Tag:Tigers
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:58 am
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Wright hopeful Reyes re-signs with Mets



By Matt Snyder


Admidst all the rumors on a destination for dynamic free agent shortstop Jose Reyes, Mets third baseman David Wright Tuesday evening expressed sentiment that he hopes his left-side-of-the-infield partner remains in New York.

"I know what I hope he's going to do," Wright said (MLB.com). "I don't know what he's going to do, but I know what I want him to do, and that's to be to my left next year. I've shot him a couple of texts here and there, we've kind of exchanged some messages, not really anything about baseball. I guess that's the eternal optimist side of me -- that he'll be to my left at Spring Training. You never really know. Hopefully the organization values Jose the way that maybe I do, and hopefully Jose can kind of reciprocate that, and hopefully they can work something out."

"Every day it's kind of something new, so you never know what is real and what is not," Wright continued (MLB.com). "It's probably too early to start judging which way we're going to go, which way Jose is going to go. I try not to pay too much attention to it at this moment. But with that being said, you see the kind of interest Jose is getting. You knew he was going to get it, but it finally kind of hits home. When you hear the reports of him speaking to different teams, you know that it's a possibility, that it could be real that he's not here."

The reports Wright may be referencing could include the one we passed along Tuesday morning, which was that Reyes is being heavily courted by the Marlins while the Brewers and Tigers are also in the mix. Also, Wednesday morning Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported that he's heard the Marlins might be offering a shorter-term deal with a higher annual salary than other teams. If Reyes is confident he can stay healthy and play well, this is a better option because then he'd be a free agent again while still young enough to hit another big payday. Of course, that's the issue. If he can't stay healthy, he's not going to be in this position ever again. So it's a gamble.

Reyes, 28, is a four-time All-Star. He won the NL batting title in 2011 (.337) while leading the majors with 16 triples and adding a .384 on-base percentage, 39 steals and 101 runs. He averaged 158 games played per season in 2005-08, but has since not played more than 133 in a season due mostly to leg injuries.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Brewers, Tigers, Marlins after Reyes

By Matt Snyder

During the next few weeks, we'll start to see serious suitors emerge for the big-name free agents, and Tuesday morning Jon Heyman of SI.com tweeted out three in particular for star shortstop Jose Reyes. Heyman first noted that the Brewers are beginning to realize they have little chance at retaining first baseman Prince Fielder, so they're focusing on Reyes. Next, Heyman reported that the Marlins are "deadly serious" about Reyes and that the Tigers are also possible.

Hot Stove Season
Two of the three teams listed here aren't surprising in the least. I predicted the Brewers would land Reyes, as they have a hole at shortstop, likely can't afford Prince and could use a leadoff hitter. My colleague Danny Knobler noted Reyes would be a perfect fit for the Tigers, too. And remember, the Mets are not confident in keeping Reyes. As for the Marlins, well, Reyes works more than it would appear on the surface.

Let's keep in mind, the Marlins are moving into a new stadium for 2012. They're renaming themselves the Miami Marlins and getting new uniforms. So they're looking to make a big splash and capitalize on the changes. Payroll is reportedly going to skyrocket. Adding a player like Reyes most certainly would excite the hometown fans and he works well atop the order for them. Fellow All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez is already in house, though, so one of the two would have to change positions. The Marlins have a hole at third base, so obviously if Reyes signed, Ramirez would be moved to third.

Reyes, 28, hit .337/.384/.493 with 16 triples, 101 runs and 39 steals in 126 games this past season.

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Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 10:52 am
 

Guillen, Ordonez hope to play in 2012

GuillenBy Evan Brunell

Two Tigers who have made headlines the last two seasons for injury problems instead of production on the field are hoping to play again in 2012, MLB.com reports.

Carlos Guillen, a two-time All Star, has played in just 177 of a possible 486 games over the last three years, including just 28 this year, where he contributed a meager .232/.265/.368 line and finished the season on the shelf yet again. It's no surprise the 36-year-old wants to continue a career that has been beset by left shoulder and knee issues, but no team will hand him significant dollars. Guillen (pictured, left, with Ordonez) will likely have to accept a make-good one year deal somewhere and hope to win a bench position.

His teammate in Detroit, Magglio Ordonez, also plans to return, Guillen says, despite Ordonez considering retirement. The two have been in touch since the season ended. Ordonez has his own injury problems as well, as he broke his right foot in mid-2010 that required surgery. Ordonez was slow to get going in 2011 but heated up in late August and reported that his ankle was finally starting to feel normal... then promptly broke it again in the ALCS.

