Detroit Tigers Links: Slimmer Kinsler arrives at TigerTown, Smyly’s workload & Max’s contract prediction


Drew Smyly

Kinsler adjusts winter workouts to ready for new club – Adam Berry,

"“I honestly couldn’t be more excited,” Kinsler said. “To come to a club like this and a team that’s been right there for many years in a row is a great change. “It’s a place that I felt I had a very strong opportunity to win a World Series,” Kinsler said. “I knew it was a possibility. It wasn’t really my choice of where I got traded to, but when it’s all said and done, you think about what happened and I was happy about how it all played out.” With that in mind, Kinsler tailored his offseason work to his new environment. He showed up Sunday weighing about 10 or 15 pounds less than he ever has when reporting to Spring Training. He doesn’t have to worry about losing weight in the Texas heat this summer, and he wanted to regain his speed in order to take advantage of Comerica Park’s spacious outfield. Kinsler spent extra time working on his leads on the basepaths and stealing bases. The 31-year-old second baseman put together two 30-30 seasons with the Rangers in 2009 and ’11, but he only hit 13 homers and stole 15 bases in 136 games last year. He still put together a .277/.344/.413 batting line and drove in 72 runs, but he’s hoping he’ll get to run a little more in ’14."

Kinsler was among a group of Tigers’ position players that showed up over the weekend with Ian reporting Sunday ahead of the obligated Monday reporting date. It’s good to see the players coming in early, ready and raring to go. For players that have been here for a few years there’s no doubt unfinished business, and for the new faces, they want to be the ones to get the franchise past its last hurdle to winning it all.

Detroit Tigers to carefully monitor Drew Smyly’s workload but haven’t set firm innings limit – Chris Iott, MLive

"But Smyly isn’t going to make 35 starts. He’s not going to pitch 200 innings. No matter how good he is this season, the Detroit Tigers are not going to wear his arm out. “We know we’re going to watch him,” general manager Dave Dombrowski said Sunday afternoon. “You’re not just going to throw him out there every fifth day for 125 pitches and seven or eight innings every single time, but we haven’t gotten into specifics on it.”"

Smyly will have to be brought a long slowly at the start of the season. Most starters rarely go past 6-7 innings in the first few weeks of the season and this will likely be extended for Drew. At the beginning of 2013, he was often used in long relief–even recording a save by going four innings in the first week of the season. By mid-season he was rarely being used more than one full inning. In fact, Smyly didn’t pitch longer than 1.2 innings in his final 37 appearances.

ESPN’s Jim Bowden Predicts Max Scherzer Will Sign 6-Year, $168 Million Extension in SpringChris Burke, The Detroit Sports Site

"That’s one of 10 bold predictions offered by ESPN’s Jim Bowden as spring training opens. Bowden, formerly a GM for the Reds and then the Nationals, guessed that the Tigers will have Scherzer locked up through 2020 by the time Opening Day rolls around. It will be a six-year contract extension with an average annual value (AAV) of $28 million a year. Tigers fans will finally understand that the Prince Fielder and Doug Fister trades weren’t just about getting younger and better defensively. They were about ensuring the 2013 Cy Young Award winner won’t be going anywhere. An average salary of $28 million would push Scherzer past Verlander’s $25.7 million average to make him the highest-paid player on the team. Miguel Cabrera, whose contract is up after the 2015 season, currently averages a little more than $19 million per season."

I think fans could live with $168 mill to Max, and while Justin Verlander is a competitive guy, he’ll understand the current marketplace and the fact he signed his deal a year earlier–inflation and all that jazz.