Tigers release Tim Byrdak

The Tigers today announced that they have unconditionally released Tim Byrdak. This coming 12 hours after he walked 4 in a game against the Astros. Byrdak came into spring training as a lock for the bullpen, but pitched horribly.

I’m surprised by the outright release. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him turn up on the DL, or to see him passed through waivers. The outright release makes me think something might have happened behind the scenes.

Byrdak was a journeyman who turned into a nice surprise for the Tigers when he fanned better than a batter an inning last year.

It appears there is another spot in the bullpen open. Will Bobby Seay be the only left hander? Clay Rapada is hurting so he isn’t an option. Or is this a precursor to a Scott Schoenweis trade (ugh).


  1. Jeff M

    March 26, 2008 at 8:45 am

    This morning’s Freep, presumably a quote from yesterday:

    Tuesday’s outing left Byrdak with a 13.50 ERA. For weeks, though, his spot on the team has appeared secure. “As we speak, Tim Byrdak is on this team,” manager Jim Leyland said.

  2. Blake

    March 26, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Scott Schoeweis? No thank you. I hope you didn’t just jinx us into picking him up.

  3. Chris in Dallas

    March 26, 2008 at 9:36 am

    I was thinking more along the lines of this being a precursor to a Damaso Marte trade…

  4. Eddie

    March 26, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Nice move, but i wasn’t expecting it until May.

  5. ivantopumpyouup

    March 26, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Anyone But Street is all I gotta say. Well, and Scot Schoenweis. Or however you spell that.

  6. Brian P

    March 26, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Wow. We really needed him to be in 2007 form again. What a shame. Also ugh-worthy, I hope we don’t sign Aaron Fultz as suggested on mlbtraderumors.

    Given his spring, I would rather Lopez be given a chance than trade for a mediocre left-hander.

  7. Chris in Nashville

    March 26, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Man, didn’t expect to see this today. Wow. I would rather have Marte, but is he available?

  8. Ian C.

    March 26, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Maybe this will fire up the Brian Fuentes rumors again, too. The Tigers have been linked with him several times over the past year.

  9. Blake

    March 26, 2008 at 10:58 am

    I’m curious as to what the Rockies could want from us in exchange for someone like Fuentes. They don’t want Brandon Inge, I’m sure of that. Could they use Thames? Isn’t their outfield pretty set with Taveras, Holliday and Hawpe? They have Helton at 1B.

  10. Eddie

    March 26, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I doubt the Rockies would want Thames, as they have Spillbourghs as their right-handed fourth outfielder. I doubt Larish has much value to a National League team with an entrenched 1B and a poor defensive 3B who will need to move to first long term.

    Aside from 2007 draftees, I don’t see much that they would be interested in…

  11. Chris in Dallas

    March 26, 2008 at 11:53 am

    The Rox are in the market for a 2B if I’m not mistaken. Maybe a Sizemore or Hollimon plus an A-ball type prospect would get that deal done.

  12. Chris in Nashville

    March 26, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Fuentes was pretty shaky down the stretch last year, but trading a blocked minor league 2B seems like a good move to me at this point…we should have Polly for the forseeable future.

  13. Chris in Dallas

    March 26, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Fuentes really only struggled for that brutal stretch in June when he lost his closer job to Corpas. He put up a 1.29 ERA in August and 1.62 in September. He did get lit up in the LCS and WS, though. He’d be a valuable addition if the Tigs could get him. He’s equally good against righties and lefties, has 9th inning experience if Jones falters, and has been productive for several years despite the Coors Effect. He also starred in one of the most unintentionally funny commercials of ’07 on FSN Rocky Mountain, so he’s got that going for him.

  14. Bix in Boise

    March 26, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I’d take Fuentes over the rest of them. As for being shaky down the stretch last year, I disagree. He had one bad week at the end of June, and it turned out he was hurt and spent a month on the DL. In Aug/Sept he put up about 25 innings of 1.20 era work (a MAJOR reason the Rox made the playoffs at all), as they went on their crazy streak and was solid in the playoffs until the WS, when all of the Rox imploded together. Been watching him for years, and he’s really solid. He kills lefties (hit .218 against him) but almost equally kills righties (.228). He also has experience (and success) closing, which might not be a bad thing for us to have in our back pocket this year…

  15. Bix in Boise

    March 26, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    What Chris said. 🙂 And the FSN ad kills me.

  16. Kevin in Austin

    March 26, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    At this point in time, I’m more concerned about our pitching than I am excited about our lineup. A deal HAS to be made. I simply don’t see the talent in the minors to win 95 games w/ this bullpen, especially in light of the struggles by Bondo and Willis.

  17. rings

    March 26, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Bullpens can come together on their own, in many cases. Last year, the big story was the lack of lefties in the ‘pen after the loss of Jamie Walker, and we ended up with a few extra lefties in the ‘pen, including the Byrd. A lot of good things can happen with power arms, who throw strikes, and only see short relief stints. We have many candidates in the system already that may fit that bill.
    I’d hate to see us give up much of anything for a friggin’ journeyman reliever. They’re just not worth it (the Willie Hernandez example notwithstanding – and I doubt there’s another lights out 31-32 save guy out there).
    A few other examples come to mind: Willie Horton for Steve Foucault, Dave Tobik for John Grubb.

