In case you missed the news, old friend Alex Wilson was signed to a minor league contract by the Tigers after spending most of last year in Triple-A for the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs organizations. After a poor performance with the Brewers at the major league level to start the season, Wilson put up impressive numbers at Triple-A San Antonio before being released on August 3. He was then picked up by the Cubs and finished off the year at Triple-A Iowa.
The 33-year-old reliever spent most of his career with the Tigers, spanning from 2015 to 2018. He appears to welcome a return to where he had the best years of his career.
“[Detroit] is a good fit for me no matter who else called. Because this is where I want to be.
“The opportunity is unlimited, in my opinion. Not only with my talents, but with the relationships that I’ve already created. Gardy and Rick (manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson) trust me and everybody else that’s been around knows me.
Interestingly, the deal between Wilson and the Tigers is exactly the same as the one offered last offseason, which was declined and sent the right-handed pitcher on his free agency journey. Hopefully he can make the team out of spring training and contribute to a Tigers bullpen in dire need of reliable arms.
Tigers announce that they've signed old friend Alex Wilson to a minor-league deal. The right-handed reliever pitched for the Tigers from 2015-2018.— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) January 4, 2020
Riley Greene is a little important
It cannot be understated how important Riley Greene is to the Tigers’ rebuilding efforts. The first-round pick of the 2019 MLB draft came straight out of high school and into the professional leagues, performing quite well against opponents who were often many years older than he. He hit .271 with five home runs, 28 RBI, and five stolen bases between the Gulf Coast League, Class A Short Season Connecticut. and Low-A West Michigan.
In some ways, Greene represents an important part of the Tigers’ rebuilding process. If all goes according to the team’s plans, they will have established themselves as an up-and-coming team by the time Greene is ready to debut. If they’re going to get over the hump one day, he’s going to have to scratch his immense potential.
Greene is expected to begin his sophomore season in the pros with the Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Florida State League, the organization’s High-A affiliate.
A Tigers 2020 calendar
As the new year dawns, the time has come to fill out the calendar for the upcoming baseball season. Spring training is just around the corner, and with it comes important days to note as baseball gets closer to awakening from its winter hibernation. MLive’s Evan Woodbery has you covered with this list of important dates.
Speaking of old friends...
Former Tigers catcher and Double-A Erie SeaWolves manager Mike Rabelo has landed a job in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as an assistant hitting coach after being released from his duties this offseason. His hiring puts him on the bench alongside of fan-favorite Don Kelly to form a formidable one-two former Tigers punch. Although Rabelo has spent many years with the Detroit franchise in multiple capacities, he will always be known for being a piece of the Miguel Cabrera mega-trade that kicked off a golden era for the Motor City Kitties.
The Pirates named Mike Rabelo, most recently the Double-A Erie manager in the Tigers' system, their assistant hitting coach.— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) January 7, 2020
Twitter team of the 2010s
It has been a few years since baseball fans have witnessed the generational talent that is Miguel Cabrera in full form, but even after being hobbled by injuries for what seems like forever, he still managed to make MLB’s Team of the 2010s as voted by Twitter followers. It just goes to show how dominant Cabrera was in those first few seasons of the last decade.
National Bobblehead Day
- 2020 BYB Tigers prospect #30: OF Jose de la Cruz has youth and power on his side. The teenager showed legitimate power and quality tools in his professional debut in 2019.
- 2020 BYB Tigers prospect #29: RHP Hugh Smith remains a promising project. Smith is tall and lanky with a fastball and an underdog story.
- Tigers agree with Michael Fulmer on contract and avoid salary arbitration. The former Rookie of the Year will miss part of the 2020 season.
- Detroit Tigers history: The 1901 Tigers. In a new series we follow the highs and lows of the Tigers from the very beginning.
- Tigers Den Roundtable: Which Tigers prospect are you most excited to watch in 2020? The Bless You Boys staff discusses which prospects they will be keeping an eye on this year.
- The “deep dive” into juiced balls didn’t dive deep enough. Voice of the Tigers Dan Dickerson weighs in on the juiced ball controversy.
- Bless You Boys 2020 prospect rankings: 5 more prospects to know. Here’s a group of names that might play their way into lists next year.
- Tigers will exchange salary arbitration figures with 4 players by Friday. With Michael Fulmer signed, Matthew Boyd leads the Tigers’ class of arbitration-eligible players.
Around the Horn
Jose Iglesias returns to the American League, signing with the Baltimore Orioles. Sources: MLB near decision on discipline for Astros. Red Sox reportedly utilized replay room to ascertain opponents’ signs in 2018. The Miami Marlins announce their biggest free agent signing since 2016. Cody Bellinger seeks to break the record for first-time arbitration-eligible players in 2020 after putting up an MVP campaign. Cubs, Sinclair, Marquee, and Comcast combine forces for a potential blackout for Cubs’ fans.