On Thursday, Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila answered some questions about the Tigers’ off-season approach, stating that the biggest need is pitching. Specifically, the Tigers are going to pursue two starting pitchers.
The Tigers’ starting rotation ranked dead last in the American League and 27th in all of baseball with a 4.78 ERA in 2015. Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez seem like locks for the 2016 rotation at this point with Daniel Norris having the edge for the fifth spot. Although, Matt Boyd, Shane Greene and Michael Fulmer should be in competition during spring training.
The interesting comment about the bullpen was that Avila stated that he was going to be "experimenting and exploring with the use of analytics and scouts." This implies that Avila may not necessarily go with someone with closing experience, which is a complete 180 from his predecessor, Dave Dombrowski, who usually spent tons of money on experienced closers. My personal free agent target is Darren O’Day, who has a career 2.31 ERA and a 3.36 FIP (1.52 ERA and 2.49 FIP in 2015) but only 14 career saves.
When discussing internal candidates, Avila hoped that Bruce Rondon had learned his lesson after being sent home due to "effort level" and that the probability of Neftali Feliz returning is unlikely.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News reveals the hitting side of the offseason plans. Signing as many as four free agent pitchers means that there will be limited budget for leftfield and that could mean Tyler Collins will get a lot of playing time in 2016. Avila is uncertain about Stephen Moya’s progression to the majors and questions if he’ll slug enough to make up for the abundance of strikeouts.
Avila: Tigers' Ausmus "all-in,' and players responded - The Detroit News, Chris McCosky
Avila praises manager Brad Ausmus for the development of young players Nick Castellanos, Anthony Gose, Jose Iglesias and James McCann. Also, states that Ausmus is involved and dedictaed in a way that not every manager is.
Al Avila: Detroit Tigers interested in reaching contract extension with outfielder J.D. Martinez – Mlive, Chris Iott
J.D. still has two more arbitration years until he becomes a free agent and is projected to earn around $7.8 million for 2016 and even more in 2017 if he has another good season. Signing an extension would mean giving him a higher AAV but will ensure he'll be here beyond his arbitration years.
Handful of Tigers ticketed for winter leagues – The Detroit Free Press, Anthony Fenech
Relievers Bruce Rondon, Jose Valdez and Neftali Feliz as well as shortstop Dixon Machado and minor league outfielder Wynton Bernard will be in the Venezuelan Winter League. Outfielder Stephen Moya and infielder Jefry Marte will play in the Dominican League.
Here are the crazy games that made the difference in baseball's tightest races - FOX Sports, Zach Levine
A look at some of the most pivotal games in 2016.
Vin Scully will mis Dodger’ postseason after medical procedure – Sports Illustrated, Beth Maiman
Scully is signed for the 2016 season, so get well soon.
Rangers, Odor take game one of the ALDS for Beltre – Lone Star Ball, ghostofErikThompson
With most experts picking Toronto to win this series, it's the Rangers who take game one.
Astros vs. Royals ALDS results:
The road team has won all four playoff games so far this season. So much for home field advantage.