Game 2016.110: Mets at Tigres

Justin pitched masterfully again, the bullpen did their part, Victor showed up with the game winning home run, but still I think the tone of yesterday’s games was set by Ian Kinsler, who led off the game with a single, stole second, stole third, and was able to score on a ground out. Starting off with a 1-0 lead was huge.

A lot written in the last day about Zimmermann; apparently not only did he have discomfort in the first inning of Thursday’s game, but also during pre-game warmups. I think the Tigers might have been slightly foolish to bring him back a bit before he was ready, and quite foolish indeed to stay with him through the game day warning signs. Luckily his MRI didn’t show anything serious, so he will probably avoid the DL. Still, there were other options.

As I put pen to paper here, Cleveland has just finished off the Yankees. Time to answer.

And hey, it’s ¡Fiesta Tigres!

Those first 10,000 fans will score a Magglio Ordonez collectible figurine, which would be a handsome addition to any collectible figurine shelf.

Today’s Boyd Would it be Nice to Win This One Lineup:

  1. Kinsler, 2B
  2. Collins, CF
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. V Martinez, DH
  5. JD Martinez, RF
  6. Castellanos, 3B
  7. Upton, LF
  8. Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Iglesias, SS

Cameron “The Thumb” Maybin still day to day, so Fingers gets another start in center.

Rick Porcello Trade Talks

According to ESPN (my Scorecenter App alert, to be precise) – the Rangers have inquired about Rick Porcello.

This makes sense to me for a number of reasons.

1) The Rangers just lost Martin Perez for several months with a fractured forearm. Perez was slated to be their #5. This is a team who has already shelved Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis to begin the season.

2) As we’ve discussed on here before, Rick Porcello’s peripherals were actually pretty good last year- FIP under 4, increased velocity, and an increased K rate, to name a few. Jon Daniels is just the kind of GM that would value that.

3) Porcello’s fighting for a spot on maybe the deepest rotation in the AL, and the Tigers could use a lefty (Smyly) in the rotation.

Now, the Rangers have one of the best farm systems in the league, and they are also desperately trying to figure out what to do with Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. They are also frustrated with Ian Kinsler and have discussed moving him to the OF. I doubt we’ll hear Andrus or Profar mentioned…but what about Porcello, Castellanos and Rondon for Andrus and Kinsler?

I’ll keep you guys posted on what I hear down here.

2012 Winter Meetings

Open thread for the Winter Meeting activities…don’t have much time this morning, but I’m sure our community will keep us up to date…check back often.

– Apparently Asdrubal Cabrera has a block on the Tigers, along with the Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals, Giants and Mets. Interesting company.

– I don’t think the Indians want Peralta, but perhaps the Marlins have something that the Indians want.

– If the Tigers are shopping for a closer, here are some candidates.

The Michael Young Trade That’s Not Going to Happen (to any team)

For a guy who has widely been regarded as the “face of the franchise” for so long, the Rangers sure have put Michael Young through a lot.

First, in 2004, coming off of a superb defensive year at 2B, the Rangers asked Young to move to SS in order to make room for Alfonso Soriano, who was a 2B equivalent of Roger Dorn.  Young said no, then relented when Rangers’ brass ignored his bluff.  He went on to make the AS team at 2B for five years in a row, and won a Gold Glove in 2008.  I’m not sure how he did, but remember that Derek Jeter’s living room is full of Gold Gloves.

But that wasn’t good enough for the Rangers, so in 2009, they asked him to move to 3B to make room for the fielding wizardry of Elvis Andrus.  (Side note, Andrus makes at least one play every game that is worth the price of admission.  Kid is sick.)  Young balked and asked for a trade over the winter. He then rescinded that request and agreed to move to 3B.  He again made the All Star team, this time as a third basemen, in 2009 and had a tremendous year at the plate.

Now, only two years removed from that position swap, the Rangers have asked Young to move again, to DH, in order to make room for Adrian Beltre. It’s a tough call PR wise based on what Young has done and meant to the Rangers over the years, but it’s an easy call when you look at the numbers.

Thus, as a result, Young put himself on the trading block.  He began with a list of 8 potential suitors, but by all accounts he’ll go anywhere with a decent chance to win and an open infield position.

So how about a swap for Carlos Guillen?  The Rangers could use a left handed DH/utility guy/fourth outfielder, and their salaries are almost a wash.  They are roughly the same age (Young is a year younger), and are entering the twilights of their respective careers.  (I’m sure there would be some PsTBNL in there, but you get my drift.)

