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Detroit Tigers Links is serious about this payroll thing

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And so it begins.

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

He wasn’t kidding.

Well, Al Avila promised changes and a reduced payroll and he didn’t waste any time. Cameron Maybin was shipped to Anaheim Los Angeles Angels for Victor Alcantara. The vast majority of pundits, myself included, assumed the Tigers would gladly take the relatively cheap $9 million option on Maybin. It would have kept a sure, although often injured, thing in center field. Instead there will be, what I would characterize as, an ominous “wide open competition.”

Alcantara is a fine prospect with a live arm and starter upside, but he slots in as only the 23rd best prospect for the Tigers. I’ll let Emily do the work here (you should definitely be following her if you aren’t already):

So, yeah, that change he spoke about is very real and has already begun. I hesitate to pass to much judgement in the fear of ending up on “Freezing Cold Takes,” but I’m not in love with what seems to be a simple salary dump.

In other news, the Tigers did exercise their 2017 option on Francisco Rodriguez.

Like a fine wine

Justin Verlander is getting older and no longer has that 102 mph fastball (damn that used to be so cool), be he continues to be one of the best pitchers in the game. Jack Morris has taken notice.

The Detroit Tigers’ former right-handed ace was asked what he saw differently out of current right-handed ace Justin Verlander this past season. Morris said, “He did a better job of pitching this year. He’s becoming more of a pitcher and less of a thrower.”

It’s still interesting to me that so many people act like Justin Verlander is “back to being good.” He had a down year in 2014 as he learned to pitch without relying completely on speed and then was injured to start 2015. Outside of that he has been a top-10 pitcher every single year in the bigs.

Sure, why not

ESPN already has a power rankings out for 2017 because of course they do. The Tigers are ranked 17th, which, sure. I could get upset about that considering they are behind teams like the Royals and the Rockies, but with Avila’s ambiguous statements, anywhere from 13 to 20 seems about right. Mainly I linked this so we could all agree how stupid it is to have power rankings the day after the world series ends.

Might be buying one of these

CUBBIES!

Everything that needs to be said has been said about that game, but man was that epic. This Reddit user has a pretty good break down of why it might have been the greatest game ever. My friend, a life long Cubs fan, basically visited death and returned in a 40 minute span. It was the most watched baseball game in 25 years. Just the perfect way to end the season. That will keep me warm through approximately one of these three to five winter months.

For your free time.

All of the newspaper covers from around the country featuring the Cubs’ win. The Royals continue the tradition of sending pizza to the office of the next winner of the World Series. Pete Rose to get a statue outside of Great American Ballpark. Old people celebrating the World Series win are the best.

Baseball is awesome.

For more Chicago enjoyment, click here.