Storylines: The uncertainty for the Detroit Tigers begins
In this 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: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, Oct. 6.
- In the wake of another postseason disappointment for the Tigers, "there's the underlying question whether this could be the end of an era," MLB.com's Jason Beck wrote. Several key members of the roster will hit free agency, including Max Scherzer, though the 2013 Cy Young Award winner said "I do hope I'm back. I love this clubhouse, love everybody in here, been to battle with these guys for five years. It would mean a lot to me." If Scherzer doesn't return, the natural next step for the Tigers would be to pursue an extension with David Price, though the southpaw naturally wasn't concerned with his contract in the wake of the painful ALDS sweep. "That's out of my control. That's the last thing that's on my mind right now. I'm not worried about that," Price told reporters, including Mlive.com's Chris Iott. Price has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining before hitting the free agent market after the 2015 season. Meanwhile, a rival official recently told ESPN's Buster Olney that he thinks the Tigers will do whatever it takes to re-sign Victor Martinez, as "considering the Tigers' win-at-all-costs approach and Martinez's importance in the Detroit lineup, he cannot see them being outbid." Olney listed five other teams as possible fits for Martinez in free agency, and three are from the AL Central. Also from Olney's piece, he listed the Tigers as a potential suitor for Russell Martin. The free agent catcher could be "a plan B" if the Tigers are concerned about Alex Avila's concussion history and want a change behind the plate.
News and Notes:
- The Twins asked for and received permission to interview A's bench coach Chip Hale, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reported. Hale saw action in parts of six big league seasons with Minnesota.
- On paper, Yoenis Cespedes fits as a long-term power bat for the Red Sox, though Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald noted that Cespedes' free-swinging, low-OBP style doesn't fit into the Red Sox organizational philosophy of taking pitches and grinding down opposing pitchers. Silverman thinks Cespedes could potentially better help the Sox as a trade piece, perhaps as part of a major package to pry Giancarlo Stanton away from Miami.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters (including MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez) that his team will focus on adding bench and pitching depth this offseason. Dipoto doesn't forsee any big moves since he's pleased with the team's core players, saying "We feel we're tweaks and turns from being a very good team again." As several members of the Angels' core get deeper into their 30′s, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times wondered if the team's window of contention might only last for another season or two.
- The Angels will likely address their depth by being active on the minor league free agent market, CBS Sports' Mike Axisa wrote in a recap of the Halos' 2014 season and a look ahead to their winter. Axisa suggested the team could sign a mid-tier free agent starter like Brandon McCarthy and/or Francisco Liriano, and then trade C.J. Wilson to free up some payroll space (while eating maybe half the $38 million still owed on Wilson's contract). Dealing Wilson could be easier said than done given his partial no-trade clause (covering eight teams) and since Wilson is coming off a tough season.
- The Athletics will "be stuck on this treadmill" of early postseason exits "until the team is sold" due to a lack of payroll support from ownership, Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle opined. Jenkins also criticized Billy Beane's recent defense of the Jon Lester trade, as Jenkins felt it didn't show much faith in the rest of the A's roster.
- The Cubs could be interested in outfielder Jonny Gomes, league sources told ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers. The Cubs are known to be looking for both veteran leadership in the clubhouse and depth in the outfield, and Gomes could check both boxes as a platoon partner with Chris Coghlan.
- The Marlins are looking to add a starting pitcher this winter, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reported. A new arm plus the return of Jose Fernandez could lead to some rotation shuffling, and Frisaro cited Tom Koehler and Nathan Eovaldi as possible candidates to move to the bullpen. Also in the piece, Frisaro examined some other Miami position changes that could occur depending on how the Marlins' offseason shopping plans develop.
- After being designated for assignment late in the year by the Mariners, first baseman/DH Corey Hart elected free agency after clearing outright waivers, MLB.com's Greg Johns reported. Though it may or may not have any practical import, Hart will be eligible to sign a new deal now, rather than waiting until until after the World Series for the official onset of free agency.
- The Rangers announced that they outrighted catcher J.P. Arencibia, third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, infielder Guilder Rodriguez, outfielder Engel Beltre, right-hander Wilmer Font and left-hander Pedro Figueroa off the 40-man roster to Triple-A Round Rock. Both Kouzmanoff and Arencibia are eligible to become free agents, and will likely do just that. The moves drop the Rangers' 40-man roster to 37, as three of the players (Beltre, Kouzmanoff and Figueroa) all had to be activated from the 60-day DL in order to be outrighted.
White Sox get Nelson Cruz they will be a lot better, but they have to get some pitching.
Hopefully the Tigers get hit hard in free agency. But keep an eye out for the White Sox. I can see them picking up a big time hitter AND a big time pitcher. In the last couple years, they haven't spent money like they used to. But with Dunn and Konerko are off the books now, I bet you they sign say, Nelson Cruz to hit behind Jose Abreu and James Shields to the front of the rotation with Sale.
Anyways, I would be interested in trading for Cespedes.