  18. Kevin in Austin

    March 26, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    They can. But I’d like to have a little more in the tank. We don’t have a single dominant reliever in the pen. Off the top of my head, most of the other AL contenders have 2.

    I like everyone’s optimism, but I’m very, very afraid.

  19. Chris in Nashville

    March 26, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I just remembered Fuentes being bad in the playoffs…guess I should have done my homework. Those numbers are great down the stretch. Something like that would be nice to have actually.

  20. Bobby

    March 26, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    There’s no chance you guys misspelled Grilli’s name as B-Y-R-D-A-K, is there? Please?

  21. tiff

    March 26, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I was rather surprised to hear this too.

  22. rings

    March 26, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Well, a semi-decision has been made, according to Knobler:


    Bautista gets the 8th, Grilli/Miner 7th.

  23. Stephen

    March 26, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    This bullpen is an unmitigated disaster. I know I’m gonna be accused of being Chief Dark Cloud, but the ‘score a ton of runs with a self-immolating bullpen’ team never ever wins championships.

  24. Jeff M

    March 26, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    It’s March. There’s a strong chance we’ll have to make a move to shore up the bullpen, but there’s no incredible need to do it now. There’s very little risk in playing the cards we have for a couple months. If we get a couple good surprises, it becomes a complete non-issue. If it’s as bad as we worry, we’ll still have plenty of time headlining trades.

  25. Kevin in Austin

    March 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Any available relievers are gonna be significantly cheaper right now than they will be moving forward. I think we can fix this thing for some spare parts right now. It’s gonna cost a lot more in the middle of the summer.

  26. Sideshow Cecil

    March 26, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Maybe we should move Dontrelle to the bullpen. He sucks right now. Another 6 ER’s and mucho walks in 3+ today in his spring finale.

    I agree with an earlier poster, more worried now about the pitching than excited about the hitting.

  27. cib

    March 26, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Yep Cecil. Now officially stressed out about Willis. Is he not disclosing an injury?

  28. Chris in Dallas

    March 26, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    4 walks, 2 wild pitches and a hit batter. Other than that, Willis had great control today. Won’t be surprised to see him start the season on the DL. On a positive note, Bazardo and Bautista each pitched well again.

  29. charlie

    March 26, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    everyone was excited about the off season trades…and with good reason. however, we gave up a lot of pitching, a lot and nobody ever, ever, ever has enough. i think the one we may end up regretting is sending jurrgens for renteria…i know time will tell. hmmm

  30. Rob

    March 26, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    I’m not much into spring training results so until Willis struggles in the regular season, I’m okay with him.

    I would think DD would have something in place when Byrdak was released. Because it makes no sense to let him go now. Something has to be on the backburner.

  31. strummer

    March 26, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    “There’s no chance you guys misspelled Grilli’s name as B-Y-R-D-A-K, is there? Please?”

    Why the Grilli hate? He has been a solid contributor since coming to Detroit. And after the horrible start to last year, pitched pretty well from June onward. Also has put up good results so far in spring training.

  32. Stephen

    March 26, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Grilli’s ok if he’s your mop up guy on a mediocre team.

  33. strummer

    March 26, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    “Grilli’s ok if he’s your mop up guy on a mediocre team.”

    Or a pitching in 51 games with a 108 ERAplus for a World Series team.

    Hmmm…seems the plus sign will not save to comments.

  34. Steve in Kzoo

    March 26, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I don’t know why theres such anger for Grilli he was pretty solid the second half of the season last year minus a few outings. With that in mind Grilli is and will always be known as a long reliever, to give him a one inning sub setup guy for Bautista is just madness. Grilli should be used as he always is as a emergency one inning guy/long reliever. Miner should easily get the 7th inning duties as he too was not to bad second half last season.

    Bautista and Lopez have been the happy face around the bullpen this spring my only hope is that they can keep this up all season. Bautista is looking a lot like firearm Zoom zoom out there right now.

    All that said, there has got to be something going on in the front office after this release. Marte, or that guy from the mets has got to be it. Fuentes is going to cost us whats left of our farm, Holliman and Sizemore are our future double play guys I believe and we cant let them go. whatever happens we have to improve this pen otherwise it will be our downfall this year.

  35. David

    March 26, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    I still say go after Farnsworth,

    or try to rape the Pirates and pluck up someone

    Still I feel ok about

    Miner, Bazardo, Seay, Jones, Bautista, Grilli, Lopez

    Given Verlander pitches 200 innings as long as we could average 180 a piece from Robertson,Rogers,Bonderman and Willis it’d be good.

    BTW I think this is the year Robertson does well and gets support

  36. Chief Dark Cloud

    March 26, 2008 at 10:11 pm



  37. billfer

    March 26, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Grilli is adequate, and really his numbers are comparable to many of the “established” relievers the Tigers have been linked to.

  38. Jeff Molby

    March 27, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Any available relievers are gonna be significantly cheaper right now than they will be moving forward. I think we can fix this thing for some spare parts right now. It’s gonna cost a lot more in the middle of the summer.

    The price won’t go up as much as you think. It just seems like it because there will be better arms on the market then. The junk that’s available now at a reasonable price will also be available then at a reasonable price.