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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lorenzo Cain and A.J. Pollock Sign Atypical Contracts | FanGraphs Baseball

I would think at least one of these judgments will be wrong.

For Donaldson, the Toronto Blue Jays are paying for an expected increase due to his MVP season this season, but in the case of the other three players, the teams are paying more in case of an even further breakout for these players. The teams did not receive the typical discount given for two-year contracts, and the only way the team ends up ahead is with an MVP-like season. Given the caliber of these players and the salaries they’re receiving, the team is unlikely to end up behind with these contracts, but they are a departure from the deals that have been made over the past few years.


Sunday, January 31, 2016


Monday, January 25, 2016

Tigers will use more data to improve decision-making

What did the “analytics coordinator” do before the change?

“We didn’t really revamp the analytics department,” Avila said Saturday during TigerFest. “We didn’t have an analytics department.”

So in August, Avila promoted Sam Menzin from analytics coordinator to director of baseball operations and hired former Apple executive and Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Jay Sartori to serve as senior director of baseball operations in November.

Together, Menzin and Sartori head the analytics department and serve multiple purposes, such as gathering and sharing data at the major league, minor league, amateur and international levels, providing manager Brad Ausmus with advanced metrics on pitching matchups and defensive alignments, and using sabermetrics to recommend which player acquisition would serve the team best.

Overall, their goal is simple — use data to make decisions easier.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:57 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, tigers

Friday, January 22, 2016

Niyo: After cancer scare, Norris lives life to fullest

“I want to be known for baseball. I don’t want to be known for the van, I don’t want to be known for the cancer.”

He doesn’t even want to be “known for the home run,” he adds, though it was pretty cool, that 420-foot shot he hit off Jon Lester at Wrigley Field in August in his first professional at-bat.

“I want to be known for pitching, and striking people out,” Norris said.

“That’s my focus. I want to be the best pitcher I can be. I want to make a name for myself on that little circle in the middle of the diamond. That’s what I want. That’s what I’ve desired my whole life. And we’re getting there.”

The detours, he says, are just part of the journey.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 06:46 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel norris, tigers

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Are the Tigers Really Too Right-Handed?

To the Leftorium!

On one hand, maybe league-average against more than half the league’s pitchers could be considered an issue, given the amount of money invested in this lineup and the expectations that follow. On the other hand, a cursory glance at recent history reveals that Cabrera’s outperformed this year’s projection for each of the last seven seasons, by an average of 27 points. Since reinventing himself as a hitter in 2014, J.D. Martinez has been 30% better against righties than his. Kinsler’s would be his worst year against righties in three years, by between 10% and 20%, with Upton in a similar boat….

Just for fun, let’s consider the most right-handed heavy lineup of the last 40 years: the 2001 Astros. The Astros won 90 games that year with eight righties in their everyday lineup, a mediocre rotation and an above-average bullpen. In other words, something that sounds like what this year’s Tigers could be. And in the lineup, the comps just so happen to line up nicely across the board. The Tigers’ very own skipper Brad Ausmus set a low bar offensively for McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Miggy’s got Jeff Bagwell. The Kinsler-Craig Biggio comp is obvious. Jose Iglesias plays the Julio Lugo role of slap-hitting shortstop, and Nick Castellanos only has to be league-average with the bat to match Vinny Castilla. Same with the combined production of a Gose-Cameron Maybin platoon in center field and Houston’s Richard Hidalgo. In the corners, there’s Upton-Martinez, and Moises Alou-Lance Berkman

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2016 at 03:17 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: justin upton, tigers

Monday, January 18, 2016

Justin Upton, Detroit Tigers agree to six-year deal

Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who craves star players and refuses to let money stand in the way of being a World Series contender, agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Justin Upton on a six-year contract Monday night, a person directly involved with the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke only on the condition of anonymity since the deal won’t become official until Upton passes his physical.

The Tigers, who informed everyone the past six weeks that they no longer had financial flexibility to acquire another premier free agent, quietly changed their mind this past week and aggressively pursued Upton, the three-time All-Star outfielder.

Upton will become the third highest-paid free-agent position player this winter behind only Jason Heyward (eight years, $184 million with the Chicago Cubs) and Chris Davis (seven years, $161 million with the Baltimore Orioles).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2016 at 09:44 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: justin upton, tigers

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Detroit Tigers’ Bruce Rondon ejected following ugly brawl during winter league game | MLive.com

You don’t see too many brawls start on pick-off throws.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce rondon, tigers

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Al Avila: Going from assistant to GM a little like getting married

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

Avila, the Tigers’ assistant general manager before replacing Dave Dombrowski late last season, has spent a lifetime in baseball waiting for the opportunity to make such deals.

“It’s been easy in the sense that I’ve been through it so many years, so many times over and over,” Avila said. “Same system. We go through the same meetings.

