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Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Verlander the Prognosticator, & Andy Dirks: Morning Prowl

Hopefully Delmon does plenty of this next season whether he's the everyday DH or not.
Hopefully Delmon does plenty of this next season whether he's the everyday DH or not.

Countdown: 12 days. And yes, we will be updating this every day.

Tigers links:

Tigers 'most likely set,' but still are pursuing Yoenis Cespedes - The Detroit News, Tom Gage
Patrick (Tigerdog1) mentioned this article briefly yesterday, but Dave Dombrowski said that the Tigers are "most likely set" when asked about the roster going into Spring Training. Recent history shows us that this is a good sign (if you want to see Cespedes in Detroit, that is).

Top Tigers prospect could be in Toledo in 2012! - Toledo Mud Hens News, John Parker
We linked a Fangraphs interview with Drew Smyly last week, but here's another one with's John Parker. Smyly touches on his cut fastball and his time at the University of Arkansas, and pays no mind to the half-baked trade rumors bearing his name earlier this offseason.

Walkoff Wonders: How the Tigers Should Handle DH - Walkoff Woodward, Josh Worn
Doc looks at some possible scenarios for the Tigers' designated hitter situation in 2012 and gives his preferred option. Personally, I'd like to see Delmon Young's number bumped up a bit, if only to avoid him needing a glove at any point next season.

Andy Dirks at home in Dominican Republic - ESPN SweetSpot Blog, Javier Maymi
It looks like Andy Dirks has built quite the following during his time in the Dominican Winter League. The awesome picture that goes along with this article is just one reason why.

Detroit Tigers Top 20 Seasons: #1 1968 - Tiger Tales, Lee Panas
Lee has put together a great series of posts ranking the best Tiger seasons of all-time -- spoiler alert: the best ones end in championships -- and his top spot goes to the '68 World Champs.

Justin Verlander’s Super Bowl XLVI pick was perfect: Giants 21, Patriots 17 - Big League Stew, David Brown
Justin Verlander notched his first victory of 2012 by correctly picking the Super Bowl's winner and score. Any early picks for a World Series champ, Justin?

Justin Verlander loves Detroit, says Taco Bell routine started rookie season - Detroit Free Press, Anthony Fenech
Speaking of Verlander, he lets us all know just how long he's hated tomatoes on his pre-game Taco Bell orders. (h/t JacksTigers for the fanshot last night)

Fresh Prince of Detroit T-Shirt - Alternative Hero
If you're looking for a little variety from the 12 Tigers sherseys in your closet (Cath...), check out this Prince Fielder T-shirt from Alternative Hero.

Super Bowl Commercials 2012: Chrysler, Clint Eastwood Pay Ode To Detroit - SB Nation Detroit, Sean Yuille
This isn't exactly Tigers-related, but here is video of the Chrysler commercial featuring Clint Eastwood from Super Bowl XLVI.

Tigers & DPL All-Star Ignacio Valdez agree - Dominican Prospect League
Well, the Tigers signed an outfield prospect that is a citizen of the Dominican Republic... just not the one everyone is hoping for. (h/t Kurt & David for the link)

Around the AL Central:

The Offseason Of The Indians Explained In Two Simple Acquisitions - Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee
The Cleveland Indians appear to be in "win now" mode after acquiring Casey Kotchman and Derek Lowe. My favorite quote from the article: "Exciting costs money. Exciting forces teams to commit to players into the next decade." Hmm, I wonder who that was referring to?

Detroit’s Fielder signing doesn’t change Royals’ plans - Kansas City Star, Rustin Dodd
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals seem to be standing pat with their roster going into 2012. While many see the Royals as 2012's surprise team, I think that they will finish a distant 3rd or 4th in the division.

WAR's toll on the White Sox - South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
I was surprised to see how badly the Chicago White Sox have struggled to bring talent through their farm system in the past decade despite some great success (especially in 2005). Check out Beyond the Box Score for the full list, where the Tigers are in the middle of the pack.

Ron Gardenhire tells Iowa audience his opening day (for now) lineup - Minneapolis Star Tribune, Michael Rand
If we've learned anything from Jim Leyland, it's that lineup choices can change in a snap, but Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire seems confident about his choices for Opening Day 2012.

Elsewhere in Baseball:

Orioles set to trade Guthrie to Rockies - Baltimore Sun, Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Orioles traded right-handed pitcher Jeremy Guthrie -- whom some BYB readers wanted to see in Detroit next season -- to the Colorado Rockies for a pair of righties in Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. (h/t DJesse13 for the fanshot yesterday)

Rays outfielder Sam Fuld gives message of hope to others with Type 1 diabetes -, Bill Chastain
Here's a great story about Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld, who has Type 1 diabetes. He hopes to be a mentor for others with the disease, and shows his commitment by volunteering at a sports camp in Florida.