Stark On Tigers, Blanton, Bartlett, Kazmir

As ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark points out, the NL Central will look considerably different in 2012, now that Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa have moved on. Ryan Braun could miss 50 games with a suspension that would make the division even less recognizable. Here are Stark’s latest notes and rumors:

  • Scouts and executives doubt Miguel Cabrera will be able to play third base with much skill in 2012.
  • One AL executive suggests the Tigers would have to eat a lot of money to trade Victor Martinez next offseason. Insurance will likely cover approximately half of the switch hitter’s 2012 salary of $13MM, Stark writes.
  • Stark hears that the Phillies have sent signals that they might make Joe Blanton available this spring.
  • Jason Bartlett has been available this winter and the Red Sox could pursue him, Stark writes. However, the shortstop will earn $5.5MM in 2012 and the Red Sox aim to stay below the luxury tax threshold.
  • Scott Kazmir intends to pitch in 2012, but his fastball velocity is in the 84-85 mph range. The 28-year-old appeared in one game for the Angels last year and they released him after a rough stretch at Triple-A.
  • There’s every indication that the commissioner’s office will discipline Juan Carlos Oviedo/Leo Nunez and Roberto (Heredia) Hernandez/Fausto Carmona for using false identities.
  • Though many have told Bud Selig that adding a second Wild Card team to each league this year will create scheduling issues, the commissioner seems intent on expanding the playoffs in 2012, and Stark expects him to get his wish.


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59 Comments on "Stark On Tigers, Blanton, Bartlett, Kazmir"


Melvin McMurf
3 years 5 months ago

maybe kazmir can go back to little league

rizdak
3 years 5 months ago

Kazmir probably wore out his arm pitching full MLB seasons starting at age 21. He was the lone bright star for the Rays before they were any good.
Show a little consideration of the facts before trolling.

Melvin McMurf
3 years 5 months ago

had to watch in an angel uniform….he gets no respect from me

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

Oh geeze.. how will he go on?

Melvin McMurf
3 years 5 months ago

doubt if he can

vtadave
3 years 5 months ago

He’s made over $30 million playing baseball, so he’ll try not to cry.

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

even as a fellow angels fan i feel for him.

alan104
3 years 5 months ago

The dude could hardly ever pitch past 5 innings. High pitch counts killed his arm.

jesse heiman
3 years 5 months ago

You mean the Mets? :)

BeisbolJunkie
3 years 5 months ago

Kazmir is another one that needs to retire

3 years 5 months ago

Stark hears that the Phillies have sent signals that they might make Joe Blanton available this spring. Cheese and Crackers where has Stark been, I thought he’s been available since last year. Maybe its Starks turn to spend some quality time in Kiner’s Corner! Anyway, why don’t the Orioles offer Robert Andino for him? It would give Andino a chance to play for a good team and offer a change of scenery for Blanton. Maybe Phillies fans will appreciate Andino a bit more than O’s fans. Funny thing is Blanton could be our number 1 as our current rotation stands.

dylanp5030
3 years 5 months ago

Pretty sure Phillies don’t want anything but salary relief. In sure they would actually couple a decent prospect with him if anyone took the full salary. Someone like James, Altherr, or Schwimer.

FillyPhan
3 years 5 months ago

They are looking to upgrade 3B, straight from RAJ mouth

dylanp5030
3 years 5 months ago

Not gonna get that through Blanton

inleylandwetrust
3 years 5 months ago

Baltimore’s Angry3?

Infield Fly
3 years 5 months ago

Naaah, he’s distinctlly missing that special “I-hate-my-own-fan-base” flavor, and besides, he hasn’t even attempted to trash the entire population of North American baseball fans yet!

Hmm…this needs “work!” :p

inleylandwetrust
3 years 5 months ago

Angry3’s apprentice.

Infield Fly
3 years 5 months ago

Angry3’s disciple methinks. :p

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

that is the result of having the most crooked commissioner for way too many years.

PClark91
3 years 5 months ago

Being from Philly, and watching the Blanton situation unfold first hand, it’s difficult to watch a guy, who appears to ‘go through the motions’ and not show any emotion when he takes the mound as Blanton appears. What also kicks me, is he’s due nearly 9 million this year, and Oswalt is signing elsewhere for significantly less. The fan base and, I’m sure, organization would rather have Oswalt than Blanton. With that being said though, he’s not totally terrible. He’s not like Kazmir. Blanton is capable of going 7-8 innings and keeping the opposition to 3 runs. He’s just, at times, totally frustrating to watch, especially when you see three other guys in the rotation, and even Worley who replaced him last year, make adjustments.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

commander dierkes has dug into the business side of baseball quite a few times over the years and uncovered some interesting things. it would be awesome to see a piece on the inner-workings of contract insurance in baseball these days

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

second

BeisbolJunkie
3 years 5 months ago

Third

diesel2410
3 years 5 months ago

I can’t believe how much Kazmir has regressed since the Rays. I thought he would contend for the Cy Young every year and he seemed to have the tools to be a fantastic ace. His fastball has decreased by almost 10mph and his command has completely fallen apart. Crazy

Jim McGrath
3 years 5 months ago

If you’re looking to move Andino–the Red Sox could use him if nothing more to keep him out of the O’s dugout but also to play SS. I realize he plays mostly 2 B but if I remember correctly he was a decent SS. How about Iglesias and a Class a prospect. If DD adds Guthrie perhaps we could send a better prospect.

jb226
3 years 5 months ago

..you want to trade Iglesias for Andino?  And then throw in another player on top?

