The details of the new bonus pool system for the 2017-18 July 2 class of international prospects has been reported by Baseball America’s Ben Badler, who provides a recap of how the July 2 market has been altered under the new collective bargaining agreement. All teams have been assigned bonus pools of either $5.75MM, $5.25MM or $4.75MM, based on their revenues and market size. Here’s more from around the game as news continues to pour in from the Winter Meetings…
- Tigers GM Al Avila doesn’t expect Chris Sale’s departure from the trade market to have any impact on Justin Verlander’s status, he told reporters including MLB.com’s Jason Beck. “I would assume there will be a domino effect, because that’s one more guy that gets taken up and maybe some teams now move on. But I don’t believe it’s going to affect our situation at all,” Avila said. While the Tigers are looking to be more cost-effective than usual this winter and are open to discussing deals of Verlander and other high-salaried players, the ace’s salary and no-trade protection are obstacles to a deal, not to mention the fact that Verlander is a necessary component since Detroit obviously still wants to compete in 2017.
- Along those same lines, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told Beck and other reporters that he doesn’t “think there’s going to be a ton of change” to his team’s roster give the difficulty involved in trading the high-priced stars. “It’s so much easier to talk about trading people, and a lot [tougher] to actually trade them, especially when you’re talking about guys that have some sizable contracts….Quite frankly, even talking about being more responsible fiscally, we don’t want to trade,” Ausmus said. “We like them, especially some of the names mentioned earlier in the season. Miguel [Cabrera], Justin, I don’t want those guys traded. Are you kidding me? That’s the last thing I want. I just think it’s easy to talk about and harder to do.” Ausmus believes his team can contend if they get better health next year, and he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Tigers bring in an external candidate for their vacancy in center field.
- With Tyler Thornburg off to the Red Sox, Brewers GM David Stearns told media (including MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy) that the team could possibly have a need in the bullpen. Stearns said he has had preliminary discussions with the agents of various free agent relievers.
- The minor league portion of this Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft will no longer have a distinction between Triple-A and Double-A levels, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper writes. The change probably won’t have impact on how the draft operates, as Cooper notes that the distinction between the two minor league phases “has been archaic for years.”
- Veteran outfielder Shane Victorino is working out in Las Vegas in case he decides to pursue a comeback in 2017, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. Victorino said in October that he could still consider returning to the sport. His 2016 season was limited to just nine games for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, as Chicago released Victorino from their minor league contract in May and the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” turned down minor league offers from other teams later in the season.