Detroit Tigers Rumors

Detroit Tigers trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Tigers To Re-Sign Joel Hanrahan

The Tigers have agreed to re-signed right-hander Joel Hanrahan to a one-year, $1MM contract with an additional $2.5MM available via incentives, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). In a second tweet, Nightengale clarifies that the Reynolds Sports Management client will receive a minor league deal with a $1MM base should he make the big league roster.

Hanrahan, who turned 33 in October, signed a $1MM contract with the Tigers back in May as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery and a torn flexor mass, but setbacks in his rehab prevented him from ever pitching for the Tigers in either the Majors or Minors.

Despite the fact that Hanrahan was unable to take the mound in 2014, the Tigers have plenty of reason to be optimistic that he can help their bullpen in 2015. Hanrahan spent parts of four seasons with the Pirates from 2009-12, where he was a two-time All-Star as the team’s closer. He posted a combined 2.59 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 229 1/3 innings with the Bucs, and his walk numbers would be even better were they not skewed by a 5.4 BB/9 mark in his final season with Pittsburgh.

The Pirates traded Hanrahan to Boston along with Brock Holt in exchange for Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Ivan De Jesus and Jerry Sands prior to the 2013 season, but Hanrahan managed just 7 1/3 innings with the BoSox before the aforementioned injuries cost him the remainder of the season.

For Detroit, which likely just dedicated a significant portion of its offseason budget to re-signing Victor Martinez at four years and $68MM, Hanrahan provides a low-cost option with more upside than nearly any comparably priced reliever on the free agent market could offer. The team has already invested $17MM in the duo of Joe Nathan and Joakim Soria, and further high-priced bullpen expenditures aren’t expected, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see another affordable arm added to the mix.


Central Links: Reds, Cubs, Avila, Tigers, Tomas, Butler

Reds GM Walt Jocketty is of the mindset that his team will need to either be “all in” or “all out” in 2015, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. In other words, if the Reds decide to trade one of four starters who is eligible for free agency following the 2015 season — Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and Alfredo Simon — others may very well follow. Sherman lists Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman as names to watch if Cincinnati does elect to go into a full rebuild. Both can be free agents after 2016, though the Reds have a club option on Bruce for the 2017 season.

Here’s more from the game’s Central divisions…

  • Sherman also tweets that the Cubs aren’t likely to spend big on a closer this winter, which seemingly eliminates a potential suitor for David Robertson. Earlier today, reports indicated that Robertson is seeking a contract comparable to Jonathan Papelbon‘s four-year, $50MM contract.
  • The Tigers are willing to listen to offers on Alex Avila, tweets the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Avila has a $5.4MM club option for his final arb year and was projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn the same amount in arbitration. Cafardo notes that the Braves and Red Sox are both looking for left-handed bats. While both have inexperienced catchers (Christian Bethancourt and Christian Vasquez, respectively), adding Avila would limit each team’s ability to get an extended look at how their young backstop handles a full workload.
  • John Manuel of Baseball America tweets that the Tigers‘ defense up the middle in 2015 could be special with Jose Iglesias and the newly acquired Anthony Gose. He also notes that Devon Travis, who went to the Blue Jays in the deal, now has a clear shot to Major League playing time that he may not have had in Detroit.
  • The Royals could scout Yasmany Tomas in the Dominican Republic next week, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. Royals officials will be in the Dominican Republic on other business anyway and met with Tomas’ agent, Jay Alou, earlier this week at the GM Meetings. The team’s payroll could surpass the $100MM mark for the first time next season, and there’s perhaps room for one significant expenditure such as Tomas, Ervin Santana or Melky Cabrera, McCullough writes.
  • Billy Butler is receiving interest from a number of clubs — even one National League club — tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The interest in Butler likely means that a return to the Royals isn’t the best fit, he adds. McCullough reported Tuesday that K.C. doesn’t seem inclined to go beyond two years to retain Butler.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wonders if the Brewers will consider trading a starting pitcher (Twitter link). The Brew Crew needs some payroll flexibility, and the Braves are one team that has been poking around at the GM Meetings.

Blue Jays, Tigers Swap Anthony Gose, Devon Travis

The Blue Jays announced that they have acquired second base prospect Devon Travis from the Tigers in exchange for center fielder Anthony Gose.

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Of the two players involved in the deal, only Gose comes with Major League experience. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski tells Lynn Henning of the Detroit News (Twitter link) that Gose will play center field regularly for the Tigers if all goes according to plan. The fleet-footed Gose is known to be an outstanding defender with a questionable bat, though he carried a fair amount of hype upon reaching the Majors in 2012, as he’d previously ranked as a Top 100 prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.

