First, some good news
#Tigers optimistic about Jordan Zimmermann after injury-plagued 2nd half; throwing at 180 feet, pain free, on track for spring training.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 3, 2017
This is excellent to hear about anyone, let alone a player who only started four games after the All-Star break last season. Jordan Zimmermann, who had basically never been injured in his career [Ed.: Except for that whole Tommy John thing], was the biggest “What if?” of 2016. One would figure that, if Zimmermann stayed healthy, the Tigers would have made it to the playoffs.
A healthy Zimmermann sets up what should be a solid starting rotation for the team next year. Hopefully their starting five will lead them to a playoff spot in 2017.
I be like, dang.
That’s a pretty good deal
I’m not really sure why the Tigers wouldn’t bring back Rajai Davis for $6 million.
Source: Rajai Davis and the Oakland A's are in agreement on a one-year deal for $6M.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 4, 2017
Their center field situation is still murky. Davis seemingly would made a fine stopgap until JaCoby Jones time.
Potential trade partners?
Both the Phillies and the Padres have been linked to the Tigers in the latest batch of trade rumors. The Phillies are in the market for a proven outfield option and have the prospects to put together a package for J.D. Martinez. The Padres targeted Jose Iglesias during the Winter Meetings and are still in the market for a shortstop.
Hunter Pence is not a normal person
Closer Mark Melancon signed with the San Francisco Giants this offseason. He wrote an article in the Players’ Tribune about his excitement of moving to the Bay Area. It was lovely.
This part of the links is not about Mark Melancon. It is about a story he told about new teammate Hunter Pence.
After about five or 10 minutes, I take a peek over at Hunter, and he looks like he’s about to die. He’s drenched in sweat and just … struggling. But he gives me this look like, It’s cool. Everything’s O.K. It’s just yoga.
Sadly, there are no pictures of this event. But please imagine someone that looks like this nearly passing out from yoga.
After class, Pence lost motor functions:
“Mark, that was the craziest workout ever,” he says. “I could barely stand up after that. And get this, on my way home I pulled into a parking lot and I was so out of it that I backed my car into the front bumper of another car. Dude, the bumper actually fell off! Like the whole way off. I’ve never done that before. I couldn’t believe it. Hot yoga is crazy, man. It cost some poor guy his bumper!”
The whole thing is worth a read, but any Hunter Pence story is going to steal the show.
Cubs vs. Cards was real back in the day
Team owners: where suing the fans who bought you your stadium is just a Tuesday
That’s right, the Arizona Diamondbacks are suing Maricopa County for $200 million for “renovations” that are “needed” for their stadium. Those are heavy quotations since the stadium is in decent shape and a lot of those “renovations” are actually upgrades. From the Board Chairman, Clint Hickman:
The team simply wants out of the contract that makes them stay and play through the 2028 season. Saying the facility is in disrepair is outrageous.
It seems the team just wants a new stadium now. Maricopa County is committed to keeping the Diamondbacks at Chase Field through the term of the contract. That is good for the taxpayers who made the investment that brought major league baseball here.”
It certainly does seem that way. Should be a fun legal battle.
In other Diamondbacks news
Actual news happened on Tuesday! The D-Backs traded outfielder Peter O’Brien to the Royals for right-handed pitcher Sam Lewis. This is the first time in offseason links history that the Diamondbacks have gotten two links.
I can stop writing about Jose Bautista for a while
Steve Phillips: "There's a good chance Jose Bautista doesn't sign until after the June draft. I don't see anyone giving up a 1st round pick"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 3, 2017
For your free time
The Reds signed Drew Storen, which is a good idea if he rediscovers how to pitch. Here’s a good review of Tigers prospects who had a big 2016 season. Winners, losers, and questions from the offseason so far: highlighted by the Tigers, and whether they are buyers or sellers? Good question. The story of the shift.