Any Ordonez return would have to be on a similar deal to what Guillen will sign -- low base salary on a make-good deal and no guarantee of a starting job. Those deals will have to come elsewhere, as it doesn't appear as if GM Dave Dombrowski is interested in bringing either one back. That's not too surprising -- after all, Dombrowski has had to deal with two high-salaried players expected to be major assets to the team miss significant playing time in recent seasons -- and not produce too well even when on the field.

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Posted on: November 6, 2011 6:44 pm
 

Wrong time for Mets to deal Wright

David Wright

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The hot stove sometimes takes a little while to warm up and the first couple of weeks of November are often more of a lukewarm stove -- and the kindling that is a David Wright rumor shouldn't stoke the flames too much.

On the surface, it's the type of rumor that should draw newspaper headlines -- the Mets "listening" to offers on Wright, the fallen star in New York. Sure, the Mets will obviously listen on offers for Wright, they'd be fools not to listen -- especially with a number of teams needing a third baseman.

The Angels, Cubs, Phillies and Rockies could all be searching for a new third baseman. So could the Brewers, Marlins and Tigers. Wright won't be 30 for another year and he already has four All-Star Games, two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers on his mantle. There will always be a demand for a player like Wright -- especially in a free-agent market that has just one top-flight third baseman available.

The problem is, now is certainly not the time for the Mets to deal him -- listen, sure, but not pull the trigger. You don't sell low, and right now Wright is low, lower than he's ever been. He's coming off his worst offensive season of his career, hitting just .254/.345/.427 with 14 home runs and missed 58 games due to a stress fracture in his lower back. His 102 games played were the fewest since his rookie year of 2004 when he was called up after the All-Star break. Anyone taking Wright now is doing it for a steal -- and salary relief for the Mets.

A National League executive told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson would have to be "bowled over" to deal Wright this winter. That's unlikely to happen.

Wright will make $15 million in 2012 and the Mets have a $16 million option with a $1 million buyout for 2013. Wright can void that option if he's traded, making him little more than a rental if he's traded during the season. That would hurt his value at the deadline, but nothing like the questions surrounding his health and recent production coming off his pedestrian 2011.

Despite the talks of Wright being on the market, the Mets first move for 2012 was a giant flashing sign saying they'll keep Wright. Last week the team announced that not only will they move the walls in at Citi Field, they'll also lower them. The changes, whether the Mets will say so or not, are meant to help Wright.

In the three seasons since Citi Field opened, Wright has hit just .279/.377/.449 with an average of just more than seven home runs a season at home. At Shea Stadium. Wright hit .318/.403/.555 and averaged 29 homers per season from 2005-08, with at least half of those coming at home. The most he's hit in a season at Citi Field is 12, when he hit 29 total homers in 2010.

"You'd be lying if you said you enjoyed hitting at Citi Field," Wright told ESPNNewYork.com last week. "I don't think anybody would say they enjoyed hitting in such a pitchers' ballpark. I don't think we ever looked at the field and it intimidated us. But obviously it's frustrating at times when you hit a ball good and you don't see the results that you want to see." 

Of course it's not just Wright, Citi Field allowed just 1.43 home runs per game, the lowest in the majors over its first three years. Other Mets can benefit (notably Jason Bay), but the Mets could benefit the most from an increased offensive output from Wright. If Wright flourishes in the new park, then his stock could would be much higher than it is now. If he doesn't put up significantly better numbers, that trade value is unlikely to change from where it is now.

Wright can still be one of the premier third basemen in baseball, but right now he's a .254 hitter with 14 homers -- that with a $15 million price tag doesn't bring back elite prospects. If Wright finds the new Citi Field to his liking, he can be an impact player for the Mets -- and their future. Wright won't be a Met forever, but he should be one on opening day.

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:23 pm
 

Verlander tops at Players Choice awards

By Matt Snyder

Major League Baseball Players Association held its annual awards show Thursday night on MLB Network to reveal winners in 10 different categories. Tigers ace Justin Verlander was the big winner, taking home both the AL Pitcher of the Year and the MLB Player of the Year awards. This on the same night he announced he will grace the cover of a video game in the spring, so it was quite a night for Verlander.

Here's a complete list of the winners:

MLB Player of the Year: Verlander
Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Michael Young, Rangers

NL Outstanding Player: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
NL Outstanding Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
NL Outstanding Rookie: Craig Kimbrel, Braves
NL Comeback Player: Lance Berkman, Cardinals

AL Outstanding Player: Curtis Granderson, Yankees
AL Outstanding Pitcher: Verlander
AL Outstanding Rookie: Mark Trumbo, Angels
AL Comeback Player: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox

It's worth noting that this was the second time in three years Young has taken Man of the Year honors, which is given to a "player who inspires others to higher levels of achievement by his on-field performances and contributions to his community." The other nominees for that award were Paul Konerko of the White Sox and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals.

