AL Central Notes: Jackson, Pelfrey, Garza, Butler

The Tigers have discussed trading Austin Jackson to the Yankees in exchange for Brett Gardner, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports.  Both players have been above-average fielders in center over their careers and have comparable career batting lines, though Gardner is a better base-stealer and Jackson has more doubles pop.  Jackson turns 27 in February, is projected to earn $5.3MM in his second year of arbitration eligibility and he'll hit free agency after the 2015 season; the 30-year-old Gardner is projected to earn $4MM and he'll be a free agent next winter.  I'm not sure this deal makes sense for the Tigers unless they don't think they can sign Jackson (a Scott Boras client) to an extension, or if they aren't interested in extending Jackson.  From the Yankees' side, they like Gardner enough that they probably wouldn't move him for a very similar player, albeit a younger one.

Here are some more items from all five AL Central franchises…

  • The Twins have increased the value of their two-year offer to Mike Pelfrey from $10MM to $12MM, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.  The Rangers and Giants have also shown interest in Pelfrey, Neal reports.
  • Also from Neal, the stumbling block between Matt Garza and the Twins seems to be Garza's demands for a four- or five-year contract, as Minnesota isn't willing to make that long a commitment due to injury concerns.  That said, Neal isn't counting the Twins out of the Garza race yet as he hears the team is still in the hunt (Twitter links).  You can read more about the Twins' hunt for pitching here.
  • The Royals could continue to shop Billy Butler since "Before too long, the DH spot has to be a rotating position for us. It really does," a club official tells Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.  For one, the Royals may use Salvador Perez at DH to keep his bat in the lineup when he isn't catching, plus added DH days would help keep Perez healthy.  Even if Butler isn't dealt this offseason, Dutton doesn't believe the Royals will sign him to an extension once his current deal is up.  It was reported earlier today that Butler's name had come up in trade talks with the Blue Jays.
  • The Royals, Indians and Rangers are among the teams interested in Shaun Marcum, ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets.  Marcum underwent surgery to correct his thoracic outlet syndrome in July and his agent updated MLBTR's Tim Dierkes on the recovery process last month.
  • The White Sox are looking to cut their payroll from just under $119MM in 2013 to between $89MM-$99MM range for 2014, ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla writes, with the $99MM figure being the likelier of the two.  Despite the cuts on the Major League side, GM Rick Hahn said the club will reinvest the saved money into extra spending on the draft and international signings.
  • In other AL Central news from earlier today, the Tigers reached an agreement with Joba Chamberlain and the Indians were battling with the Padres over Joaquin Benoit.


55 Responses to AL Central Notes: Jackson, Pelfrey, Garza, Butler Leave a Reply

  1. JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

    Wow

  2. Muhamed Mashkulli 2 years ago

    Why would the yankees trade gardner for jackson? They need a pitcher not another outfielder… If true doesn’t make a lot of sense

    • chris hines 2 years ago

      You can sign a pitcher in free agency, this would be trading one year of Gardner for two years of Austin Jackson. If they really have that offer it should be a no brainer I think it’s probably worth it.

      • Muhamed Mashkulli 2 years ago

        The pitching market isnt very strong, Tanaka might not be posted and i think that they can get a better pitcher than the other FA in a trade with gardner. I would use the rest of they money they have on the bullpen… They lost mariano, logan, chamberlain, and robertson has been shaky as a closer

  3. kungfucampby 2 years ago

    Why would the Tigers trade Jackson? None of this makes any sense.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      Maybe if they think they can get an window to negotiate before a deal. They aren’t as far as one may think, Gardner more obp, and better defense, Jackson brings bit more power. The extra team control would be the obstacle though, although Gardner bested him in Defense and Offense last year.

  4. rct 2 years ago

    Wow, the Twins increased their offer to Pelfrey? The man has no business even getting a two year deal, much less one at $5MM/yr. Now it’s $6MM, and he’s still wavering? Just wow.

    • Anthony 2 years ago

      His batting average against in 2013, an even .300. WHIP 1.55. If he wants to come back to the Twins and the Twins want to see if he can improve he should definitely take a cut in pay. It makes no sense to give him a substantial raise!

      • Slappy McGee 2 years ago

        The puzzling part was that his ERA at Target Field was pushing 6.00. What is the lure there?

        • Jacob Viets 2 years ago

          That’s the going rate for back of the rotation types. His SIERA was 4.63, which is around what you’ll expect from a #5 starter. $6,000,000 for a #5 is fair in today’s market.

          • Tribe82 2 years ago

            I wouldn’t exactly call it “fair” as much as it is what it is these days.

