Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tigers continue to tweak rosters as off-season continues.

Jeff Kobernus

The Detroit Tigers left the MLB Winter Meetings without making any major splashes or signings.  The “biggest move” as I commented on was moving Gene Lamont from the 3rd base coaching box to the bench…Hardly an earth-shattering move, in the grand scheme of all things Detroit Tigers, but I’m SURE that it will be considered one of the top 5 off-season moves by legions of Tigers fans.

Detroit continues to make efforts to work on re-signing SP Anibal Sanchez.  The signing of Zack Greinke by the L.A. Dodgers will impact the Tigers in the short and long-terms, but most importantly it takes a team that was on the short list of potential suitors for Sanchez off. 

In the Rule-5 Draft last week the Tigers traded for two players that by definition of the Rule-5 draft, must remain on the Tigers 25-man roster for the entire season.

The Tigers traded IF/OF Justin Henry to the Boston Red Sox for second baseman Jeff Kobernus, and traded cash considerations to the Mets for LHP Kyle Lobstein.

Kyle Lobstein

Detroit also added its second catcher to the roster in 7 days when Detroit signed C Brayan Pena to a 1-year contract.   Detroit designated LHP Matt Hoffman for assignment to make room for Pena. Detroit now has 10 days to trade, release or outright him to the minors. 

The Tigers have been letting teams know that OF Brennan Boesch is available in a possible trade, as is SP Rick Porcello. 

As of this week, the Seattle Mariners and Tigers were in discussions for Boesch, while other sources indicated that interest is high for Porcello. 

Brayan Pena
I continue to believe that the Tigers will end up being in the “finals” to re-sign Anibal Sanchez.  Owner Mike Illitch seems determined to give GM Dave Dombrowski the leeway to make whatever moves are needed to get a World Series winner back in Detroit, SOON. I can’t help but think that the Tigers still have some financial resources to get Sanchez under contract, they just aren’t going to break the bank to do so.

Matt Hoffman
The signing of Pena means he will fill the role of Alex Avila’s backup this season, with Gerald Laird signing in Atlanta.  Pena’s contract this season will be the same salary that he made as the back-up in Kansas City last year.  The switch-hitting Pena will allow the Tigers to have Bryan Holaday back at AAA-Toledo to get another year’s worth of experience before becoming the backup to Avila for 2014. 

Catcher Ramon Cabrera, who was acquired from Pittsburgh for LHP Andy Oliver, will proved organizational depth and probably spend most of the season at AA-Erie.

Getting back to the Greinke deal in LA, the money Greinke signed for has to give the Tigers cause for concern as Justin Verlander is arguably a much better pitcher than Greinke, and with Verlander’s 5-yr/$80M  extensions up at the end of 2014, he could easily break the “record” deal signed by Greinke.  I would doubt that JV and his agents would be willing to give the Tigers a “hometown” discount, considering the fact that Verlander will be entering the prime of his career, without winning a title in Detroit. as always would like to thank you for following this Detroit Tigers blog, and I acknowledge that I can not give you the information about your Tigers without the help of the "pro's" like Jason Beck and those at, who's links are credited here on this blog.  

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