It’s still early, and the Detroit Tigers haven’t made any moves, but general manager Al Avila has been plenty active at the Winter Meetings so far. After a quiet November, rumors are flying about possible exits and probable entries for the team.
The biggest revelation has been the frequency with which Michael Fulmer’s name has appeared in the news. As of Tuesday, Fulmer has been linked to both the Rangers and the Yankees. While it isn’t shocking that the Tigers would listen, it’s worth noting that the Yankees have the prospects to match an outrageously expensive asking price for Fulmer.
The Tigers also continue to shop Ian Kinsler to just about anyone who will listen. This is understandable, as Kinsler won’t be a part of the team’s long-term future. I am a bit surprised with how much vigor the team has been pushing for a trade, though. If there isn’t a market, it would make a lot of sense to keep Kinsler for part of 2018 to help nurture a young team and then move him at the trade deadline. A market never developed for second basemen in 2017, so it could be a risky proposition. But if there isn’t a market now, it seems silly to simply cut salary.
The other news revolves around the Tigers’ continued bargain shopping for starting pitching. The team will probably add at least one more starter after the acquisition of Mike Fiers, and the most recent name to surface is lefthander Derek Holland. I really appreciate how Avila is targeting the same players that I target every year for fill-in starts on the fantasy baseball waiver wire. The team’s ERA for 2018 is going to be hilarious.
The Tigers will retire the uniform numbers of Alan Trammell and Jack Morris next season, according to President & CEO Christopher Ilitch.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) December 11, 2017
And you know what that means: free cake! Well, maybe not, but I bet there will be a promotional giveaway!
Another tidbit to come out of the winter meetings is that the Tigers approached Nicholas Castellanos about a contract extension at the end of the 2017 season. Nothing was finalized, and the parties haven’t talked since, but it’s worth watching as the offseason wears on.
There have been a lot of varying opinions on Castellanos. His bat has never been the problem, and he had a breakout year in 2017, but his defense is atrocious and he’s a bad defensive fit just about everywhere. It would make a lot of sense for the Tigers to try to lock in a young, talented player at a team-friendly price, even if he has little incentive to sign right now.
Offseason swole sesh!
Joe Jimenez has already lost 25 pounds this offseason, according to the team.
Who is going to start in center field for the Tigers?
The answer may surprise you! Actually, it won’t. It’s either JaCoby Jones or Leonys Martin. With those choices, who cares?
Around the horn
Which five Tigers are next for the hall of fame? Michael Fulmer is fourth on the list, so maybe they should have just made the article, “Three Tigers have shot at Hall of Fame.” The Orioles are shopping Manny Machado ($) because there is no way they can pay him next year. Dave Dombrowski states that the Red Sox “aren’t shopping Jackie Bradley,” but they definitely are. How Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches in the World Series.