Detroit Tigers – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-08-11T22:55:29Z WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Tigers Place C.J. Cron On Injured List]]> 2020-08-11T17:26:38Z 2020-08-11T17:26:38Z The Tigers have placed first baseman C.J. Cron on the 10-day injured list, per a club announcement. Infielder Willi Castro was recalled to take the open roster spot.

The organization says that Cron has been diagnosed with a left knee sprain. It remains to be seen if there’s any greater damage to the joint.

Cron left last night’s game after attempting to field a liner. The 30-year-old left the field gingerly. Hopefully he has avoided significant damage.

The Tigers find themselves in competitive position a couple weeks into the season, thanks in no small part to contributions from their new first bagger. Cron has turned in a .190/.346/.548 batting line in 52 plate appearances. Despite the sub-Mendoza batting average, that’s good for a 146 wRC+.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Tigers Place Buck Farmer On IL]]> 2020-08-11T02:57:50Z 2020-08-11T02:57:50Z
  • The Tigers placed righty Buck Farmer on the IL on Monday with a left groin strain and recalled righty Beau Burrows, per Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press. Farmer was a bright spot on a bottom-feeding Tigers team a year ago and has kept runs off the board at an even better clip this season, having allowed just two ER on four hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. On the negative side, Farmer has struck out only one hitter after fanning almost 10 per nine in 2019.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Cardinals-Tigers Doubleheader Postponed]]> 2020-08-10T23:26:29Z 2020-08-10T21:27:01Z The Cardinals’ next scheduled matchup will be postponed, per a league announcement. The team had been set to resume play on Thursday in a doubleheader against the Tigers.

    This is only the latest in a string of cancellations that have threatened the viability of the 2020 season for the venerable St. Louis organization. The club has completed just five games, while some competitors have already logged 17 contests.

    It’s obviously necessary to err well on the side of caution given the worryingly broad spread of COVID-19 in the clubhouse. But the result is equally obvious: the length of the layoff makes it hard to imagine the Cards will complete anything approaching a 60-game campaign.

    The earliest the Cardinals will resume play is Friday, when they’re scheduled to head to Chicago. The latest round of testing did not feature any new positives, which seems promising. But any further setbacks would pose significant questions to the league.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jordy Mercer Elects Free Agency After Outright]]> 2020-08-06T17:29:19Z 2020-08-06T17:22:50Z The Tigers announced today that they have outrighted infielder Jordy Mercer. The veteran elected free agency after clearing waivers.

    Mercer, who is closing in on his 34th birthday, hasn’t received many opportunities after being added to the active roster to open the season. He had made the club after inking a minor-league deal over the offseason.

    Once a regular with the Pirates, Mercer joined the Detroit organization last year. After dealing with some injuries early, he ultimately turned in a productive .270/.310/.438 effort over 271 plate appearances. And defensive metrics were less than enthused with his glovework at shortstop.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cardinals Will Not Travel For Scheduled Series In Detroit]]> 2020-08-03T19:58:31Z 2020-08-03T19:21:01Z 2:57pm: Indeed there are 13 total positives, including seven players, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.

    2:34pm: The Cards will not go to Detroit as scheduled, Mark Saxon of The Athletic tweets. It seems now they’ll ultimately scratch at least seven contests, he adds.

    It also sounds as if the number of players on the roster with infections is still on the rise. Saxon tweets that at least eight members of the organization have tested positive, six of them players. And another source indicates that the number may actually be 13 total positives.

    2:21pm: The Cardinals have yet to announce the results of Sunday’s round of Covid-19 testing, but Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that the Tigers have already been informed that tomorrow’s scheduled game against the Cards in Detroit is “highly unlikely” to be played. Tonight’s game had already been postponed, and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the entire Detroit/St. Louis series is in jeopardy. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals remain in Milwaukee, awaiting test results, despite the fact that they’d been previously scheduled to travel today.

