With a likely eventful offseason approaching for the Tigers, MLive.com’s Evan Woodbery takes an exhaustive look at the team’s payroll and arbitration class. Woodbery notes that the Tigers will likely shop veterans Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias this offseason, as has been oft-speculated in the past, and he speculates that the team may even eat the remaining $18MM on Victor Martinez’s contract this offseason. Andrew Romine and Alex Presley are both non-tender candidates, and Woodbery points out that Bruce Rondon’s lack of a September call-up makes it all but a foregone conclusion that he’ll be non-tendered this winter as well. The Tigers seem likely to head into the 2018 season with their lowest payroll since 2011, though the combined $54MM that is owed to Miguel Cabrera and Jordan Zimmermann, plus dead-money commitments to Justin Verlander and Prince Fielder (a total of $14MM) ultimately mean they’ll still spend at a relatively notable clip.
More from the American League Central…
- Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press opines that prior MLB managerial experience should be prioritized over age or familiarity with analytics as the Tigers search for a new manager. Brad Ausmus’ lack of experience in the dugout “loomed large” over his tenure in Detroit, Fenech writes, before going on to suggest that veteran managers such as Ron Gardenhire or Ron Washington would make sense as candidates to lead what figures to be a young and inexperienced Tigers team in the coming years. Other speculative candidates listed by Fenech include Mike Redmond and Manny Acta.
- The Twins cut international scouting director Howard Norsetter loose last week, and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey explains to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that changes to amateur international free agency in the latest collective bargaining agreement played a significant role in the decision. “Historically you did have markets all over the place where you could run independently,” says Falvey. “The way the bonus structures worked, there was no cap, there were no limitations. Now we have it all under one umbrella. Where we devote our time, our resources and otherwise, we’ve revisited that to some degree.” Norsetter was based in Australia and was responsible for scouting virtually everywhere outside of Latin America, where Fred Guerrero was the Twins’ scouting coordinator. Falvey says the Twins will “re-appropriate” resources toward Latin American scouting, and Berardino notes that Guerrero could take on a larger role in the department.
- Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star fields a host of Royals questions in his latest mailbag column, with topics ranging from the 2018 rotation, to a potential reunion with Jarrod Dyson, to the possibility of retaining Jason Vargas and the lack of a September call-up for former first-rounder Hunter Dozier. Notably, Dodd suggests that the Royals could head to Spring Training with a rotation consisting of Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Nate Karns, Jake Junis and Jason Hammel, but the team will still be on the lookout for depth additions to join Sam Gaviglio and Eric Skoglund this winter. “Salary constraints,” however, could limit the Royals’ range of targets. Dodd also adds that the Royals still have a strong relationship with righty Luke Hochevar, who missed 2017 while recovering from thoracic outlet surgery, and they’d be interested in a minor league pact to bring him back to the organization.