Scott Sizemore Rumors
The Tigers made quite a bit of noise yesterday, declining to pick up Magglio Ordonez's option and announcing that they would not pursue Cliff Lee or another top tier free agent starting pitcher, among several other things. John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press has some more today...
- First base (Miguel Cabrera) and centerfield (Austin Jackson) are the only positions set in stone for next year, and they plan to fill several others from within. Alex Avila (.228/.316/.340 in 333 plate appearances) will take over as the starting catcher, and Ryan Raburn (.280/.340/.474 in 410 PA) will essentially have a full-time outfield job. Second base will also be filled from within, with Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore representing the early favorites. Once he returns from knee surgery, Carlos Guillen is expected to be a "jack of all trades."
- The Tigers do have interest in bringing Ordonez back, presumably at a rate much lower than the $15MM option they declined. That could fill the hole at designated hitter.
- Dave Dombrowski acknowledged that Brandon Inge's defense is why they want him back, but they feel he can chip in double digit homers as well. Yesterday we heard that the two sides were discussing a multi-year contract.
- Brennan Boesch, who hit .163/.237/.222 in the second half after a .342/.397/.593 first half, will "have to step up" like any young player who wants a full-time job according to the GM.
- Dombrowski told Tom Gage of The Detroit News that he wants to add a middle-of-the-order bat, and he would prefer it to be a lefthanded hitter (Twitter link). Cabrera led the league with 32 intentional walks, so finding him some protection is a must. Some notable lefty bats that will be on the free agent market: Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Brad Hawpe, and Hideki Matsui, though all of those guys are defensively challenged.
Links for Sunday....
- More from Rosenthal, as he tweets that the Padres are not looking to move Tim Stauffer despite there being several teams interested in the pitcher. Stauffer has been rumored to be on the trade block as he is out of options.
- FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter) that the Twins will use a closer-by-committee approach to start the season, which presumably means no trades are imminent.
- Dave Dombrowski denies that the Tigers are looking for a second base upgrade, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark had reported that Detroit could be in the market for a second baseman, given Scott Sizemore's up-and-down spring, but Dombrowski says the club's lineup is set. The GM also mentions that "a lot of clubs have been calling" about the Tigers' pitching.
- Ian Desmond has been named the Nationals' starting shortstop, according to the team's Twitter page. The rookie beat out Cristian Guzman, who will now earn $8MM this season as a utilityman. Guzman, for his part, will not ask for a trade, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
- The Rockies had interest in Chad Gaudin last year, but don't think they have a spot for him anymore, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
- Mike Lowell is maintaining a realistic outlook on his current situation, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston. Edes adds in a tweet that Lowell took grounders at third base this morning, a good sign for the health of his knee.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post explains the decision facing the Nationals regarding Scott Olsen. The Nats are evaluating whether or not Olsen belongs in their rotation, and will owe him his full 2010 base salary ($1MM) if he's with the team past March 31.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new blog post up with some trade rumor nuggets for us. It's behind the Insider wall (if you don't have a subscription yet, what are you waiting for?), so I can't give away too much...
- Stark lists 16 players currently on the trade block. Among the names we haven't seen mentioned recently: Willie Harris, Andy Marte, Tim Stauffer, Omir Santos, and Brad Thomas.
- The Mets are looking to move one of their extra catchers, either Santos or Chris Coste, and are looking to add "major league-ready triple-A pitching depth." Aren't we all...
- The Phillies are looking to add all sorts of pitching depth, and have interest in the recently released Chad Gaudin.
- Scott Sizemore's rocky spring has the Tigers looking for a second base upgrade.
- Kansas City is shopping Brayan Pena in their perpetual search for starting pitching.
- The Braves have told other clubs that David Ross is available, "possibly in a catcher-for-catcher swap for a younger backup-catcher type."