I gotta admit, I was at first intrigued by the possibility of Young playing 2B for the Tigers.  It’s a big hole for us, and one that he could fill well.  Michael Young was above league average defensively at 2B, and his Placido Polanco type bat (with a lot more pop), would do well in the two hole.  From a salary perspective, Young is owed $16M, $16M and $16M, but when you consider that Carlos Guillen is going to get paid $13M in 2011, it’s easy to think that the Rangers could give some cash to fill the 2012 and 2013 voids.  Moreover, Young has played in 155+ games in 8/9 seasons, with the low being 134 in 2009 (yes, that’s 155!).  Guillen, on the other hand, has only played in 134+ games 3 times in his 7 years with the Tigers.

On the other hand, the deeper I dug, the less sense it made.  Not because Guillen is the answer, but because Young is no longer a great player.  His career OPS+ is 105 (Guillen’s is 111), and Young’s is only that high because of his tremendous 2005 and 2009 seasons.  Without those years, he’s a career 99 as a regular.  Moreover, his range factor relative to the league has been abysmal over the past two years (and was a serious source of concern following game 1 of the ALCS, and game 1 of the World Series).  Finally, his 2011 salary would be easy for me to swallow based on Guillen’s, but 2012 and 2013 would be virtually impossible years for Young to perform up to salary expectations.

And, I’ll give you that I’m intrigued to see what Sizemore/Rhymes can do.  Not that I saw much out of them last year, but they are young and cheap.

But I still feel for Michael Young.  Across the phone lines and newsstands, no one is coming to his defense.  Literally, no one.  Well, except for this kid. For years and years he was lauded as the ultimate team player, and the consummate professional.  His trade demands in 2009 struck a chord, and now it looks like his suspect defense and bloated salary have caught up to him.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice player, but not $48M over 3 years nice.

Anyway, now it looks like there are no takers around the league.  Despite strong interest from Colorado and some from the Angels, word around here is that Young will likely be with the Rangers through Spring Training.  The way that some of this has played out in the media has been a sports editor’s dream.  Check out the quotes from Michael Young here, and the management’s innuendos here.  I mean, did Daniels basically say that trading Young would upgrade his team?  It’s too bad.  Young doesn’t want to be here.  The Rangers don’t want him.  Seems like someone out there could find a way to make this work.  Though I don’t think Alfonso Soriano is the answer.

Pitchers and Catchers, three days.

What does Damon do about Damon?

(don’t laugh at the graphic, I’m still learning)

Well, Johnny Damon has been claimed off of waivers by the Red Sox.  Damon seems as if he wants to stay, but it must be tough considering DD (and perhaps JL) would rather give someone else his playing time.  If you will recall, Damon parted with the Red Sox nation on less than ideal terms after they failed to make signing him a priority; though the current Red Sox clubhouse is saying all the right things to woo him back.

On the field, his contributions to the Tigers have been positive, though not quite to the extent that we were hoping.  He’s got an OPS+ of 106, but most of that comes from the OBP component, as he has only 40 extra base hits.  Moreover, he’s primarily been a DH appearing in only 36 games in left.  On the other hand, he seems to be a voice in the club house and was responsible for the first walk-off HR of the season (that I can remember).

Wrapping up the week

It’s Sunday evening and this concludes my foray into full time blogging. I took this week off to delve into the winter meetings and cover them to the best of my ability. It proved to be an especially eventful week for Tigers fans and this blog. With that we’ll do one last set of hot stove rumors and news nuggets and a couple other thoughts as well.

Continue reading Wrapping up the week

Winter Meetings Day 4

The last day of a very active winter meetings for Tigers fans is upon us. A look at what took place yesterday and what may take place today follows.

This should be old hat by now, but here are all the ways to keep up with the Winter Meetings at DTW.

Carlos Guillen Rumors

The latest buzz is that the Tigers are are trying to move Carlos Guillen, and there may be some sort of partnership with the Dodgers to acquire Juan Pierre. But it appears that both teams are in need of 3rd team to fill in the blanks.

The Fox Sports boys report that the Dodgers are looking for a reliable starter with a bad contract to swap for Juan Pierre who is owed $26 million $18.5 million over the next 2 seasons. The Tigers have plenty of bad contract pitchers, but none are really considered reliable meaning the Dodgers and Tigers need to involve a third team to complete things.

Pierre is a below average hitter who’s only value is derived from batting average (like Polanco but faster). With the glove he is average-ish in centerfield according to fangraphs. Color me not thrilled.