Gose hasn’t hit much in his time in the bigs, compiling a .234/.301/.332 batting line with five homers and 34 steals (in 45 tries) over 616 plate appearances. However, Gose is still just 24 years of age and will play nearly all of next season at that age. He’s perfectly capable of playing center field based both on scouting reports from his prospect days and defensive metrics such as UZR/150 (+13.6 in a 900-inning sample) and Defensive Runs Saved (+2). Gose has hit .241/.316/.350 against right-handed pitching in his career, so he could at least fall into a potential platoon with Rajai Davis if he struggles against lefties. He’s under team control through the 2019 season and won’t be eligible for arbitration until at least the 2016-17 offseason.

Gose is no stranger to seeing his name in trades. Originally drafted by Philadelphia in the second round back in 2008, he was shipped to the Astros in the Roy Oswalt trade before being flipped to Toronto in a one-for-one swap with Brett Wallace. Within the press release announcing the swap, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski offered the following statement on Gose:

“Anthony is a true center fielder than can provide us with above average defense in center field with a good arm. He possesses above average speed and can steal bases at the major league level. He swings the bat from the left side and we feel that he will continue to improve his offensive game.  We are very happy to welcome him to the Club.”

While Gose comes with upside, the acquisition of Travis appears to be a nice return for Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos. Baseball America ranked Travis as the game’s No. 84 prospect heading into the 2014 season and just today ranked him as the No. 1 prospect in Detroit’s minor league system (though ESPN’s Keith Law still tweets that he considers Travis a “non-prospect).

BA’s subscriber-only scouting report (subscription highly recommended) explains that Travis has excellent bat-to-ball skills, balance at the plate and bat control. Per BA’s Ben Badler, Travis has the ability to square up both fastballs and offspeed pitches well enough to hit 10-15 homers per season and is an adequate defender at second base who turns double plays well.

Toronto’s interest in Travis is hardly surprising, as the team is known to be on the lookout for second base help that will allow Brett Lawrie to play at third base full time. Travis should fill that role eventually, although he may not be ready for immediate big league action. The 23-year-old appeared in 100 games at Double-A Erie in 2014, batting .298/.358/.460 with 10 homers in 441 plate appearances. Last year, Baseball America’s Clint Longnecker took an excellent look at the changes Travis has made from his days at Florida State that enabled him to become one of the game’s better second base prospects.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.



AL Central Notes: Yost, Tomas, Alexei, Hanrahan

The Royals have yet to begin extension talks with manager Ned Yost, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.  “There’s a progression in the offseason.  There’s a sequential way we’re doing things. Right now, we’re focused on other things,” GM Dayton Moore said, in reference to the team’s roster.  Whenever negotiations take place, there’s no doubt Yost will eventually get a fresh new contract from the team in the wake of the Royals’ unexpected postseason performance.  Here’s the latest from the AL Central…

  • Also from McCullough (Twitter links), a group of Royals officials are en route from the GM Meetings to organizational meetings in the Dominican Republic where they could watch Yasmany Tomas work out.  The Royals are a recently new addition to the list of teams interested in Tomas, though McCullough says K.C. has “scouted Tomas extensively, but quietly, leading up to this winter.”
  • White Sox GM Rick Hahn will listen to other teams’ offers for Alexei Ramirez as he would for any player, though Hahn tells reporters (including Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune) that the Sox aren’t looking to trade their shortstop.  “Being strong up the middle is the priority for any good club, and we don’t intend to take a step back there,” Hahn said.  “We’re open-minded and we have depth in the area, so it’s reasonable to hear his name out there. I get that, but it’s certainly not something we’re pursuing on our end or are eager to convert on.”
  • The Tigers have been talking to Joel Hanrahan about a minor league contract, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports (via Twitter).  Hanrahan signed a one-year, $1MM Major League deal with Detroit in May but didn’t pitch at all last season as he suffered a setback in his recovery from May 2013 Tommy John surgery.
  • Scott Bream is staying in his current position as the Tigers director of pro scouting, Turner Sports’ Scott Miller tweets.  The Dodgers had reportedly been on the verge of hiring Bream to join their front office.
  • Twins righty Ricky Nolasco‘s three-team no-trade clause has been updated for this offseason, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (Twitter link).  All three teams are “big-market” AL clubs, so Berardino speculates that the Yankees and Red Sox are included.
  • The Twins have hired Gene Glynn as their third base coach, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).
  • The Indians could look for small upgrades rather than a big splash in free agency, GM Chris Antonetti told reporters (including MLB.com’s Mark Bowman).  “I think what we would look for from the free-agent market is something to complement our roster,” Antonetti said. “I don’t think we are going to be in the free-agent market to add a cornerstone player.”

