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Detroit Tigers Links: The Anibal Sanchez situation & what Victor Martinez means

Drew Smyly would likely be the fifth starter if Anibal Sanchez signs elsewhere, what Victor Martinez means to the Detroit Tigers, and winter baseball updates. These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Tigers links:

Tigers enjoyed a banner year, even after critics declared them dead
The Detroit News, Jerry Green

Detroit was full of ghouls who considered the Tigers dead meat. Fans delivered their wizardry on sports talk radio. Jim Leyland was a bum and was finished in Detroit. The fans waved white flags. But baseball, well, it's a funny game.

Detroit Tigers likely to stick with Drew Smyly as fifth starter if Anibal Sanchez signs elsewhere, Chris Iott

Smyly went 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA for the Tigers in the regular season and had a 2.25 ERA out of the bullpen in four postseason appearances.

The agony and the ecstasy of the Tigers' 2012 season
Detroit Free Press, Jeff Seidel

One week later, some of the sting has worn off. Barely.

Tigers would love to re-sign Sanchez, but know he'll be a hot FA commodity
Out of Left Field, Matthew B. Mowery

Anibal Sanchez talked repeatedly and often about how he’d hoped he would get a chance to land with a contender, and finally get a taste of the playoffs, and how excited he was to get it with the Detroit Tigers, who’d traded for him.

2013 World Series odds
ESPN, David Schoenfield

Early odds to win the 2013 World Series from the online sports book Bovada: Detroit Tigers: 6/1.

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Winter Baseball
Walkoff Woodward, Erin Saelzler

While baseball has pretty much settled down for its long winter’s nap here in the United States, down in Latin America, things are just starting to heat up.

What Victor Martinez Means To The Detroit Tigers’ Offense
Motor City Bengals, Matt Snyder

... but they did announce last week that they wouldn’t be bringing back Delmon Young, and that’s about as big of a move as they’ll make this offseason.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Houston Astros unveil new uniforms for first AL season

The Houston Astros are leaving their old look behind as they prepare for their move to the American League in 2013.

10 things I hate about baseball
Baseball Nation, Al Yellon

I love baseball. But there are some things about this sport that infuriate me. One of them is depicted above. (No, it's not the Yankees.)

Mariano Rivera plans to return for 19th season
Big League Stew, Mark Townsend

What seemed like a forgone conclusion in the months following his torn right ACL suffered during a freak accident in Kansas City, became a 50/50 proposition last week when it was reported that Mariano Rivera was considering retirement.

Twins considering trade for Rays righty James Shields?
HardballTalk, Drew Silva

The Twins had one of the worst pitching staffs in the majors this season, finishing with a combined 4.77 ERA that ranked 28th out of baseball's 30 teams.