There is another aspect to consider with a potential Guillen move. He lives near Miguel Cabrera in Venezuela. I also get the impression he is a team leader. I think as much as the Tigers would like to move the contract, they’d also like Guillen around to mentor the younger Cabrera. I’m not big on keeping guys for the sake of their clubhouse presence, but there are some more involved circumstances here.

UPDATE: Jason Beck spoke with Guillen’s agent who has not been contacted. Guillen is a 10-5 player meaning he’d have to approve any trade.

Image credit lakelandlocal on flickr

Winter Meetings Day 3

As Tigers fans let us just hope that today is relatively boring. The Tigers will remain active and the roster will continue to change but hopefully we’re done with franchise-type players leaving. In the meantime here’s a recap of what happened yesterday – including some late notes – as well as a look at what may happen today.

Day 2 Granderson and Jackson buzz

UPDATE 1:37 PM:Shit. Granderson’s medical records sent to Yanks.

UPDATE 1:20 PM: We may know soon enough (or too soon if you ask me). Ed Price says the Tigers are waiting for the Yankees to sign off on 3-way deal and a decision is expected by 2pm. Rosenthal says one of the lefties (Coke or Dunn) is out of the original deal. Joel Sherman has more on the framework of a proposed deal where the Tigers would get Schereth, Scherzer, A Jackson, and one other pitcher.

UPDATE 12:33 PM: There’s way too much smoke for their not to be fire unless everybody is just getting their information from each other. Heyman just tweeted that a direct Yankees/Tigers deal would involve Granderson, Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, and Phil Coke. That’s not enough in my mind for Granderson – especially given his very reasonable contract and the fact the Tigers don’t HAVE to trade him. Another tweet and its a 3 way where the Tigers get Scherleth, Scherzer, A Jackson, and Coke. A better haul to be sure. Everybody (ESPN, SI, Fox) is saying things that are way too similar here. Olney has info in the ESPN live tracker that the Tigers are the ones who reignited talks. I hate the idea of the Tigers compromising.

UPDATE 11:28 AM:Jon Morosi notes that the Tigers are interested in Angels centerfield prospect Peter Bourjous. Bourjous posted a 281/354/423 line as a 22 year old at AA…Mark Feisand thinks the talks of Granderson to the Yankees aren’t dead, but it wouldn’t be for the same set of prospects as originally reported and throws in that the Mariners are expected to make a Grandy push. He also says the Tigers may be caving on their price for Granderson (NO!)…Jon Heyman says the talks are being resuscitated as well.

While it seems that the blockbuster Yankees-Diamondbacks-Tigers trade may be a long shot at this  point, the Tigers will likely still continue to be active on this front. I’d still say that a Curtis Granderson trade is a long shot, but an Edwin Jackson deal seems likely. We’ll keep track of the buzz here.

As of 10:30 this morning, various sources are reporting that the blockbuster is dormant. The Yankees don’t like the prospect cost and various reports say the Tigers aren’t thrilled with their take either. Phil Rogers tweets that there is no movement on the Cubs front for Granderson either.

Image credit: The US Army on flickr. As an aside, for all the talk of Granderson’s community service (which is warranted), Jackson is very active when it comes to working with soldiers and making appearances as well. The above photo was taken at Fort Hood this November.

Winter Meetings Day 2

The first day of the Winter Meetings has come to an end and the sun is coming up on a snowy second day. For Tigers fans there was no shortage of news and drama. To recap:

Continue reading Winter Meetings Day 2

The blockbuster that stalled

Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report that the framework for a blockbuster deal (h/t) between the Tigers, the Diamondbacks, and the Yankees was in place before at least one of the teams pulled out. The Tigers would have sent Edwin Jackson to Arizona, Curtis Granderson to the Yankees, and they would have received Max Scherzer with other young players floating to each team involved.

This would mesh with the various reports throughout the day that Arizona was looking like the destination for Jackson, and it also connects the dots on a report from Nick Piercoro about a third team being needed for the Diamondbacks to give up Scherzer (h/t).

From the sounds of the Fox Sports report it wasn’t Arizona who balked on the deal meaning it was the Tigers and/or the Yankees who passed. The Tigers had set their price for Granderson as Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson and with Jackson included in an outbound package I’d guess the Tigers would have been looking for Scherzer, either Jackson or Hughes, and then probably an additional prospect from the Yankees.

UPDATE: The Tigers would have received Scherzer, Jackson, Phil Coke, and Mike Dunn

What we don’t know is if this deal is dead, or just dormant.