“The biggest difference is when you’re in charge, everything is on your shoulders. That responsibility is big. Nobody should take it lightly. You don’t really know until you get that responsibility. You think you know, because you’ve been there, you’ve done that, over and over. And you think you know. But once you’re appointed that position and the responsibility is yours, it’s a whole different feeling.

“I’m not going to compare it to being a kid, but I remember being single. You get married. All of a sudden you’re married, and now you feel a little more pressure. Now you have your first kid, it’s a whole different responsibility. I’m not going to compare it to that, maybe I am ... It happens, and all of a sudden you feel it. With time, it feels normal.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: al avila, general managers, tigers

Monday, December 07, 2015

Tigers sign setup reliever Mark Lowe for two years

The Tigers would not be Lowe-balled.

The Tigers made another move Sunday toward rebuilding their problematic bullpen, signing former Toronto Blue Jays reliever Mark Lowe to a two-year contract, pending the completion of a physical.

Lowe, 32, likely will work as a setup man to new Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez. Lowe had a brilliant second half for the Jays after they brought him to Toronto in a July deadline deal for three players, two of whom were Jays prospects.

He pitched in 23 games for the Jays and was sterling: 19 innings, 0.84 WHIP, with 15 hits allowed in 19 innings. He struck out 14 and walked one.

For the season, spanning stretches with the Mariners and Jays, Lowe pitched in 57 games, with a 1.96 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He threw a cumulative 57 innings, striking out 61, and walking 12.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2015 at 02:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mark lowe, tigers

Friday, December 04, 2015

Source: Detroit Tigers nearing deal with free-agent starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey

The Detroit Tigers’ starting rotation appears close to being set.

The Tigers are nearing a deal with free agent starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey, according to a source close to the situation. The two sides are discussing a one-year deal worth roughly $8 million, MLive.com has learned.

Tigers officials have not commented on the talks.

Pelfrey, who most recently pitched for the Minnesota Twins, was spotted in Detroit late Thursday. He would need to pass a physical as part of completing the deal.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2015 at 10:35 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: mike pelfrey, tigers

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Notes: Cecil Fielder, Wagner, Firpo, Ducky, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Dave Stewart was in the process of winning 20-or-more games for the fourth straight season when he gave up Fielder’s roof-clearing shot. Twenty-five years later, he’s the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team whose pitching staff finished middle of the pack in strikeouts, and tops in Defensive Runs Saved.

Stewart was somewhat ambivalent – and waxed a tad philosophical –when I asked him about the importance of Ks.

“If you can strike a guy out, you want to strike a guy out,” said Stewart. “If you can get 27 weak outs, I’ll take those as well. On a given day, you’re going to get a lot of weak outs and a lot of swings and misses. Of course, there are also days where you’re going to give up line drives and balls that go over the fence. That’s just the way the game works.”

——

Indians GM Mike Chernoff offered a similar, albeit less Taoist, take on the subject. His club led all teams in strikeouts, and ranked sixth in Defensive Runs Saved.

“We’re looking for guys who can get outs,” Chernoff told me at the GM meetings. “We’re fortunate with our current staff in that we have a group of guys that gets a lot of strikeouts, but I don’t think we’re deliberately building our staff for strikeouts.

“Our defense was pretty good over the course of the year, and it was really good in the second half. That helped our pitching staff, but we’re not looking at it as a balance, where if our defense isn’t good, we have to strike more guys out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2015 at 09:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cecil fielder, notes, tigers

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Alex Avila lands with Chicago White Sox

Thanksgiving dinner at the Avilas just got awkward.

Alex Avila is leaving town, but he isn’t traveling far.

The longtime Detroit Tigers catcher this morning signed a one-year deal with the division-rival Chicago White Sox. The deal, according to the Sox, is worth $2.5 million.

Avila, 28, is the oldest son of Tigers general manager Al Avila. He spent seven seasons with the Tigers, hitting .242 with 66 home runs.

He served as the starting catcher for the better part of six seasons, until losing his job this season to rookie catcher James McCann.

Avila’s career year came in 2011, when he was an All-Star and won the American League Silver Slugger at catcher, hitting .295 with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs.

In the seasons since, his offense has declined—he hit .191 with 2015.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2015 at 12:54 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: alex avila, tigers, white sox

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tigers get Cameron Maybin in trade with Braves | MLB.com

The Tigers acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Braves in exchange for left-hander Ian Krol and pitching prospect Gabe Speier, it was announced on Friday.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 20, 2015 at 06:47 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, tigers, trades

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tigers get Francisco Rodriguez from Brewers | MLB.com

The Tigers reportedly acquired All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez in a trade with the Brewers on Wednessday. The teams have not yet confirmed the deal.