  5. Jesse Rodriguez 2 years ago

    Why is Oakland not in on Butler? :(

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      I would say cost, but they apparently can pay a closer $10M+

  6. Slappy McGee 2 years ago

    Volquez guaranteed $5MM, Roberto (Carmona) Hernandez $4.5MM, now Pelfrey is offered 2 years at $6MM per. Just how badly do you have to pitch in order to get a minor league deal? At very most these guys rate $2MM guaranteed with incentives

    • vtadave 2 years ago

      Aaron Harang is looking at 3/21.

    • Jose_Who 2 years ago

      That’s the problem nowadays, these salaries are way out of control. Chris Young batting .200 with a little pop gets him 7.25 mil, Pelfrey is AWFUL and he’s looking at 2/12? 30+year olds getting 10 year contracts… I remember when the biggest contract I had ever heard of was Bonilla’s 4/20mil. I thought that was INSANE back then, You pay that for a decent bench guy now. Sick.

  7. Brandon Mason 2 years ago

    The Yankees Already Had Jackson..

    • Tribe82 2 years ago

      And now they no longer have Granderson. What’s your point?

  8. alphabet_soup5 2 years ago

    Austin Jackson will hopefully improve, from ages 23-26 many recent CF have had better stats than him
    Bossman Upton, Beltran, Kemp, McCutchen, Grady Sizemore

    But Jackson’s also been better than some
    Johnny Damon, Adam Jones, Torii Hunter

    All of that probably means nothing but it’s pretty sure that Jackson could be a better player than Gardner in the future. He’s turning 27 in February.

    • Grease Wizard 2 years ago

      Better then Adam Jones? Ya ok man

      • alphabet_soup5 2 years ago

        Ages 23-26
        Jackson: 14.6 WAR in 570 games
        Jones: 11.0 WAR in 581 games

        • Grease Wizard 2 years ago

          Ya because WAR is the all telling statistic. That’s why Trout won the MVP his rookie season. I guarantee almost anyone would rather have Jones then Jackson

          • alphabet_soup5 2 years ago

            True, as a Tigers fan I would rather have Jones than Jackson. Like I said it probably means nothing, but Jackson has been better than Damon/Jones/Hunter per WAR for his career so I have hope he has a chance of improving like they did.

          • McGlovin 2 years ago

            He never said Jackson was better. He merely pointed out a superior WAR ranking for Jackson compared to Jones from ages 23-26…..not that WAR is the end all be all but I think the comparison btwn the two during that age range is very valid.

          • abbatoirnoises 2 years ago

            I don’t want Jones, he’s drastically overrated. It’s embarassing that he’s won more than one Gold Glove, his defensive metrics are some of the worst among center fielders in the league.

    • CrisE 2 years ago

      “Better player” depends on what they need from him. He’s certainly healthier than many of those names, and if it’s mostly just good D then he really is better than some of those guys and he can probably deliver. But if his “doubles power” is supposed to help paper over the Cano and ARod holes in the lineup I’m not sure he’s going to make them happy. The Yankees have a good defensive OF lined up for next year so the value of his glove isn’t as high as if he were say, helping cover for a Trumbo-like corner OF. But Elsbury and Ichiro and Wells can all cover a lot of ground and even Soriano is no Luzinski out there. His value depends on his role, not his stats.

  9. OaklandFan22 2 years ago

    Butler to the A’s!!! Pleasssseeeee

    • abbatoirnoises 2 years ago

      If the A’s are trying to find a way past Verlander in the playoffs, Butler would be the ticket. The guy is his personal kryptonite.

      • Matt Moore 2 years ago

        Not sure if you are a tigers fan, but I am, and will second this. lol

        • abbatoirnoises 2 years ago

          Yep, I am. I still remember the day after the Tigers won the series someone changed the A’s wikipedia page to say “Owner: Justin Verlander”. Pretty funny.

  10. wadesawko 2 years ago

    What’s with Billy Butler? He is very average. Slow, no glove and didn’t hit 20 homers in a full season. Lots of better options. Royals are better off holding onto him for the fans.

    • Sam 2 years ago

      Really? Billy Butler has always been a very tough out. The guy can hit.

      • NRD1138 2 years ago

        The guy can hit when a pitch is hung over the plate.. pitch him inside, like to Fielder, and the numbers go down quick. He basically is a younger Matt Stairs

        • Tribe82 2 years ago

          Billy Butler is a doubles machine. Pitch ANY batter inside and they won’t hit as well as one that’s thrown over the middle. He’d be a great asset to any team.

  11. Jake 2 years ago

    Sounds like the Yankees are set on acquiring a starting pitcher for Brett. Gardner and Jackson are similar players right now, but I see Jackson as having a higher ceiling. Not sure the Tiger’s logic behind this one.

    • Tigers72 2 years ago

      Left handed bat.

