We kick-off our Humpday Links with one of our own.
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In his semi-regular guest article on the Detroit Free Press, Tom Zahari explores how Rick Porcello and David Price, both entering their final year before free agency, can mold the remainder of the Detroit Tigers’ off-season.
Next up we look at how the Tigers will be active with non-tendered players from around the league. The team locked up their four players that were up for a tender.
Finally, an outsiders look at the Tigers and the rest of the AL Central. How their off-season has fared thus far and predictions for the rest of it.
Price, Porcello hold keys to off-season – Tom Zahari, MCB special to Detroit Free Press
"If Porcello is traded to Miami, it would most likely be for a package similar to the one the Tigers sent to Miami in the Anibal Sanchez–Omar Infante deal of 2012. After trading Porcello, the Tigers would need to sign another pitcher or two to fill the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. The top options to fill his spot would be Justin Masterson, Francisco Liriano, Jake Peavy or Brandon McCarthy.If the Tigers trade Price, I would be puzzled unless the return is remarkable. If the Marlins wanted Price, the minimum return should be Christian Yelich. If the Tigers do trade Price, they would almost certainly have a deal in place with one of the top starting pitching free agents: Max Scherzer, Jon Lester or James Shields. I believe Price is the best pitcher of the bunch and instead of giving one of those three a long-term contract, the Tigers should just extend Price if they wish to sign a pitcher to a long-term deal."
Tigers have chance to grab non-tendered players – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
"Players who could pique the Tigers’ interest if non-tendered include Orioles outfielder Alejandro De Aza (.293 in the second half of 2014), White Sox outfieler Dayan Viciedo (21 home runs as a 25-year-old in 2014) and Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr. (switch-hitting speedster stole 30 bases in 2014).A number of relievers, including lefty Brian Duensing and righty Alexi Ogando, also could garner interest."
Offseason needs, trade potential and rumors for Tigers, Royals, more – AL Central Winter Meeting preview – Barry Svrluga, Washington Post
"How can a franchise with an Opening Day payroll north of $160 million, the fifth-highest in the game, fail to even begin to field a competent bullpen? And that question defines the Tigers’ offseason. The rotation, even if Scherzer departs for another team (as seems likely), will survive, because they get another year of David Price, Rick Porcello is now established, Anibal Sanchez could be healthy and Justin Verlander can’t struggle as much as he did in 2014 (can he?). The re-signing of Martinez, coming off a career year, keeps the offense afloat. But can Joe Nathan (4.81 ERA, seven blown saves) re-establish himself as a closer at age 40? If not, can Joakim Soria (4.91 ERA after midseason trade from Texas) replace him? And how will the Tigers even get to those guys? The payroll says the Tigers intend to compete every year. At the meetings, we’ll find out if the roster – from spots 1 through 25 – will follow."