Click here to view a complete list of the nominees on MLBPlayers.com.

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 8:22 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 8:23 pm
 

Verlander to be on video game cover

By Matt Snyder

Tigers ace Justin Verlander is sure to snag the 2011 AL Cy Young award and is likely in the top five (at the very least) of AL MVP voting after a huge season. Thursday night on Twitter, Verlander announced on his own Twitter account that he's already received one accolade. He'll be gracing the cover of MLB 2K12, the baseball video game from 2K Sports. He said it is "a dream come true."

Just in case anyone is worried about some lame "curse," a la the "Madden Curse" in the NFL, Roy Halladay was on the cover of MLB 2K11 and he was the All-Star Game starter this past season.

Verlander, 28, was easily the best pitcher in all of baseball in 2011. He was 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 250 strikeouts in 251 innings. He led the majors in wins, strikeouts, WHIP and innings pitched while leading the AL in ERA. His 6.2 hits allowed per nine innings was also best in the bigs.

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Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:37 pm
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Posted on: November 1, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 10:20 pm
 

Team-by-team AL free agency outlooks



By Matt Snyder


With open free agency set to hit us at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, it's worth taking a quick look at what every single team is going to be looking for. We've already done detailed breakdowns in the R.I.P. series, so here are some quick hitters for the American League:

Baltimore Orioles | R.I.P.
Needs: Could use a corner infielder, depending upon where they want to play Mark Reynolds (including DH). Pitching, starting and in relief.
Money to spend? They should have a decent amount. Between Derrek Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Gonzalez, Koji Uehara and Cesar Izturis, that's roughly $25 million coming off the books from the beginning of last season. Some arbitration raises are coming, but we'll see how much owner Peter Angelos wants to spend. The Orioles have already raised payroll about $20 million since 2008. Don't count out a run at Prince Fielder or some other big name.

Boston Red Sox | R.I.P.
Needs: Pitching, right field.
Money to spend? Will new GM Ben Cherington be more careful on big free agent deals after seeing some colossal failures in recent years? It's hard to tell, but if the Red Sox let both David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon walk, they'll be able to spend. The two combined to make over $24 million last year. J.D. Drew's $14 million is gone just as Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield are free agents. A few arbitration raises should still leave the Red Sox about $30 million short of last season's payroll. So there's room to play.

New York Yankees | R.I.P.
Needs: Pitching, pitching, pitching
Money to spend? With Jorge Posada's hefty contract coming off the books, yes, you can expect the Yankees have money to spend. Do they go large and land C.J. Wilson? I'd guess there are serious discussions about doing so. He's left-handed, which is a great fit for Yankee Stadium. Maybe Mark Buehrle is a fall back and posting for Yu Darvish is entirely possible. One thing is for sure: Getting CC Sabathia nailed down before free agency began was huge.

More Free Agency
Position rankings
Tampa Bay Rays | R.I.P.
Needs: Catcher, first baseman, shortstop, bullpen help
Money to spend? Not much. The situation in Tampa Bay is dire, so if the Rays are really looking to shore up that many positions via free agency, it's going to have to be on the cheap. And they might even have to trade James Shields to do so. Trading B.J. Upton is a no-brainer in order to save money. In dealing those two, they could plug Desmond Jennings in center and Matt Moore in the rotation and then fill the holes cheaply with guys like Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman (which they did last season).

Toronto Blue Jays | R.I.P.
Needs: All kinds of pitching, second base.
Money to spend? The belief is they have a lot of money to spend between this offseason and next. Do they make a big splash now or wait? They could make a run at Prince Fielder or David Ortiz, but the offense doesn't need near as much help as the pitching -- plus, with Edwin Encarnacion coming back 1B and DH seem to be filled. They will probably hit on a closer like Jonathan Papelbon or Ryan Madson. As for the second base crop, it's pretty thin. Maybe Ramon Santiago or Jamey Carroll? If they really wanted to go for it, they could move Brett Lawrie back to second base and go after Aramis Ramirez, but that's not happening.

Chicago White Sox | R.I.P.
Needs: To get younger
Money to spend? Not much. The White Sox had a huge payroll last season and got nothing to show for it. Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy will make over $55 million combined and there don't appear to be any areas where a quick fix would make the White Sox a ton better than last year. Instead, they should stay away from free agency and instead start trading veterans to stock a barren farm system.