Free Agent Notes: Scherzer, Lester, Miller, Rios

Talk about the market’s top free agent, Max Scherzer, has been scarce to this point, but agent Scott Boras tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that he’s not worried about the quiet air surrounding his client. “Premium free agents are rarely talked about at the GM meetings,” Boras said. “This is an owners’ decision. Every GM wants him. There’s always a place for him on every team. The issue is not whether the player is wanted. The issue is whether the owner will make the commitment to try to win the World Series.” Heyman’s piece contains many examples of the litany of stats Boras will use when pitching Scherzer to owners around the league. The Tigers are said to love Scherzer, but indications at this time are that they’re out on Scherzer. That, of course, could change as the offseason progresses, though one Tigers source told Heyman that Boras’ counteroffer to the team’s six-year, $144MM extension offer was “way, way” north of that sizable $144MM sum.

A few more notes on some free agents…

  • While many top free agents take their time to see how the market plays out, a source tells MassLive.com’s Jason Mastrodonato that Jon Lester is willing to sign as soon as the right offer presents itself, “whether it is tomorrow or April 1.” While the Red Sox are known to have a preference to shy away from commitments of four-plus years to pitchers in their 30s (following their five-year deal for John Lackey), GM Ben Cherington implied that the team might be willing to make an exception for Lester, noting that it’s never been a hard policy.
  • Andrew Miller‘s agent, Mark Rodgers, tells ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that he plans to be “methodical” in discussions with teams and doesn’t envision signing a contract in the near future. Miller is open to pitching in a setup capacity for a contending team with an entrenched closer, but he’s also generating interest from teams in need of a closer.
  • The Twins prefer to add a right-handed bat to their outfield this offseason, and while Torii Hunter has been listed in connection to Minnesota, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that Alex Rios is another name to watch.

Central Notes: White Sox, Royals, V-Mart

Rebuilding is no longer a word the White Sox want to be associated with, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports. “We sit here on the one hand realizing that we have the prime of Chris Sale‘s career ahead of us, the prime of Jose Abreu‘s career ahead of us and wanting to make sure we’re in a position to capitalize and win within that window,” Hahn said. “We want to win, we want to win again quickly and we want to win again repeatedly in the coming years. … We still have work to do to continue that process.” At the same time, Hahn emphasized today that the team has to avoid the “dangerous allure to wanting to make a splash,” as Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports in the course of an interesting look at the team’s options.

Here’s the latest from the AL Central after a busy news day:

  • The White Sox are currently focused on acquiring a right-handed starter, bullpen additions, and a left-handed hitter, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter. While the club has in the past looked into dealing for backstops such as Jason Castro of the Astros and Yasmani Grandal of the Padres, that does not appear to be the priority at present, per Rosenthal. Nevertheless, Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com indicates on Twitter that the team does have present interest in Castro.
  • Hahn said today that Chicago is interested in multiple relief acquisitions, as MLB.com’s Phil Rogers reports“We don’t feel the need to go out and get a so-called proven closer,” said Hahn. “We certainly want to have multiple upgrades, and if some of those upgrades give us viable back-end options, that’s great.”
  • Word is that the Royals will meet with the representatives of lefty Brett Anderson this week, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports on Twitter. GM Dayton Moore declined to confirm or deny that or any other meetings. I picked Anderson to go to Kansas City in the MLBTR free agent prediction contest, and think he makes sense for a club that has some added cash to spend on an upside play.
  • The Royals have told Raul Ibanez that they would be interested in employing him in a non-playing capacity, tweets McCullough. Ibanez, of course, is in the hunt for the Rays’ open managerial position, and perhaps it is still to early to rule out a return to an active roster as well.
  • Victor Martinez is at the top of the Tigers‘ list of priorities, writes Paul Hagen of MLB.com, as GM Dave Dombrowski made clear that the team will make every effort to re-sign the DH. The team is still interested in outgoing free agents Max Scherzer and Joba Chamberlain, per Dombrowski, but he said the club is sitting back while both assess their markets.

 


David Robertson Rumors: Tuesday

The Yankees made closer David Robertson the one-year, $15.3MM qualifying offer, which he officially declined yesterday.  GM Brian Cashman told reporters, “I thought it was 50-50 when we made the offer.  We were comfortable obviously if he accepted it and we wanted to be protected if he didn’t. To be honest, I had no idea what the position would be.”  More on the free agent market’s top reliever

  • The Tigers are out of the running for Robertson, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. GM Dave Dombrowski told Sherman that part of the reason he exercised Joakim Soria’s $7MM club option was to keep out of the race for late-inning relief on the free agent market. Detroit also considers Bruce Rondon a wild card that could make an impact on their bullpen next season.