    Last Friday, a pair of Cardinals players tested positive for Covid-19, prompting the team’s scheduled game in Milwaukee to be postponed. The hope had been that a doubleheader could be played Sunday, but an additional Cardinals player and three staff members reportedly tested positive Saturday. Yesterday brought more positive results, although Goold notes in the aforementioned column that the club had some “inconclusive” test results. The precise numbers aren’t quite clear at present, but it seems at this point that the Cards’ slate of cases is smaller than the Marlins’ outbreak. That, of course, could continue to change as additional tests are performed. The Marlins had seven known cases on Sunday, July 26, but that had ballooned to 20 (18 players, two staffers) just four days later.

    The origin of the Cardinals’ outbreak may well have been from players breaking health-and-safety protocols. Former big leaguer Jerry Hairston Jr. tweeted over the weekend that multiple Cardinals players visited a casino recently, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets today that he’s heard the same: “at least a couple” Cardinals players did head to a casino in their downtime. MLB has since further tightened its protocols on leaving the team hotel, he adds, but it’s nonetheless a discouraging reminder that the league’s safety protocols still aren’t being (and perhaps never will be) adhered to in universal fashion. That said, it’s also curious to see Heyman indicate that protocols had previously “strongly discouraged” leaving the team hotel but now prohibit that practice. Making a change at this stage feels reactive rather than proactive — and it’d be perfectly fair to question why it took a second outbreak for that change to come about.

    As we saw with the Marlins’ outbreak, the tentacles on this type of team-wide infection can be far-reaching. The Phillies, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays and Nationals all had their schedules upended to varying degrees in the days following the Marlins’ season being “paused.” The Brewers have already been impacted in this instance, and it seems quite likely that the Tigers will encounter a similar fate. The Cardinals are scheduled to host the Cubs this weekend, and depending on the forthcoming test results, it’s possible that series could be impacted as well.

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Cardinals Coronavirus Update, Mize, Kimbrel]]> 2020-08-02T03:07:29Z 2020-08-02T03:07:29Z The Cardinals and Brewers scheduled doubleheader for Sunday has been postponed, MLB announced in a statement. The Cardinals had 3 players and 1 staff member test positive for coronavirus this weekend with four pending tests still unresolved, tweets ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The positive tests will affect the schedule for the next week as well. The Tigers and Cardinals were originally supposed to play a home-and-home pair of series this week in St. Louis and Detroit. Following the cases of coronavirus in St. Louis, however, all four games will be played in Detroit, including a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Brewers’ schedule will be unchanged, as they’ll head to Chicago to take on the White Sox.

    • Contrary to earlier speculation, Casey Mize will not make his major league debut for the Tigers on Sunday, writes The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen. Without a minor league pipeline in which to develop, many young players have made their debuts already this season, including highly-touted pitching prospects like Brady Singer of the Royals and Nate Pearson of the Blue Jays. For the time being, however, the Tigers continue to play coy with the future of Mize. Despite the rampant speculation that Mize would earn his promotion to take part in Sunday’s doubleheader, the Tigers finally tabbed Daniel Norris and Rony Garcia instead. Norris will make his 2020 debut after previously testing positive for coronavirus. Garcia, a 22-year-old Rule 5 pick from the Yankees, made his debut on Tuesday getting against the Royals. Garcia went 3 innings, giving up 3 runs, 2 of which were earned. 
    • The Cubs are considering moving Craig Kimbrel out of the closer’s role as the veteran fireballer has continued to surrender the long ball at an alarming rate, per’s Jordan Bastian and others. Cubs manager David Ross was noncommital when asked to comment on the situation. Jesse Rogers of ESPN noted that Kimbrel has given up a rather shocking 11 home runs in just 22 innings since joining the Cubs midseason last year. Kimbrel is arguably one of the most successful closers the era, but he has yet to figure it out in Chicago. With the bases loaded in the seventh inning today, Ross turned the ball over to Jeremy Jeffress, who would be a top contender to replace Kimbrel. Though he too is coming off a difficult 2019, Jeffress does have experience closing out games (45 career saves). If today’s game was any indication, however, Ross may choose to deploy Jeffress in high-leverage moments while distributing closing opportunities piecemeal to some combination of Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan, Kimbrel, and Jeffress.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Tigers Could Promote Casey Mize For Sunday’s Start]]> 2020-08-01T16:06:35Z 2020-08-01T16:06:35Z One of baseball’s top prospects could make his MLB debut on Sunday, as Casey Mize could potentially start the Tigers’ game against the Reds.  Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire has held back from directly stating that Mize is slated to start, as the skipper told’s Jason Beck and other reporters on Friday that “I can’t announce anything until my general manager makes a statement.”  In another chat with media (including’s Evan Woodbery) this morning, Gardenhire noted that “We’re on a day-to-day basis here.  We’ve got to make sure everything’s okay before we make that announcement for tomorrow.”

