The Tigers shored up their starting rotation and bullpen by signing Kenny Rogers and Fancisco Cruceta. Both pitchers were signed to one year deals. I don’t have terms yet of either deal.
Rogers we know about, but Cruceta appears to be signed largely on his performance in the Dominican Republic. It sounds similar to last year’s trade for Yorman Bazardo who was impressing in the winter leagues.
Cruceta, 26, spent the 2007 season with Triple A Oklahoma in the Texas Rangers organization. In 25 outings (five starts), he compiled a 3-0 record, 3.02 ERA (65.2IP/22ER) and 70 strikeouts. Cruceta has appeared in 13 games with Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, posting a 1-1 record, 1.08 ERA (16.2IP/2ER) and 25 strikeouts. He is fourth in the league with 25 strikeouts.
“Cruceta has pitched very well this winter in the Dominican Republic,” Dombrowski said. “He is a quality prospect and we expect him to compete for a spot in our bullpen in 2008.”
Cruceta has compiled a 63-49 record and 3.77 ERA (943.2IP/395ER) in 214 appearances (145 starts) during his career at the minor league level. He briefly saw action at the major league level with the Cleveland Indians in 2004 and Seattle Mariners in 2006.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to take a flyer on the guy, and maybe the Tigers have latched on to some cheap talent.
To make room Chris Shelton and Timo Perez were DFA’d. Neither was a surprise as neither were likely to make the Tigers roster next year. Chris Shelton was out of options and was destined to be moved anyways. You often hear of meteoric rises, but meteors are subject to gravitational forces and come crashing to earth as well. That was the Shelton meteor ride.
I’ll have more later
Conference Call Notes
- Kenny’s negotiation process: There was never a lot of change in his position. He wanted to make sure that he represented what was done best for himself and his family. The change in representation had more to do with Rogers intent to stay in Detroit than anything to do with Boras. He was trying to simplify the process so he could communicate directly with the team. If Rogers had decided to become a free agent in the true sense, Boras would still be his agent.
- There are performance incentives in the contract.
- Going to the winter meetings they will still look at opportunities to get better, but they are comfortable with the roster and they don’t see any “gaping” needs.
- Cruceta throws in the mid 90’s and the Tigers look at him as some who can help the team.
- The team is aware of Cruceta’s suspension but the team is confident that Cruceta learned from the experience and that Cruceta can help the team.
- The Tigers were never close to signing any other starting pitchers while the Rogers negotiations were on-going.