Despite an impressive summer firesale by general manager Al Avila, the Detroit Tigers are still sitting on one more obvious trade piece: second baseman Ian Kinsler. And after a full season of shopping the second baseman, he’s the hot topic for the team at the general manager meetings that kicked off this week.
The Tigers will be in no rush to make a move, according to Avila. At this point, they know the teams that are looking for a second baseman — the Angels, Brewers, Mets, Blue Jays, among some others — and they know what the current market rate for Kinsler. If a bidding war progresses, they will make a move. Otherwise, there is plenty of time to listen.
Additionally, if no one offers anything appealing, it could be more useful to bring Kinsler back for 2018. Kinsler has ambitions to manage in the future and he can help mentor a young squad. It’s almost a certainty that he will hit better than he did in 2017, when he put up career lows across the board. Add in the fact that teams become more desperate around the trade deadline — or perhaps due to an injury to a contender’s second baseman — and it’s possible he could garner a much bigger return during the summer.
Tax cuts: not just for politicians
For the Tigers, this will be their last tax payment for a long time.
Tigers will pay luxury tax penalty this year, but GM Al Avila said it will be for the last time. Those days are over. "Yes, I think you'll see us pretty lean and mean."— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) November 14, 2017
It really speaks to where the Tigers payroll was, that even after moving J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton, and most of Justin Verlander’s contract, they will still be paying the luxury tax in 2018. More fiscally responsible days are ahead.
The Winter Meetings approach
Expect the Tigers to be quiet this winter with the aforementioned payroll issues and a general rebuilding strategy in place. The most excitement will probably come in the form of the rule 5 draft where the Tigers have some tough decisions to make, but also could steal some future difference makers.
It’s... it’s going up?
Last time we heard from J.D. Martinez’s camp he was looking for $200 million. There is an updated figure.
The J.D. Martinez asking price to teams at GM Meetings:— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 15, 2017
Seven years, $210 million
I mean, I hope he gets it. But that is absurd. Can each of the Bless You Boys staff get a pony thrown in while you’re at it, Santa Boras? You’ll never notice the cost.
There is nothing too consequential to report, other than some understandingly optimistic comments from Avila that Miguel Cabrera will be back “stronger than ever.” Cabrera lost a lot of weight, but also some strength due to his injuries. He also improved his diet, and has already started a serious offseason training program to heal and reshape his body. Here’s hoping it works because Cabrera is going to be one of the few bright spots in a tough year.
Around the horn
The Tigers expect Victor Martinez to be ready for spring training. I’m already calling 2018 a bounce back year, but that’s mostly because it couldn’t be worse than this year. FanGraphs supplies 10 players to get excited about for 2018. The Tampa Bay Rays are listening to offers for Chris Archer and I am once again sad the Tigers are rebuilding. We have rumors on Carlos Santana and Logan Morrison. Stop calling Brad Ausmus, the guy just wants a vacation.
Baseball/Bill Murray is awesome
Bill Murray & Brian Doyle Murray's - Extra Innings
Join Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray starting 11/20 as they wander the Minor League ballparks of America, mingle with the locals, heckle a few players, and maybe even catch a bit of the game. Nobody does nothing better than these two.Posted by Bill Murray & Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings on Friday, November 10, 2017
Bonus lovefest between Daniel Norris and Michael Fulmer
Under one condition... You teach me your sinker. & your change up & your slider. https://t.co/Np9dAxF5t9— Daniel Norris (@DanielNorris18) November 14, 2017
Get a room you two— Matthew Boyd (@mattboyd48) November 14, 2017