    Factors both large and small go into that “everything’s okay” designation.  Most directly, rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for both tonight and tomorrow in the Detroit area, so the Tigers aren’t going to promote Mize unless they are certain a game will actually be played.  (To that end, the Tigers and Reds moved their game today from a 5:10pm CT start to 12:10pm CT in an effort to try and beat the rain.)

    In the bigger picture, there is also the increasingly ominous threat that the 2020 season could be paused or halted altogether as multiple teams (the Marlins and Cardinals) are now dealing with coronavirus outbreaks.  The latter situation is more directly concerning to the Tigers, as Detroit is scheduled to face St. Louis in four games from August 3-6.  At the very least, it seems very likely those four games won’t be happening, leaving the Tigers with an extended break in the schedule unless they can possibly rearrange any other games with other opponents.

    Such on-field considerations are of obvious concern to the Tigers in regards to Mize’s status, as they’re not going to call up their most prized young arm only to begin his career in stop-start fashion.  Service time could also be an issue, as while enough time in the season has passed that Detroit has gained an extra year of control over Mize, the Tigers might not want to start his service time clock due to the possibility that the league might halt play all teams within just a few days’ time.

    It’s an unusual situation to be sure, though the idea of Mize making his debut in 2020 was certainly in the cards long before the pandemic became a reality.  The first overall pick of the 2018 draft has impressed in his brief pro career, posting a 2.71 ERA, 4.62 K/BB rate, and 8.8 K/9 over 123 total minor league innings.  Mize hasn’t pitched beyond the Double-A level, tossing 78 2/3 frames for the Tigers’ Erie affiliate in 2019, though the canceled 2020 minor league season erased his opportunity to pitch Triple-A ball.  Detroit included Mize on its 60-man player pool, and the righty has been working out at the team’s minor league training site.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Tigers To Place Cameron Maybin On IL]]> 2020-07-31T04:52:37Z 2020-07-31T04:52:37Z
  • The Tigers are placing oufielder Cameron Maybin on the injured list because of a strained quad, Evan Woodbery of relays. Maybin suffered the injury Thursday, just the sixth game since the once-touted Tigers prospect returned to Detroit for a third stint. The club signed Maybin to a one-year, $1.5MM deal in free agency.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Alex Wilson Retires]]> 2020-07-29T03:44:51Z 2020-07-29T03:44:51Z Former major league right-hander Alex Wilson has retired, Robert Murray reports. The 33-year-old will join the Ballengee Group as an advisor, per Murray.

    Wilson, a second-round pick of the Red Sox in 2009, debuted in 2013 and generated solid results with Boston over a combined 56 innings through 2014. But Wilson wasn’t long for the Red Sox, who traded him to Detroit after the 2014 campaign in the teams’ Yoenis CespedesRick Porcello swap. Wilson went on to enjoy a successful stint as a member of the Tigers, with whom he was a durable and effective reliever.

