Tigers manager Brad Ausmus’ contract expires after the season, and as the club rebuilds, his future is unclear, Evan Woodbery of the MLive Media Group writes. “I can’t say that’s out of the question,” GM Al Avila said when asked about the possibility Ausmus would return for 2018. “I haven’t talked to him about it at this point. At some point we’ll sit down when we have some time and things settle down and we’ll see where that goes.” Ausmus himself declined to say anything too specific about the situation, though he did note that he thinks “there’s a lot of upside to young players because of the enthusiasm and energy and will to learn.” Last year, Ausmus expressed frustration about his uncertain future, only to have the Tigers pick up his option. Now there are no more options remaining on his deal, and the franchise appears to be heading in a different direction. He’s compiled a 308-310 record in most of four seasons in Detroit. Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- After dealing Justin Verlander and Justin Upton this week, the Tigers will continue to get younger, promoting third baseman Jeimer Candelario and righty Myles Jaye today, as Woodbery notes. The 23-year-old Candelario, who the Tigers acquired in July in the deal that sent Alex Avila and Justin Wilson to Chicago, has batted .265/.343/.484 at the Triple-A level this year. He ranks fourth in MLB.com’s list of the Tigers’ top prospects. With Nick Castellanos transitioning to the outfield, there is (or could eventually be) space open for Canedelario at third base. Jaye, 25, has posted a 3.96 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 131 2/3 innings in the rotations of Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers added him in a March 2016 trade that sent Bryan Holaday to Texas.
- Cubs shortstop Addison Russell hasn’t played in a game since Aug. 2 due to an ongoing case of plantar fasciitis, and manager Joe Maddon informed the media that he’ll be out for another three weeks after aggravating the injury during a rehab assignment (link via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat). An MRI confirmed the setback. With Russell on the shelf for another three weeks, the Cubs will continue to lean on Javier Baez as their primary shortstop, though Chicago also selected the contract of versatile utilityman Mike Freeman yesterday. Freeman isn’t likely to see many starts, but he gives Maddon some depth at the position and some insurance in the event of an injury to Baez. Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy offered a candid assessment of his opt-out clause when speaking with Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. “It would be pretty stupid if I did,” said Kennedy when asked about the possibility of exercising that clause. “You don’t go to the free-agent market pitching how I’ve been. No one is going to want that.” Set to turn 33 in December, Kennedy started the season with a strong April and has had some patches of success in 2017. However, he’s been shelled for 36 runs in his past 36 1/3 innings, allowing 49 hits (nine homers) and 17 walks against 30 strikeouts in that time. His current 5.47 ERA would be the worst full-season mark of his career and all but eliminates the possibility of forgoing the remaining three years and $43MM on his contract. Royals fans will want to check out Dodd’s column in full, as it’s packed with candid quotes from Kennedy and additional insight from manager Ned Yost.