Cleveland Indians | R.I.P.
Needs: catcher or first base (depending on where they play Carlos Santana), left field (Michael Brantley likely moves to center with Grady Sizemore gone)
Money to spend? The Indians have a lot of good, young talent but it's all already arrived at the big-league level (or been traded away). So they're ready to make a move in the Central, as evidenced by trading for veteran Derek Lowe. There's some extra revenue from the increased attendance in 2011, but they still can't come close to affording Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. Maybe Carlos Pena? He's a good defensive first baseman and hit 28 homers with 74 RBI and an .879 OPS if you lop off his dreadful start in 2011 (that listed stat line began May 3). If not Pena, Casey Kotchman is a decent fall back.

Detroit Tigers | R.I.P.
Needs: Second base and third base (or shortstop, with Jhonny Peralta shifting positions).
Money to spend? With some big contracts (like Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen) coming off the books and a revenue stream from a season that saw the Tigers hit the ALCS, you can bet they'll be spending. Jose Reyes or Aramis Ramirez would work well, but it seems like a top-of-the-order guy makes more sense, considering Jim Leyland was forced to keep trotting strikeout machine Austin Jackson out in the leadoff spot and the Tigers already have Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the middle. Also, the Tigers could also go cheap in the infield and grab someone like Michael Cuddyer for right field. We'll see.

Kansas City Royals | R.I.P.
Needs: Starting pitching, relief pitching, bench depth
Money to spend? The Royals haven't yet made their move in the AL Central, so revenues haven't greatly increased just yet. They'll be able to spend some money, but mostly the type that can land spare parts while the Royals wait on the young wave to thrive. Reports have indicated general manager Dayton Moore wants to trade some of the Royals' many coveted prospects for a good starting pitcher, so expect K.C. to be more active in hot stove trade talk than in major free agency signings.

Minnesota Twins | R.I.P.
Needs: Closer, setup men, corner outfielders and to stay healthy
Money to spend? If the Twins bring back both Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer, they'll be a bit strapped for cash. If not, they'll have plenty to spend, as those two leaving along with Joe Nathan and Matt Capps frees up lots of money. Expect the Twins to be aggressive in seeking relief pitching help, even possibly willing to trade other pieces to shore up the back-end of the bullpen.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | R.I.P.
Needs: Catcher (hmm, if only they didn't trade a certain postseason star), pitching depth
Money to spend? Nope, they're pretty much on lockdown, as owner Arte Moreno has said the payroll will decrease -- and they're already saddled with lots of huge veteran contracts. Even if they could find takers for some of the overpaid veterans, they'd have to give significant salary relief. As things stand, the Angels in 2012 probably greatly resemble the Angels of 2011.

Oakland Athletics | R.I.P.
Needs: An entire outfield and third base.
Money to spend? The A's have over $23 million in salary coming off the books, but the question is if Billy Beane attacks things in a similar manner to how he did last year with the offense. Several modest one-year contracts were handed out. Why not instead go young with Michael Taylor, Chris Carter and Brandon Allen while using the free agent money on one bigger bat (Aramis Ramirez? Carlos Beltran?)? The problem there lies in convincing a major free agent to play in Oakland, so the guess is Beane again signs a few cheaper guys like Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui last season.

Seattle Mariners | R.I.P.
Needs: Pitching depth, offensive firepower.
Money to spend? There's a modest amount of money leaving the payroll while Ichiro is signed for $18 million in 2012 before he's done. So the Mariners could actually backload deals if they want to make a huge splash. Could they get crazy and go after two big offensive names? They've done so in the past (the Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson signings). Expect to hear the Mariners in rumors for Prince Fielder and Jose Reyes, and probably trickling on down to the likes of Carlos Beltran and Jimmy Rollins. Now, whether or not they can convince any of those guys to sign, we'll see.

Texas Rangers | R.I.P.
Needs: Bullpen depth
Money to spend? A modest amount. It's likely the Rangers let C.J. Wilson walk and fill in the rotation either in-house (Neftali Feliz, Alexi Ogando, Scott Feldman) or by signing Japanese phenom Yu Darvish. From there, the Rangers could make Mike Adams the new closer and focus on setup men, or go after a free agent closer like Jonathan Papelbon or Ryan Madson. Keep in mind, the Rangers don't have to change much, considering they were one strike away from a World Series title twice and the overwhelming majority of the team is returning intact. Plus, the revenues from going to two consecutive World Series will give them the ability to increase the payroll should they wish.

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