I actually kind of like Andino–no idea why–but wow.  Just play Iglesias at that point.  Andino has no bat worth talking about and that has always been the questionable part of Iglesias’ game.

jb226
3 years 5 months ago

..you want to trade Iglesias for Andino?  And then throw in another player on top?

I actually kind of like Andino–no idea why–but wow.  Just play Iglesias at that point.  Andino has no bat worth talking about and that has always been the questionable part of Iglesias’ game.

diesel2410
3 years 5 months ago

Are you just bitter about game 162?

JacksTigers
3 years 5 months ago

Probably. I’m still bitter about Game 163 and 1987. And do you know how old I was in 1987? I was -9.

diesel2410
3 years 5 months ago

Damn someone here is younger than me lol

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

keep dreaming.

caseyo4
3 years 5 months ago

It is ridiculous to speculate the Tigers would trade Martinez.  Can’t wait for Miggy to prove the naysayers wrong…

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

In what way, shape or form is it ridiculous to speculate about a V Mart trade.

if anything its completely logical

rbeezy
3 years 5 months ago

just like the jays signing fielder right?

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

that makes no sense

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

In what way, shape or form is it ridiculous to speculate about a V Mart trade.

if anything its completely logical

ImperialStout
3 years 5 months ago

I wouldn’t call it ridiculous.  If Miggy can’t play 3B, then Detroit has a DH next year in him.  Trade Victor for a piece.

If Miggy can play a mediocre/bad but not horrific 3B, then I guess having him, Prince, and Victor batting 3-4-5 would be offensive insanity.  That is, if his injury (worse than expected) doesn’t render him nearly useless.

tigers22
3 years 5 months ago

Exactly, it’s not ridiculous at all.  If Miggy can’t play third, and I’m not sold that he actually can… than that creates a logjam that pretty much ensures that you have to move Vmart.  Unless for some reason he’d be okay with sticking around to pinch hit and occasionally DH… which I highly doubt.

And yes, then there’s the possibility that he never fully returns to his old self and becomes Carlos Guillen version 2.0.  I’d really hate to see that happen, but I think the Tigers would try to trade him off if they think that is going to be the case.  

mmwatkin
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t think it is crazy to think that Miguel Cabrera won’t be able to handle third base very well in 2012. He wasn’t very good at 1B in 2008, but he got better with experience.

This is pretty short notice to tell Cabrera he will be the everyday third baseman. I think 2012 he will work on shedding a few pounds and getting reps at third while DH’ing part time. I think the goal should be for him to be ready to play 162 games at third in 2013. 

caseyo4
3 years 5 months ago

It is ridiculous to speculate the Tigers would trade Martinez.  Can’t wait for Miggy to prove the naysayers wrong…

3 years 5 months ago

More wild cards?  That’s not enough; Bud needs to improve the game even more!  He should introduce aluminum bats, add 16 teams to the playoffs, and make every playoff round seven games…

…except for the World Series, which should be one game only, so people will think it’s just like the Super Bowl.

And Bud should move all teams to the American League, and not just the Astros.

Yep, Bud is the most totally awesome commissioner ever.

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

well, he is the most crooked anyways.

Braydon Gervais
3 years 5 months ago

If Scott Kazmir gets signed it gives me hope, hell I throw harder than he does now. Unreal. He used to be amazing

$7562574
3 years 5 months ago

the one game playoff between the wild card teams will be decided by the bud’s most corrupt umps.

Bob
3 years 5 months ago

I remember facing Kazmir when he was 15. He threw harder than that back then.

alan104
3 years 5 months ago

The Mets might want him back

3 years 5 months ago

All execs from other teams are going to reflexively pooh pooh Miguel Cabrera moving to 3B. They want the public perception to be that the Tigers have a “problem.” When Cabrera boots one it will be on Sportscenter and everybody will start beating the drum about what the Tigers will do about their defensive issues. It will beat down the value of their assets. VMart had his “first” surgery yesterday; the guy may be done for all we know. MLB is pissed at the Tigers because they consistently give the anti-Christ Boras big deals, they routinely ignore the slotting system in the draft, and they win while doing it. For the record, Cabrera will play a majority of the next 3 seasons at 3B, and will be no worse than the likes of Aramis Ramirez, Dean Palmer, Bill Madlock or Bobby Bonilla. And he will hit a ton, and the Tigers, with a young rotation and the best 3-4 in MLB, will win a hell of a lot of games. Deal with it.   