    • abbatoirnoises 2 years ago

      For some reason Jackson hasn’t taken off as a base stealer the way he should. He’s fast but he either gets bad reads or doesn’t have a good first step. He should be stealing 20-30 bases a year easily.

  12. UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

    Interesting proposition Jackson for Gardner. Not sure how that would play out. Both players have pretty similar numbers. Also we know Gardner can play both CF and LF not sure how Jackson would transition to playing LF since Ellsbury is now the Yankees CF’er. The obvious benefit for the Yankees aside from Jackson being younger is the extra year of control which means the Yankees would have their entire starting outfield locked up for the entire 2015 season. One less worry for Cashman next year.

    BUT, as a previous poster already indicated I think the Yankees if they are to trade Gardner it will be for a starting pitcher maybe paired with a Yankee prospect to get a better one then just a one on one trade. We’ll see still 2 months until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

  13. UltimateYankeeFan 2 years ago

    Trading Gardner for a starting pitcher as has previously been mentioned is the most logical option for the Yankees.

    • Vmmercan 2 years ago

      My only skepticism is I don’t think they will get a pitcher they want for Gardner. Maybe sometime in Mid January but if they don’t get a 3/4 they won’t trade him and I don’t think he will get that in a walk year.

  14. bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

    Jackson for Gardner makes sense from both sides.

    For Tigers:
    1. Very few players are as good as Jackson defensively. Gardner is one of them.
    2. Steals that Gardner can bring are very appealing. With Garner and Davis at the top of the order, Cabreras OBP may balloon to near .500.
    3. Gardner may be signable to an extension this offseason… at the very least, the draft pick compensation with QO would not be a bad thing next offseason.

    For Yankees:
    1. Jackson is younger.
    2. He has 2 years of control instead of one.
    3. He power numbers will likely go up considerably in Yankee Stadium (sort of like Granderson’s did). Jackson is streaky, but can be a fairly good power hitter (at least doubles)… much better than Gardner.

    In the end however, maybe the Tigers new regime can actually teach Jackson how to steal. He has so much speed, but does not have the base running instincts.

    Perhaps that is teachable? Can they get him back up to 25+ steals (which he got to several years ago)?… If so, Gardner trade is NOT worth it.

    • what! 2 years ago

      no way Gardner gets a QO that like 3x his salary

      • abbatoirnoises 2 years ago

        With the inflation of salary even average players are getting right now, Gardner could turn it down. I’m not sure what the free agent outfield market will look like, if he’s one of the better guys he could get highly overpaid.

      • bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

        Peralta got a massive salary increase.. and he was older and was using PEDs.

        Tigers made a mistake by not giving him QO.

  15. Vmmercan 2 years ago

    I can see this making sense from both sides. Yankees get a full outfield in 2015 (Jackson, Ellsbury and Beltran) and won’t have to concentrate much on it despite: Soriano, Ichiro, Wells and Gardner being free agents.

    Yankees get a little younger and Jackson has a little more pop when he’s healthy. Tigers get a comparable player with better base stealing ability at a cheaper cost and benefit from the draft pick when Gardner rejects the QO at the end of the year. I think Jackson’s power would benefit more in YS and Gardner’s speed in Comerica. He might hit 15-20 triples there.

  16. sackseph 2 years ago

    Very surprised how the Yankees are not the team offering Garza a 4 or 5 year deal. He has been super effective in the AL East

    • Sam 2 years ago

      4-5 years on a pitcher with his injury history will give any major league team pause. Teams look at that when assessing whether it’s wise to commit the type of money he demands for the length he’s seeking. As far as the Yankees are concerned, they probably view the best remaining starters only as backup plans for losing out on Tanaka.

  17. Joe 2 years ago

    Per Tony Paul of the Detroit News Tigers plan a conference call for 11am. No topic given. Probably Joba

  18. Super_Hero 2 years ago

    This is a great time to be a below average player. Pelfry to get $12 mill for being a horrible pitcher, lol. by a small market team at that. I got a minor leaguer who can put up Pelfry’s numbers for 11 million less.

  19. KnowledgeDivine 2 years ago

    the best FA Pitcher class is next year , I would consider this deal , not pull the trigger

  20. KnowledgeDivine 2 years ago

    Another factor could be Gardner would probably stink in the 9 hole ,where Jackson may flourish , Gardner had 127 k’s as a lead off hitter that would probably increase

  21. Brandon Cantero 2 years ago

    The Yankees should do that trade, then flip Jackson for a pitcher.
    Jackson would probably get a better pitcher from a team because he has more years of team control.

  22. abbatoirnoises 2 years ago

    If he gets dropped down in the order I would expect he would. I don’t think he likes stealing because right now with Miggy he’s pretty much in scoring position at first base.

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