete games, but considering the start to the year, could have been expected to finish better statistically across the board.
As Olney notes, Porcello is eligible for free agency in another year's time, which means the Tigers could be gaging his value now. Perhaps they're convinced that Porcello might not get any more valuable than he is currently, and perhaps they don't wish to get tied down in a lucrative deal in another year for a player they believe has hit his ceiling in Detroit.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 20th, 2014 at 2:37 PM
By Max DeMara
Its been rumored for about a week that the Detroit Tigers weren't necessarily dead-set on bringing back Alex Avila in 2015, despite picking up his player option.
On Thursday, that fact might have been made clear again when word leaked out from Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports that the Tigers had preliminary discussions with the Houston Astros about a deal for a catcher.
Houston has quite a stockpile behind the dish, with starter Jason Castro, backup Carlos Corporan, and new addition Hank Conger all in the fold. Additionally, the team has Max Stassi perhaps set to push for playing time, meaning they could certainly deal from a position of strength.
There was no specific mention of Avila, but chances are that either he, Bryan Holaday, or Brian McCann would have to be included in discussions due to the numbers game. Detroit wouldn't be able to keep everyone in the fold, and reports indicated that a catcher could be going both ways in a potential deal.
Houston may have made Castro available, but would likely expect plenty in return, considering his strong home run and RBI totals last year. Both Corporan and Conger would likely cost significantly less because of their reserve status, which means that the Tigers could certainly be thinking a bit bigger by targeting Castro.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 20th, 2014 at 1:16 PM
By Max DeMara
The Detroit Tigers are embroiled in an interesting predicament when it comes to filling out their bullpen.
A few new veteran pieces need to be added, but there are plenty of young options that are quickly rising through the system.
Angel Nesbitt, a player that was protected by the Tigers from the Rule 5 draft, certainly counts as such an option. Last season, Nesbitt pitched at an elite level for Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie.
All told, Nesbitt posted excellent numbers, including a 3-0 record with a 0.79 ERA in Lakeland and a 2.23 ERA in Erie with 72 total strikeouts. His inclusion on the roster speaks to the level of ability the Tigers believe he posesses.
Someone else poised to make a name is Joe Mantiply, who Tony Paul of the Detroit News recently profiled. Mantiply, like Nesbitt, seems to have a high ceiling, especially considering the fact that he's left-handed.
In addition to them, there's the ever-hyped Melvin Mercedes and other pitchers from last season such as Bruce Rondon, Ian Krol, Blaine Hardy, Buck Farmer, and Kyle Ryan. Considering Detroit's rotation, the other natural starters like Farmer and Ryan might be best served by easing themselves into relief roles, much like Hardy has.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 19th, 2014 at 10:54 AM
By Max DeMara
As baseball's offseason continues its winding and unpredictable road, a fork seems to be developing in the distance for the Detroit Tigers.
Should the team re-sign elite hurler and staff ace Max Scherzer and trade fellow ace David Price, or let Scherzer walk and anoint Price the next headliner of the staff?
Considering the variables each bring to the table, the pair are definitely comparable. Both are nearly the same age, similarly capable of dominating games, and likely justify huge contracts, which means that 2014's second half could be the only time they're seen together on the same staff.
To put things in old west parlance, this town probably isn't big enough for the two of them, and due to cost concerns, a decision will likely be forced on one or the other prior to 2015.
But between Scherzer and Price, who wants to stay in Detroit long-term? That's not an easy question. Scherzer had his chance to do so earlier in the season, but he balked at a massive $144 million dollar offer. Detroit was stunned, but Scherzer maintained later that he was still open to coming back.Read more... Join the Conversation...
November 18th, 2014 at 10:32 AM
By Max DeMara
Entering the offseason, the consensus was that the Detroit Tigers could not re-sign both Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer, their big-ticket free agents.
It's November 18, and Martinez is already back in Detroit on a new contract. Might Scherzer soon follow suit? According to his agent, Scott Boras, there's been no reason to discount the Tigers this winter, despite an earlier rejected offer and the high price tag of his client.
Through MLB.com's Jason Beck, some interesting quotes are provided on the matter from Boras during his MLB Network Radio interview with Jim Bowden and Dan Duquette.
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"I've never heard anything from anyone to suggest they're not," Boras said about Detroit's potential interest in retaining Scherzer. "You have to remember that over the past 3-4 years, when you go back and look at the Detroit Tigers, as good as they are with all the offensive weaponry and pitching they have, when Max Scherzer pitches, they win 70% of their games. In all other games, the Tigers play about 54%. So Max Scherzer has a huge impact on the success of the Detroit Tigers."