As the Royals look to even the score in the World Series against the Giants, other teams in the division are shifting their focus to the offseason. Here are a few notes from the AL Central…
- The Indians are expected to exercise their $3.5MM club option on Mike Aviles rather than pay him a $250K buyout, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Indians could have reasonably gone either way, as the team has some limited financial flexibility (a topic I highlighted in yesterday’s Offseason Outlook). It appears that his versatility will earn him a spot on the 2015 club. The 33-year-old batted .247/.273/.343 in 374 plate appearances with Cleveland last year.
- MLB.com’s Jason Beck spoke with Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, and while the GM didn’t specifically say that the team would exercise its $7MM club option on Joakim Soria, he certainly implied as much with his comments: “We still have to make the final decision, but it’s a situation where we look at him as being an important acquisition toward this [coming] year also.” Dombrowski said that the team views Joe Nathan as its closer next season, though he indicated that Nathan will have to perform up to his previous capabilities in order to hold onto that role.
- The Twins declined their $3.6MM option on Jared Burton earlier today, and Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that the team hasn’t expressed an interest in bringing the 33-year-old back, even at a lower rate.
Logically connecting the dots, the Tigers will improve their bullpen dramatically by doing only 2 things (and spending $16MM in 2015):
1. Picking up the option on Soria and just getting a healthy pitcher for the full year to lock down the 7th.
2. Overpay for Miller for 4 years and $36MM. Put him in the 8th inning.
Nathan stays in the 9th inning, but with both of the other two available as backup closer.
Counting Al Al and Rondon, that is four solid relievers (3 righties and a lefty) plus Nathan. It may make sense to try out Lobstein as a lefty reliever as well.
tune-in for baseball
You really are spending $26 mill (add Nathan’s $10 mill) on 3 RP and have Soria “lock down the 7th” and Al Al and Rondon battle for the 7th. Miller is going to sign with a team that will offer an opportunity to be the closer. It will be tough for Detroit to tell both Miller and Soria that they will be next in line for the 9th inning this year and for sure 2016. Lobstein is a main candidate for the 5th starter spot.
Soria is a psychological sunk cost for Dombrowski. He gave up too much to NOT pick up the option to at least get some value back.
Miller could go either way, but Tigers owner Ilitch may get involved here. There is too much bullpen pain over the past 4 years to not overpay. If they don’t go after Scherzer or extend Price, the money will be there.
Miller can sign a 4 year “overpay” deal and be the heir apparent as closer in 2016, 2017 and 2018… even sometime in the 1st half of 2015, depending on Nathan’s performance.
The dollars will be huge, but politically, no one in Detroit will blame him for it.
I guess I am also assuming that Nathan will not be around for very long and all of the other relievers will bump up one slot. Nathan = Papa Grande 2.0.
Soria would be gone after 2015.
I mean it sounds crazy to think that a team would spend that much on their bullpen. But when you think about it, it’s not, at least for the Tigers.
They have come so close, for how many years, with their biggest problem being their ‘pen. They need to get it sorted out, regardless of the cost, or all these huge contracts aren’t going to get them further then the AL Central title.
I feel like Dombrowski has a big offseason in plan. I wouldn’t be surprised if we trade Price to give more depth throughout the team. I wouldn’t mind signing James Shields to a deal similar to Anibal’s. Signing Brett Anderson to be the fifth starter wouldn’t be bad either. At least one lefty for the pen, preferably Miller, but if not maybe Zach Duke.
what would you realistically hope to get back for david price? Would be surprised if gm’s gave up more than what detroit gave up for him, as they know detroit would be only trading him for that reason?
We could easily get a new starting center fielder. Sure you might not get as much back for him, but considering we gave up an MLB pitcher, everyday CF at the MLB level, and a promising young prospect. We might be able to get Bradley jr and cecchini from the Red Sox. Bradley becomes the everyday cf and cecchini could become the LF of the future.
would you really want a burnt out prospect like bridley jr back for price? there are doubts that he can hit enough to be a fourth outfielder? though i agree his glove is superb. cecchini would definitely fill a hole, i think if the sox were to throw in one of their mid level pitching prospects (ranaudo maybe) then that could be a more fair deal for both sides?
I agree with that too. I think of Bradley too be similar to Austin Jackson when we got him. There were questions about his bat, but his glove was superb. I think if Bradley gets a change of pace he could turn things around. With him also its mainly for his glove. Our out field defense was awful and he would really help that. I think then putting Cecchini in left and JD in right would really solidify the outfield. And then if Cecchini isn’t ready, Rajai could always step in. To answer your other point I do think another prospect would need to be thrown in and I did think Ranaudo would be the best option. I’m actually kind of hopeful this trade happens because a young core of Iglesias, Casteallnos, Bradley, Cecchini, and Ranaudo could be great in 2-3 years. If not Ranaudo, you could probably get one or two bullpen pieces instead which I would be fine with.