Yankees420
3 years 5 months ago

I’m glad you put it on record.

PClark91
3 years 5 months ago

I’m from Philly, and I was always a Bobby Higginson fan, who’s from here, and is actually a friend of mine’s cousin. But what I don’t understand is when Martinez is back in 2013, why wouldn’t he play some games at catcher, which is know he isn’t the best at, but it’s his trade position, and on those days, DH miggy. Or Prince as DH, Miggy at first, just to switch things up. The media acts as if it’s this huge dilemna that Miggy is going back to 3rd when any other team in the league would love to have this “problem” the media creates it to be. The bigger problem rests in Miami where they signed a guy without consulting the predecesor to his position about moving to 3rd, and every other day it’s a different report if HanRam is going to move or not. Detroit, asked Miggy and he accepted. Done deal. Go pick on Miami and their ego maniac manager

FunkyTime
3 years 5 months ago

Because their 25 year old catcher Alex Avila had a better OBP and slugging percentage than Martinez last year.  Taking Avila out of the lineup for Martinez is not an improvement.

Hoosierdaddy92
3 years 5 months ago

I agree it’s unlikely MCab can play 3b. But I don’t understand why people don’t think it’s possible he can prove himself?

That being said, as a Tigers fan, I’d prefer if they played Miguel Cabrera at DH in 2012 in order to keep him healthy. I will be livid if he injures himself throwing the ball or fielding a tough play when playing 3b this season. 

Food for thought, I wonder if the Orioles would be interested in VMart for Nick Markakis? I think VMart for 30MM through 2014 might sound better than Markakis for 60MM through 2015. VMart could DH or play 1b for them and they have OF prospects they can use to replace Markakis. At this point, the Orioles should be trying for draft picks in 2012 anyway. I may be way off with this one, but if the Orioles are going to try to rebuild and contend in 2014, doesn’t it make sense to shed some payroll now and allocate it in the draft? Just my opinion though. As a Tigers fan, I’m not a big fan of basically a 4 year 60MM deal for Markakis, but they are in win-now mode and this makes them not have to move MCab to 3b and adds a bat capable of replacing VMart and getting on-base. If VMart is not enough, they could probably send Brian Roberts to the Tigers for the next two seasons at 20MM if they were willing to take Delmon Young at 8MM for one season. I know there’s the argument that Roberts and Markakis are fan favorites, but I think what Orioles fans deserve more than anything is a winning team, something these players alone are not going to help them achieve in the near future.

IndianaBob
3 years 5 months ago

Orioles consider Markakis part of their core.  V-Mart is now damaged goods and may never play catcher ever again.  I don’t think an aging 1B/DH coming off a very severe injury is going to get you anywhere near Markakis.

Hoosierdaddy92
3 years 5 months ago

For the numbers Markakis puts up, he’s pretty overpriced to be considered “part of their core”. VMart at 1b/DH for them can give them comparable offensive numbers in 2013 and 2014. If the Orioles plan on contending by 2014, they only have two years of Markakis at an extremely high price for 2014 and 2015. The money they’d save would be best allocated towards the draft and possibly signing Joey Votto after 2013. They can make the first year of Votto’s contract cheaper (like the Pujols deal) and then use the 12MM from VMart’s expiring contract in 2014 to make the deal appealing to Votto after 2014.

SWMIan
3 years 5 months ago

If Miguel can’t play third, he can play left as well as Delmon.  The Tigers would slide Miggy to Left, deal with his bad defense, and let Victor DH.  Delmon would leave before Victor.

3 years 5 months ago

DD says Miggy won’t play LF. Too big in Comerica. At least Delmon can run a little bit. More likely Cabrera would play RF, pit Boesch in LF. I still think he can play a passable 3B. When they moved him it was more because Guillen was amazingly bad at 1B than because of Cabrera’s shortcomings.

3 years 5 months ago

Why does Joe Blanton’s name continue to surface as a “possible” trade candidate as if the Phillies wouldn’t be ecstatic to unload the guy?  Over the past four seasons, he’s pitched to the tune of a 4.54 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP.  The guy is out of shape, doesn’t throw 200 innings, makes $8.5 million in 2012, and doesn’t have the stats to justify the contract when he is on the mound.  This isn’t an attractive trade target for a contender.  While he “might” be available, he won’t be dealt without significant money being involved.

Vote4DougWilson
3 years 5 months ago

That’s what I keep wondering as well. Everyone is flipping out like management should be thrown in a loony bin for even attempting to see if he can play 3b, then turn around and say “he should play LF” like that would be smooth sailing.

3 years 5 months ago

Yea, cause in Boston they drink their beer, in Chicago they throw it at opposing center fielders…Ya know?

Signed,
Shane Victorino

Salmon4Coach
3 years 5 months ago

LoL ya..I dont understand why my comment was removed but..I read that Kaz isn’t a good morale player(Drinking problem) and if true he should join Boston if not then the Cubs..