Detroit Tigers Links: Emphasis on rotation, Jim Johnson departs, non-tender targets

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Since their divisional dominance began in 2011, the Detroit Tigers have built the team around the starting pitching. When the offense faltered in the 2011 postseason, they brought in Prince Fielder. When the bullpen struggled in 2013 and 2014, they brought in….um…they brought in, eh, nevermind, its Friday….

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One constant thorough that time has been the starting pitching, which has yielded three Cy Youngs (if you include David Price‘s award in 2012) but zero championships. Joe White explains how building around starting pitching may not be the best course of action.

Speaking of the bullpen, one of the members of last year’s squad has moved on. Jim Johnson–yeah, remember him–signed a major league with the Atlanta Braves a couple days ago. This was kinda surprising, I thought he’d be back on another minor league deal with Detroit, but apparently Atlanta is taking a chance, giving him $1.6 million guaranteed with close to another million dollars in incentives.

Bleacher Reports and their incessant slideshows list who the Tigers may be interested in that were left untendered by their teams. The players include Andy Dirks, Alexi Ogando, David Huff and Everth Cabrera, among others.

Detroit Tigers rumors: elite starting pitching model outdated – Joe White, iSportsWeb

"Trade Porcello? Fine. Trade Price? Why not. Trade ‘em both for all I care so long as it’s for the greater good of the 25-man roster. Re-sign Max? Go ahead, but only if the other guys get moved because it’s just not necessary to have so many stud arms in one rotation.Anibal Sanchez and Verlander by themselves form a solid base to build from. Add in any one of the other three and that rotation instantly becomes one for the opposition to worry about when they come into town. Get lucky with a Kyle Lobstein as your 5th man and find a veteran on a one-year deal to round it all out."

Former Detroit Tigers reliever Jim Johnson agrees to one-year, major league deal with Atlanta Braves – James Schmehl, MLive

"Johnson, who saved a combined 101 games over the 2012 and 2013 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, struggled with the A’s after signing a one-year, $10 million contract. He was 4-2 with a 7.14 ERA in 38 games with the Athletics.The 31-year-old right-hander encountered similar control issues in Detroit, posting a 6.92 ERA with a 1.615 WHIP in 16 appearances with the Tigers after being promoted from Triple-A Toledo in mid-August. Johnson was left off the Tigers’ playoff roster."

Detroit Tigers: Potential Non-Tender Additions – Ben Rosener, Bleacher Report

"Non-tendered players go on to make major contributions at the major-league level. Justin Turner and Garrett Jones are two prime examples of this.A number of former high-profile players are on the market, such as Kris Medlen, Everth Cabrera and Brandon Beachy. With other notable names available, it provides the Tigers with a unique opportunity to add players who weren’t previously available. It’s new blood in the free-agency market, if you will."

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