It was unclear what the Brewers will receive in return, though a report out of Venezuela said it will be a package that includes infield prospect Javier Betancourt.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 18, 2015 at 12:14 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, tigers, trades

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Tigers prospect JaCoby Jones suspended 50 games

Tigers shortstop prospect JaCoby Jones has been suspended 50 games following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

Detroit acquired Jones from Pittsburgh in the midseason trade for reliever Joakim Soria and he finished the year at Double-A. Picked in the third round of the 2013 draft, Jones hit .257 with 16 homers, 25 steals, and a .737 OPS in 133 total games between Single-A and Double-A this season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2015 at 05:18 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: drug of abuse, jacoby jones, prospects, suspensions, tigers

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NY Post: Sherman: Inside frenzied Cespedes trade that turned Mets into contenders

At one last get-together with the main decision-makers — with the clock now nearing the 4 p.m. deadline — Alderson let all in the room know what would be heard if this trade were not made and the team did not win a championship: “We had a chance to do this and didn’t do it.”

Said Alderson: “That is a form of conversation that would make it as stark and dramatic as possible, another way of articulating what we all thought we should do. There were people in this organization saying these deals don’t particularly help you. I got that.

“But part of what we are doing here, like any business, you have a product and a brand, and your brand is something that is partially a function of what your product line is and what you offer in the marketplace and part of it is this other equity — what people think. And what people think is a function of what your product line was five years ago and three years ago and now. The Mets as a brand took a hit. Part of our effort was not just to improve the product, like General Motors would improve the product from year to year, but to somehow restore confidence in the brand also.”

 

 

bobm Posted: October 24, 2015 at 10:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sandy alderson, tigers, yoenis cespedes

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tigers’ Norris has cancerous growth on thyroid

Wishing this young man a speedy and lasting recovery.

Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris announced on Instagram Monday that he was undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his thyroid.

“I’ve been debating for months as to how or even if I should share this with people,” he wrote. “I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer. So now, I’m asking for prayers.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel norris, tigers

Sunday, September 27, 2015

5 reasons Al Avila gave for retaining Brad Ausmus as Detroit Tigers manager | MLive.com

I’m sure his dreamyness is a factor.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 27, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brad ausmus, managers, tigers

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Detroit Tigers send Bruce Rondon home for season due to ‘effort level’

Maybe the whole team should just pack it in for the year.

Bruce Rondon is long gone.

Rondon went from the closer to the Detroit Tigers to being banished for the remainder of the season due to lack of effort.

“Bruce Rondon, because of his effort level, has been sent home,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus announced Tuesday afternoon at the start of his pregame session with media members. “Other than saying that (general manager) Al Avila and myself completely agreed on it, there will be no other details or comment.”

Ausmus then answered “no comment” to multiple follow-ups.

Avila said basically the same thing.

“Brad and I met on Rondon,” Avila said, “and we both agreed this was the best course of action to take for Bruce and the club.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2015 at 01:09 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce rondon, tigers

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yoenis Cespedes to Mets: Dombrowski recounts his side of story

The Tigers had heard only intermittently from the Mets. Dombrowski assumed that was because they were getting Gomez from the Brewers. But that deal fell apart, and when Alderson called Friday, he said: “We really want to go after Cespedes.”

“I’m sure he was working on other things,” Dombrowski said. “[Justin] Upton’s name was out there, a couple of others. At one point we didn’t know what his priority was, but he kept in contact with me, and it really came down to the Mets had the best package for us. We really liked Fulmer a whole bunch, and the other guy in the package [minor league pitcher Luis Cessa] had a good arm.”

Jim Leyland, the former Tigers manager now a special assistant with the team, made a call to Mets manager Terry Collins, a good friend. “Jim said, ‘Terry, get him—he’s going to help you guys,’” Dombrowski said.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2015 at 05:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, mets, tigers, trade, yoenis cespedes

Anibal Sanchez’s shoulder checks out OK | tigers.com

All is good then.

The Tigers received good news on right-hander Anibal Sanchez Wednesday after his consultation with Dr. James Andrews. The noted orthopedic surgeon examined Sanchez’s sore right rotator cuff on Wednesday and saw no major structural damage.

“All good,” Sanchez’s agent, Gene Mato, said in a text message. “He said the shoulder looked great.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 10:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anibal sanchez, tigers

Friday, September 11, 2015


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Batting title would put Cabrera in elite club | FOX Sports

Now that Cabrera has enough plate appearances to qualify, he’s on pace to win the batting title for the fourth time in five years. With that, he’s about to join very exclusive company. (Again.)

Here’s the complete list of right-handed batters with at least four batting titles in any five-year span:

—Rogers Hornsby, 1920-25 (six straight)

—Honus Wagner, 1906-09 (four straight), also seven in nine years from ’03-’11

—Nap Lajoie, 1901-04 (four straight)

Jim Furtado Posted: September 02, 2015 at 10:33 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel cabrera, tigers

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Justin Verlander barely misses third gem as Tigers beat Angels, 5-0 - LA Times

Does this mean Verlander is good again?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, justin verlander, tigers

Monday, August 24, 2015

Piece of concrete falls in Comerica Park concourse

I guess it’s time for another taxpayer paid stadium in Detroit. Luckily the city is awash in cash.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 24, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, tigers

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