    Wilson amassed 264 2/3 innings and pitched to a 3.20 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 as Tiger from 2015-18, but they non-tendered him heading into last season. He saw his final major league action in Milwaukee, where he was tattooed for 12 earned runs on 15 hits in 11 1/3 frames. Although the Tigers brought Wilson back last offseason on a minor league contract, they ended up releasing him in June.

    While his career didn’t end in ideal fashion, there’s no denying Wilson had a more productive MLB career than most. He’ll depart with 332 innings of 3.44 ERA ball and 6.1 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9. MLBTR wishes Wilson the best in his next venture.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Tigers To Use Michael Fulmer As Opener All Season]]> 2020-07-28T04:04:32Z 2020-07-28T04:04:32Z
  • The Tigers plan to use righty Michael Fulmer as an opener all year and are unlikely to let him go five to six innings in any of his appearances, pitching coach Rick Anderson revealed (via Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic). Fulmer’s a former AL Rookie of the Year winner who topped out at 164 2/3 frames in his second season in 2017, but it’s understandable that the Tigers are taking a cautious approach with him. After all, the 27-year-old is just returning from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in March 2019. He took the mound Monday for the first time since September 2018 and surrendered four earned runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings during a blowout loss to the Royals.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Tigers Place Dario Agrazal On Injured List]]> 2020-07-27T19:43:59Z 2020-07-27T19:43:59Z The Tigers have placed righty Dario Agrazal on the injured list, per a club announcement. He’s said to be dealing with a forearm strain.

    Taking his place on the active roster will be fellow righty Anthony Castro. The team will have to account for Agrazal’s scheduled start tomorrow, likely with a parade of relievers.

    It’s quite the unfortunate development for Agrazal, who had just been called up. The 25-year-old struggled to a 4.91 ERA in his first 73 1/3 MLB innings in 2019.

    George Miller <![CDATA[Tigers Claim Carson Fulmer]]> 2020-07-25T21:59:25Z 2020-07-25T17:57:37Z The Tigers announced today that they have claimed right-handed pitcher Carson Fulmer off waivers from the White Sox, who designated Fulmer for assignment on Thursday. The Tigers will need to make a corresponding move to clear a spot for Fulmer on the 40-man roster.

    As MLBTR’s Steve Adams examined at length in May, Fulmer still offers glimpses of the tools that made him a coveted prospect in 2015: his fastball, curveball, and cutter all boast near-elite spin rates. And yet, despite those solid numbers, those pitches—particularly the four-seamer and cutter—evidently haven’t gotten the desired results for Fulmer. He’s generated relatively few swings and misses on those pitches, and it’s resulted in a career 6.56 ERA and constant up-and-down movement between the Majors and minors.

    That said, this is precisely the type of acquisition that seems ideal for a Tigers team with little to lose this year. Without foundational pitching pieces, Fulmer comes at a small cost, and there’s always the possibility that a change of scenery could allow him to finally grow into a productive Major Leaguer. He’s still just 26 years old, and with expectations low for the team, they can afford to take on reclamation projects such as Fulmer in hopes that something sticks.

    Fulmer could be deployed either as a starter or reliever, though it’s unknown as of now what Ron Gardenhire has planned for his newest player; either way, the Tigers will look to do what the White Sox couldn’t and tap into some of the talent that made him a top draft pick five years ago. If pitching coach Rick Anderson can hone Fulmer’s mechanics and command, the Tigers might have found themselves a worthwhile addition who could contribute to their next winning team.

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Predict The NL Central Winner]]> 2020-07-25T14:28:06Z 2020-07-25T14:28:06Z With final roster decisions in the books and the 2020 season underway at long last, it’s time to make some predictions. We’ve started to poll the MLBTR readership on each of the game’s six divisions — starting with the AL Central. With plenty more teams primed to crack the postseason under the inclusive new playoff qualification system, let’s jump the pond and take a look at the NL Central.