Earlier Updates

  • Robertson has attracted interest from at least a half-dozen teams, a source tells Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.  He says among those is at least one with a protected draft pick, meaning the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Rangers, Astros, Twins, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Phillies, or Reds.  Of those, the Rockies, Astros, White Sox, and Cubs are known to be seeking relief help.
  • Cashman mentioned last night that he intends to meet with Robertson’s agent Scott Leventhal this week in Arizona.  The two sides have yet to discuss a multiyear deal.

Phillies Notes: Byrd, Howard, Tomas, Rollins

They’re trying to blow the whole thing up.  Everyone is for sale,” a rival executive tells CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury about the Phillies’ offseason plans.  The Phils will listen to offers on any player, though Cole Hamels and Ken Giles would require the most in return.  The rival exec wasn’t sure if the Phillies would find that desired price for Hamels, though he predicted that Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd would be moved this offseason.  “Detroit and Cincinnati are two teams to watch on Byrd,” Salisbury writes.

Here’s some more from the City of Brotherly Love…

  • The Royals have had internal discussions about acquiring Howard if the Phillies cover most of the $60MM remaining on Howard’s contract, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports.  Kansas City sees Howard as a possible replacement for Billy Butler at the DH spot.  UPDATE: The Royals’ interest in Howard is overblown, a source tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
  • The Phillies haven’t yet made an offer to Yasmany Tomas, agent Jay Alou told reports (including Salisbury).  Alou said that he and GM Ruben Amaro spoke today and negotiations are ongoing between the two sides.  Alou cited the Phils as one of “several teams that I could say are frontrunners” for Tomas, and noted that the Phillies had seen the outfielder work out a second time since his private workout for the club in September.
  • Amaro hasn’t spoken to Jimmy Rollins about the shortstop waiving his 10-and-5 rights to facilitate a trade to another team, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.  “If it is ever the right time, I will have the conversation, but Jimmy will be the one who decides where he is going,” Amaro said.
  • A trade of Domonic Brown for Jeremy Hellickson would make sense for both the Phillies and Rays, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News opines.  Lawrence makes it clear that he is just engaging in idle speculation about this proposed deal, as there is no evidence the Phillies are the NL team reportedly close to acquiring Hellickson.

Tigers Notes: Price, Dombrowski, Newhan

To the surprise of no one, star free agents Max Scherzer and Victor Martinez turned down qualifying offers from the Tigers yesterday.  Re-signing Martinez seems to be a priority for GM Dave Dombrowski.  More on the Tigers…

  • The door is not closed on a new deal with free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain, says Dombrowski, but it’s not a priority right now.
  • Dombrowski said he has not talked about an extension with lefty David Price, according to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Dombrowski said he knows both sides will want to see free agent prices first.  That’s a reference to the current free agent class, says Rosenthal.  Price is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.
  • Dombrowski has four prominent starting pitchers under control for 2015 in Price, Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, and Anibal Sanchez.  According to Rosenthal, the GM says he is happy with his starters and not looking to move anyone, but will always listen as he has in the past.
  • The Tigers announced they have named former big leaguer David Newhan assistant hitting coach to Wally Joyner, replacing the departed Darnell Coles.

Free Agent Notes: V-Mart, Hart, Grilli, Ichiro

A few notes on some free agents on a busy first day of the annual GM Meetings…

  • Octagon agent Alan Nero and his team are ready to advance talks regarding clients Victor Martinez, Jason Hammel and Asdrubal Cabrera, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets. While we don’t typically see too many free agents come off the board this early in the offseason, it sounds as if Octagon is being aggressive.
  • Corey Hart has received interest from several teams despite his down season in 2014, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).  The market is thin on power hitters and Hart, 32, was a 30-homer threat from 2010-12 before undergoing surgery on both knees and sitting out the 2013 campaign.
  • Jason Grilli has had some interest from multiple clubs, but the bullpen-hungry Tigers aren’t among them, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press tweets.
  • Ichiro Suzuki has switched agents and is now represented by John Boggs, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  Suzuki had previously been represented by Tony Attanasio.
  • Also from Rosenthal, Alberto Callaspo has switched agents and is now represented by Praver Shapiro Sports Management.  Callaspo had previously been represented by Eric Goldschmidt.  For agency info on over 1,700 players, check out MLBTR’s oft-updated Agency Database.