Thats a very good point you raise re the comparison between jackson and bradley. i do agree he could do with a change of scenery given i think he may believe the red sox have lost faith in him. Martinez in right, is that really an upgrade? though bradley, davis, martinez is definitely better than what was being thrown out there recently. Castellanos could also be rolled out to left field and ceccini left at third, if ceccini’s glove is considered capable?
Either or. The only reason I would put Cecchini in left over castellanos is because Cecchini played left at the end of last season. Castellanos played left for a year and half and now spent a whole year back at third. I feel it would be too much change for him over that span. Both of them were projected to have average d at third at best. I almost view Cecchini as a left handed Castellanos who moves better.
agree whole heartedly in terms of chopping and changing nick. as someone who doesnt watch much of the tigers, would you say castellanos lived up to his billing at the plate? his numbers aren’t brilliant on paper, though i didn’t watch enough to evaluate.
He gave what was expected of him at the plate. He should improve next year too with a whole year of experience in the bigs.
Doubtful that the Sox would part with Cecchini for one year of Price. Though it’s possible if they sign Sandoval, but then they’d likely try to use him in an effort to get Hamels or Cueto.
The thought is that if they can’t sign Lester, then they might pursue a Price. Obviously this is all hypothetical. I think they may part with him as the center piece considering how much Bradley has fallen out of grace with the Red Sox. Also they would be able to offer a qualifying offer to Price after the season, or they could have more time to work out an extension.
rajai > bradley
Not defensively. Rajai doesn’t play center field well at all. Bradley is arguably the best defensive center fielder in baseball. Davis has always been thought of as more of a platoon player, while Bradley’s defense should make him an everyday center fielder as long as he can hit above a certain point.
that’s not much return for Price. I would like to see Gentry from Oakland take over cf . He has speed, a good glove, and knows how to get on base, something the Tigers could use at the top of the order. Oakland could use a SS to replace Lowrie, who is cheap and controllable, since they traded Russell. I would think Sanchez for Gentry and Abad would be fair for both teams.
I don’t mind the idea of trading for Gentry. But the reason I think they should trade Price is because he would free up more money than trading Sanchez. I don’t think Gentry and Abad is enough for Sanchez. The A’s would have to add someone and we might have to add someone to make it work.
Oops, I meant Suarez, not Sanchez. My bad.
1. Price needs to stay to extend the window. There is a good chance they can sign him to the exact deal that Scherzer got offered (and rejected) last year +5%. Or, just play out the season with Price as the ace and pick up a valuable draft pick if he leaves. There is no logical need to trade him.
2. Two CF trades that would not cost major players on Tigers 25 man roster are JBJ or Bourjos. See what the best deal you can get out of those two is and make it.
Bourjos more so than JBJ. The Sox aren’t going to give him away for free, especially not to the Tigers.
why not just keep Rajai in CF? He hit like .280
He’s an aging platoon player who had a very good year. He’s not the worst option, but I don’t think the Tigers will really want to commit to him there without exploring the market a bit.
He’s a terrible defender in center also.
Cecchini reminds me of Scott Cooper more than Wade Boggs. His numbers really slipped as he climbed the minor league ladder. Count me amongst those who worry that JBJ won’t hit. If the Tigers would take those 2 and Ranaudo for a year of Price, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I know that’s 16 years of team control for 1 year. I’m just not real excited about those three prospects.
I have a hard time seeing that happening from either team’s perspective.
Price would be great, but he’s a 20 million dollar hit against the Sox payroll that doesn’t set the team up for the future at all. If we’re going to start trading prospects, I’d rather have it be someone who will help for more than this year.
Bourjos strikes out every 3 ab’s, and doesn’t walk. I’d like to think we could get a better all around CF. They wont need someone to cover 2/3 of the outfield if they find someone to play RF with some range.
The smart thing for DD would be to save the money on Soria and decline the option. There are 11 pitchers with closing experience that may become Free Agents this off season, if all options are declined, yet only 8 teams will have openings at closer. Some may fill the opening in house. Only Miller is worth 7MM to be a set up man. It would be wiser to sign a less expensive righty set up, like ODay or Neshak, and add Miller for the 8th inning. Unfortunately, I see the Tigers near their budget limit (tho they will never say so). It is more likely we will see someone like Duke or Oliver, than Miller.