In the first action after what seemed like months, the Tigers made five signings official in quick succession. The headliner is Leonys Martin, once a top-100 prospect, he’s struggled to find consistency in the major leagues. The defense has always been there, but the bat continues to have holes. Here’s hoping for a Mahtook-like renaissance for him next year.
The other big name included was Derek Norris. I’m more than a little iffy on this move, considering Norris was suspended for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy last season. Obviously everyone deserves a second chance, and Norris wasn't convicted of anything. But in a season where nothing really matters, I don’t understand the logic of bringing in Norris.
The other three signings are pretty inconsequential. The Tigers brought back Jim Adduci, and added two upside minor leaguers in Enrique Burgos and Edwin Espinal. They are speculative signings at best, but trust the scouts and hope they can contribute.
Expect exclusively these types of moves for the foreseeable future while the rebuild is on. The team will continue to keep the payroll low and look for cheap upside. Isn’t tanking fun!
How’s it going up there?
Similar to our BYB check in polls, Fangraphs has a community poll on how fans believe their front offices are operating. Not surprisingly, “Pretty Bad” was a clear winner for Tigers fans. That being said, my vote was for average. There’s been a bad signing or two, but the sell-off went pretty well and Avila has provided a clear direction. At least we aren’t the Braves.
Ohtani saga continues
It looks like we are getting closer, as Ohtani has reportedly narrowed his list to seven mostly west coast teams. However the decision seems to be at least a week or two away. My favorite part of the process is a tie between New Yorkers handling rejection how you would expect them to and this heartfelt letter from an 83-year-old grandfather in Seattle. If you are a rumor connoisseur, apparently there are rumblings that it is down the Giants and Mariners, but who really knows.
The King has returned
The Cardinals made an obnoxiously savvy move yesterday, singing Mike Mikolas to a multi-year deal after his strong stint in Japan. Mikolas morphed from an inconsistent arm into a standout going 31-13 and sporting an 8.13 strikeout to walk ratio. But I’m not including this signing to call attention to a good Cardinals move. If anything I would exclude it for that reason. The signing is included because Mikolas is a bit of a crazy person, and his insanity led to one of the best nicknames in the league. “Lizard King.” NSFW language, because...yeah:
All hail the Lizard King, long may he prosper.
Around the horn
The Tigers have slimmed their payroll by $50 million but have only made it to the league average. ... ICYMI, Anthony Gose and Steven Moya have departed. ... John Coppolella makes his first public comments since getting banned for life. ... The Giants trade offer to Miami for Gincarlo Stanton. ... Breaking down J.D. Martinez’s free agency.