MLB News and Rumors: Tigers, Rangers swap stars
With the offseason now in full spring, news will continue to become more and more frequent. In this new MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.
Here are the stories from Wednesday, November 20th.
The shocking news of the day was the trade of Prince Fielder. The Tigers sent the big slugger to Texas for Ian Kinsler. Along with Fielder, Detroit also sent Texas $30 million. There were reports that the Tigers had become concerned about how Prince would age and about his performance in this past postseason. With Fielder now off the books in Detroit, the Tigers have some money to try to lock up Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer. The move also allows MVP Miguel Cabrera to slide back to first, with Kinsler manning second. This seems to also mean that the Tigers will not look to re-sign Omar Infante. With a hole now at third base in Detroit, top prospect Nick Castellanos could be an option. He started off his career as a third baseman, but Detroit moved him to the outfield due to Cabrera and Fielder blocking his path at the infield corners. This trade could be just the start of what very well may be a crazy and very entertaining MLB offseason.
The Indians made their 40-man roster moves before the deadline on Wednesday, adding 1B Jesus Aguilar, OF Carlos Moncrief, INF Erik Gonzalez, RHP Bryan Price, and RHP Austin Adams. Along with these five additions, Cleveland also designated INF Cord Phelps for assignment. The 40-man roster is currently full, so once free agent signing David Murphy is added, a subsequent move will need to be made.
The Cardinals extended manager Mike Matheny's contract through the 2017 season. During the press conference announcing Matheny's new contract, General Manager John Mozeliak revealed that pitcher Chris Carpenter has informed the team that he will officially retire. Carpenter finished his career with a record of 144-94, with a 3.76 ERA and 33 complete games.
Alex Rodriguez stormed out of his own grievance hearing Wednesday afternoon, after the arbitrator ruled that Commissioner Bud Selig did not have to testify before Rodriguez's defense attorneys. The Yankee third baseman said that he will no longer participate in “this abusive process, designed to ensure that the player fails.”
Other News and Notes
Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reported that there is mutual interest between the Dodgers and Dan Haren.
Jim Bowden reported that the Angles are making re-signing Jason Vargas a priority, and the team has spoken with many relievers, such as Joe Smith, J.P. Howell, and Edward Mujica.
Buster Olney tweeted that the Royals have had internal conversations about attempting to trade for Oakland's Brett Anderson.
The Diamondbacks designated former Indian Tony Sipp for assignment. This is the second time Sipp has been DFA'd by Arizona this year.
I think Bourn will have a bounce back year. If he does I think next off season would be best time to potential trade him before his skills really falls. But if teams that need CF this year, and feel that Choo, Granderson, and Ellsbury are to expensive choices than the Indians should listen to offers.
If teams are looking for cheaper CF the Indians should maximize the value in trading Stubbs.
Well Murphy/Raburn could play LF with Swisher in RF. Could still find another OF bat too in a trade. Guy like Joyce from TB maybe (just an example) if you wanted to keep Swish at 1B.
Agree Brantley is a much better LFer than CFer, but I'd be willing to lose some defense there if it meant improving the team in other ways.
Disagree that you don't have a guy to hit 3rd or 5th if you move Kipnis up to the leadoff spot. Brantley can hit 3rd or hell Gomes could (assuming he hits like he did in 2013 again). Cabrera also could hit 3rd assuming he bounces back some (don't need to trade both Cabrera and Bourn). In any case, Kipnis should hit leadoff whether Bourn is here or not.
If no deals are made...
1. Kipnis - 2B
2. Swisher - 1B
3. Gomes - C
4. Santana - DH
5. Brantley - LF
6. Murphy/Raburn - RF
7. Cabrera - SS
8. Bourn - CF
9. Chisenhall/Aviles - 3B
I do think Bourn can bounce back...but even if he gets back to his career numbers, he's not that good offensively. A .335 OBP is pretty bad for a leadoff hitter...
Tony, speaking of Lindor, any news on his recovery? Haven't heard anything about it and the Indians seem to be quiet on the matter. It seems kind of troublesome for someone so young to have a back injury already. Is he swinging a bat yet or working out? Thanks
Here's a thought to entertain...what if...the Tribe could not resign Justin Masterson bc they lacked the financial flexibility to do so? I suppose they could back load a deal for him but, they would still have to pay the price.
The point is, right now might be the best time to move Michael Bourn. He still has value and a somewhat reasonable contract in comparison to some of the salary demands that are being reported. IF Bourn is in decline they won't be able to move his contract at a later point. That's where it has potential to seriously hamstring this team.
Kipnis had a .335 OBP in 2012 even. So even if Kipnis were to regress back to 2012 form, he's still a better leadoff option than Bourn has been in his career.
Bourn should be hitting no higher than 6th in the Tribe lineup.
Jason Kipnis had a .360 OBP this year, just his 2nd big league season. Michael Bourn in his entire big league career has never had an OBP that high and only once been over .350 even.
Kipnis is already a better leadoff option than Bourn, so the issue of who hits leadoff without Bourn is very simple. Even Brantley could hit leadoff and you wouldn't lose much.
Tony is being generous calling Bourn barely above league average last year for a leadoff hitter. Easily could say he was well below average as far as leadoff hitters go.
As far as who plays CF...you have Stubbs, Brantley, and Murphy who all are capable of playing CF.
As for leadoff, Bourn is a rather overrated leadoff guy. People see a little guy and someone with speed and automatically think that makes a good leadoff guy.....but he was barely league average as a leadoff guy last year, if even that. I'd rather someone like Kipnis leadoff anyway and put Brantley up in the order a little.
Plus this move likely pushes Miggy to the cleanup spot where he belongs. Good move for the Tigers (sadly).
Definitely hoping the Tribe can pull off something similar with Bourn. He's pricy but when the prices for Choo, Ellsbury, Gradnderson, etc get out of hand, teams may look at Bourn as a not too bad....
Sipp would be an interesting add on a minor league deal.