Ian Kinsler’s stance on his limited no-trade clause — that he’d want an extension to waive it, per his agent — seemed to complicate potential trade talks between the Dodgers and Tigers. But it was never known just what kind of new contract he’d have sought, and the veteran second baseman suggested today that the trade protection wouldn’t have posed a major barrier, as MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports. “I don’t think that was going to stand in the way of a trade,” said Kinsler, who seems likely to open the season with Detroit. It wouldn’t have been preferable to veto a deal and end up back with the Tigers, he noted, explaining that “it’s just kind of awkward to have a trade in place and then have it fall through.” After praising GM Al Avila for his handling of the matter, Kinsler said of the no-trade clause: “[W]hen you have protection, you need to use it. That’s what it’s built in for. That’s how I was going to go about it.” The organization has largely held pat with its veterans, despite prior suggestions that some kind of sell-off might occur this offseason, and Beck writes that the core players seem relieved and excited at the prospect of at least one more run together.
Here’s more from Motown:
- A return to form from a few key players could certainly turn the tide for the Tigers, with righty Jordan Zimmermann certainly representing an important part of the equation. As Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports, Zimmermann set out to solve his neck issues. He has undergone treatments and says he feels good, though it seems that he’s still dealing with some tightness.
- After acquiring Mikie Mahtook, the Tigers now have an interesting camp battle lined up for time in center field, as Evan Woodberry of MLive.com explores. He’ll likely be competing with former LSU teammate JaCoby Jones to take the right-handed side of a platoon situation. Things are looking good for the left-handed-hitting Tyler Collins, Woodberry notes, since the organization designated Anthony Gose to make roster space for Mahtook. Alex Presley appears to be the most likely alternative as a lefty platoon piece.
- Speaking of Gose, former Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon says that the highly publicized argument between the two is water under the bridge. As George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press writes, McClendon (who is now the big league hitting coach in Detroit) says that he wishes the 26-year-old the best, wherever he ends up. Attributing the spat to the rigors of the working environment, McClendon noted that he and Gose have “had great conversations since then.” As for the still-youthful player’s future? “He’s got a lot of talent,” said McClendon. “Anthony Gose will land on his feet. He’s not the first kid, won’t be the last, that runs out of time with a certain organization. That’s just the nature of our business.”