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Detroit Tigers News: The latest on Matt Manning plus the beginning of free agency

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The World Series is over, which means the long and dark winter lies ahead of us, but there are a few shimmering lights in the distance.

MLB: FEB 29 Spring Training - Tigers at Yankees (ss) Photo by /Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

BREAKING NEWS: Baseball is officially over!

The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series to take home the Commissioner’s Trophy after one of the craziest summers ever. Now that is all said and done, Tigers fans can finally give their undivided attention to the team’s offseason activities.

But before we dive into the gloom that comes with the winter doldrums, there is some very reassuring news from one of Detroit’s top pitching prospects — the overall No. 1 prospect in the system in your author’s humble opinion. While Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal got their first long sips of coffee in the majors this year, Matt Manning had a setback this summer but appears to have overcome his injury and is back on track.

Matt Manning says he feels 100%

The Tigers’ first round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft has taken his time developing after being selected straight out of high school but has shown many glimpses of promise along the way. Back in August, the right-handed hurler faced his first major obstacle, getting shut down along with fellow first-rounder Alex Faedo after both suffered from the exact same forearm injury. Many had feared the worst at the time, but it appears those fears were unfounded.

When asked about his recovery, The Detroit News reported what he thought about the “mild inflammation” diagnosed and affirmed by four different doctors.

“In a normal season it would have been a quicker recovery. In a normal season, I probably would have missed a couple of starts and gotten back out there.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, despite the injury, it was still a difficult summer for Manning’s development, with a similar complaint heard from others who played out their seasons in Toledo.

“The hardest part was pitching against your own teammates and not having enough players to fill the whole lineup. You’re facing the same five guys for five innings. Just trying to be different and not fall into a pattern. Good, teachable moments. It was definitely hard, but a good experience at the same time.”

According to Jason Beck on MLB.com, Manning is back in the normal offseason routine and all systems appear to be go heading into the winter.

“I’m doing mechanics stuff, playing catch, light catch, now into next year. I’m just going to keep throwing and get my arm strong and as healthy and as strong as I can get it for next Spring Training.”

Now that he’s healthy again, the 22-year-old is looking forward to his imminent major league debut, which will hopefully be next season.

“I’m excited. I think it’s going to come a lot sooner than we think. Before we know it, it’ll be here, and we’ll get after it.”

Tigers trimming some offseason fat

Before the World Series came to a conclusion, Detroit already began cleaning house with some roster moves involving a few fringe players. Dario Agrazal, Jorge Bonifacio, Dereck Rodriguez and Nick Ramirez were all placed on waivers Tuesday and all four went unclaimed, with Ramirez electing free agency.

Interestingly, Ramirez also elected free agency after the 2019 season, and signed back with the Tigers on a minor-league contract two weeks later. While it has yet to be seen if he will take another trip on the merry-go-round in Detroit next year, the other three were outrighted to Toledo and will likely remain a part of the organization in 2021.

Free agency has officially arrived

Now that the World Series is in the rearview mirror, it is officially the beginning of the free agency period. On Wednesday morning, MLBPA Communications released a list on its Twitter account of all 147 players who were declared free agents, including C.J. Cron, Iván Nova, Jonathan Schoop, Austin Romine and (FINALLY!) Jordan Zimmermann.

Baseball is not completely over yet

Around the horn

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Baseball is awesome