Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:01 pm
The Prince Fielder signing should push the Tigers' 2012 payroll up over $130 million.
Is there any money left?
Could be, but the Tigers are unlikely to spend it on a full-time designated hitter, or on a fifth-starter candidate who would require a guaranteed major-league contract.
They might, according to sources, still try to spend it on Yoenis Cespedes.
While the team has basically ruled out going after someone like Johnny Damon or Edwin Jackson, the Tigers remain interested in Cespedes, the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder who became a free agent Wednesday. The Tigers have been among the teams showing the most interest in Cespedes, and have had conversations about him with agent Adam Katz.
Cespedes, if he proves ready for the big leagues right away, could play left field, with Delmon Young moving to more of a full-time DH role. For now, the Tigers plan to have Young share left field and DH with Andy Dirks, Don Kelly and Clete Thomas, with Fielder and Miguel Cabrera also seeing a few days as DH.
The Tigers had worked hard to try to add another starter before turning their attention to Fielder late last week. They met Roy Oswalt's asking price, sources said, only to be told by Oswalt that he wouldn't agree to come to Detroit (even after a recruiting phone call from Justin Verlander).
The focus now is on veteran starters who would require less of a commitment, with the possibility that the Tigers don't add anyone before spring training begins. They could then audition Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver, Drew Smyly and others, and then search the trade market if they're not satisfied with what they see.
We've already seen that they're willing to be bold, and that the owner is willing to spend.
When Mike Ilitch told his baseball people that he was willing to make the huge commitment to Fielder, he explained it simply.
"I think the city needs it," Ilitch said. "I think we need it. I think our players need it."
Posted on: May 24, 2011 10:37 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 12:15 pm
The Tigers' rotation depth is about to be tested.
We're about to find out if Andy Oliver is ready.
The team announced Tuesday that Phil Coke is headed to the disabled list with a bone bruise in his right foot, and that the 23-year-old Oliver will take his place in the rotation on Saturday against the Red Sox. Coke, the Tigers' fifth starter, was hurt in Monday's 6-3 win over the Rays.
Oliver and 20-year-old Jacob Turner are the Tigers' top two pitching prospects, and also represented the team's best options if they needed another starter during the season. The hope was that they wouldn't be needed too soon.
Oliver proved he wasn't ready last year, going 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in five midseason big-league starts. In eight starts this year for Triple-A Toledo, the left-hander was 4-3 with a 3.26 ERA, with 48 strikeouts and 20 walks in 49 2/3 innings. Oliver started again Tuesday morning, but was limited to 38 pitches because he'll have just three days' rest before Saturday's start in Detroit.
The Tigers didn't immediately put Oliver on the big-league roster. Instead, they replaced Coke with Adam Wilk, who can pitch out of the bullpen until Oliver is needed for Saturday's start. To make room for Wilk on the 40-man roster, they designated Robbie Weinhardt for assignment.
Coke is 1-5 with a 3.81 ERA, but one of those losses came in relief. The Tigers have gone 3-6 in his nine starts.
Posted on: June 25, 2010 10:26 am
If we're going to have one final weekend of interleague play, we may as well have Dodgers-Yankees.
Too bad they put it in the wrong place.
Too bad that right before, or right after, Manny in Boston we didn't get Joe in New York.
Joe Torre against the Yankees is a nice little side story. Joe Torre against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium would have been a must-watch.
"It certainly would have been something that would have been exciting," Torre said last weekend. "There's no question."
A Torre appearance in Yankee Stadium wouldn't have presented Yankee fans with the same conflicted feelings that Manny Ramirez in Fenway Park presented the people of Boston. But it sure would have been interesting to see how Yankee management reacted, given the 2007 breakup and the Yankees' reluctance ever since then to acknowledge that Torre was such of big part of their recent history.
Torre against the Yankees at Dodger Stadium doesn't have the same feel. With the exception of Alex Rodriguez, the Yankee players have professed their love for their former manager (and vice-versa). There will be hugs all around.
And as for Torre at Yankee Stadium, there's always the World Series. Torre likes to remind people that the Dodgers were two wins away from giving him that return last October.
"That would have been pretty wild," he said.
It could still happen, but given the likelihood that Torre leaves the Dodgers after this season, it would probably need to happen this October.
In any case, Dodgers-Yankees is one of a few potential World Series previews on this final-weekend interleague schedule. You've also got Twins-Mets, Rockies-Angels and Tigers-Braves, as you can see on this weekend's edition of 3 to watch:
1. The Tigers don't say that Brennan Boesch is going to have a better career than Jason Heyward. But they do like to point out that right now, Boesch has better numbers than Heyward. In any case, in a year where the rookie class has been heavily tilted towards the National League, the Tigers are the exception, with an outstanding rookie class of their own. They'll show off another one -- 22-year-old left-hander Andy Oliver -- in Tigers at Braves, Friday night (7:35 EDT) at Turner Field . One rival scout who saw Oliver recently at Double-A Erie said "his stuff is electric," and predicted that at the very least the Tigers would use him as a nasty left-on-left reliever in September. Now, with Rick Porcello getting a tune-up at Triple-A Toledo, Oliver gets his chance early.
2. Torre made his feelings about the Dodger rotation known late in spring training, when he named Vicente Padilla as his opening day starter. No one -- then or now -- would call Padilla the Dodgers ace, but in Yankees at Dodgers, Friday night (10:10 EDT) at Dodger Stadium , he opposes Yankee ace CC Sabathia. It's hard to imagine the Dodgers spending money to add a true ace this summer, but it's hard to imagine them getting to that Torre-in-New York World Series without one.
3. We don't get Torre in New York, and we also don't get Johan in Minnesota, because Johan Santana's first-ever meeting with his former team comes in Twins at Mets, Saturday afternoon (1:10 EDT) at Citi Field . Oh well. At least we get Carl in New York. That's Carl Pavano, who starts for the Twins Saturday, and presents us with this question: When he gets booed, will it be because of the Mets fans who always boo any current or former Yankee (even Phil Coke of the Tigers on Thursday night), or will it be Yankee fans, who with good reason never warmed up to the guy who basically stole money from them for four years? One other starter who will be on the minds of fans of both of these teams: Cliff Lee. If the Twins and Mets are going to meet in October, you've got to figure that means one of them has traded for the left-hander whose presence in Philadelphia prevented Dodgers-Yankees last October.