    Kyle Hendricks gave the Cubs an early lead in the division yesterday with a 2 1/2 hour complete game shutout of the Brewers. The Reds were right there with them in blowing away the Tigers. Many believe the Reds won the offseason, and their beefed-up lineup looks to bullrush the rest of the division. Matt Davidson took the Reds’ DH at-bats in game one, but newcomers Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos will cycle through as well. The pitching is underrated, and they’re going to be a force. The Brewers roll out two of the most impactful rostered players in the sport in Josh Hader and Christian Yelich, a dangerous pair of superstars in a short season. The Pirates are an organization in transition, and if they manage a string together a competitive 60-game season, it’ll be a surprise. Until a new champ is crowned, however, the Cardinals remain the toast of the NL Central. With Carlos Martinez back in the rotation and Matt Carpenter set to take a healthy slate of DH at-bats, the 2020 Cardinals are a slightly different shape, but no less formidable.

    Which team do you think is the best of the bunch? (Poll link for app users.)

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Predict The AL Central Division Winner]]> 2020-07-25T00:57:53Z 2020-07-25T00:57:53Z With final roster decisions in the books and the 2020 season underway at long last, it’s time to make some predictions. We’ll poll the MLBTR readership on each of the game’s six divisions — though plenty more teams will crack the postseason under the rather inclusive new playoff qualification system.

    There’s rather an interesting dynamic in the American League Central division this year. The Twins stepped up in 2019 and have added Josh Donaldson to an already potent lineup. They’ll try to hold off the Indians, who had previously enjoyed a stranglehold on the division and have some of the best core talent around. There’s no denying the immense potential that resides on the White Sox roster, which features both elite youngsters and newly inked quality veterans. The Royals feel they’ve got quick bounceback potential after a few down seasons; if a few players hit their ceilings, perhaps they could surprise. It’s harder to see a path for the Tigers, but they’ve also got a load of elite young hurlers pushing into the majors and will enter the season determined to make strides.

    Which team do you think is the best of the bunch? (Poll link for app users.)

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Tigers Select Dario Agrazal, Jordy Mercer]]> 2020-07-23T14:15:14Z 2020-07-23T13:33:23Z The Tigers have announced that righty Dario Agrazal and infielder Jordy Mercer have made the Opening Day roster. Their contracts were selected to the 40-man roster. Former top picks Kyle Funkhouser and Beau Burrows both made the roster as well.

    Agrazal, 25, was acquired from the Pirates back in November and later outrighted off the 40-man roster. The righty pitched 73 1/3 innings with the Pirates in 2019 but struggled to a 4.91 ERA with 5.0 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.84 HR/9 and a 39.9 percent grounder rate. Agrazal doesn’t miss many bats, even in the minors, but he’s averaged well under two walks per nine innings pitched in parts of seven minors league seasons and typically registers a ground-ball rate north of 50 percent. He’s only totaled 64 innings in Triple-A, but he owns a career 3.62 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 1.3 BB/9 in 608 2/3 total minor league frames.

    The veteran Mercer, meanwhile, will return for a second season in Detroit. He spent the ’19 season with the Tigers after signing a one-year deal but was plagued by quadriceps injuries for much of the season, spending multiple stints on the injured list. The signing looked regrettable at the season’s halfway point, but Mercer returned in early July and closed out the year with a sharp .292/.323/.479 slash line to salvage what was looking to be a lost year. The 33-year-old — 34 next month — is a career .257/.316/.388 hitter in parts of eight MLB seasons.

    Both Funkhouser and Burrows were at one point first-round picks. Detroit selected Burrows with the No. 22 selection back in 2015, and Funkhouser was a supplemental first-round pick by the Dodgers just 13 spots later in that same draft. Funkhouser, however, didn’t sign and slid to the Tigers in the fourth round a year later. Both showed promise in 2017-18 before ugly 2019 seasons dropped their stock, but they’ll both get their first look in the big leagues to begin the 2020 campaign.