Detroit Tigers Links: Tigers still tops, Empty (Phil) Coke

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The American League Central has gotten exceptionally better this off-season.

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Even the lowly Minnesota Twins figure to put up a little more fight this season, but some may call the Central a toss-up. We’re still a long way from Spring Training (sadly), so things still can change, but some still see the Detroit Tigers as the class of the division.

While it can be debated that the Chicago White Sox, or to a lesser extent the Cleveland Indians, made more impactful moves than Detroit, let’s remember those teams had further to go to catch the Tigers and the Royals within the division. The Tigers have the advantage of largely working together for several years while the core of the Sox and Tribe are just starting to come together.

It could make a difference.

Sadly our last story looks at how we might have seen the last Phil Coke finger point in the Olde English D. Actually when you look at the final three quarters of his season last year, it wasn’t too bad but people still like to hate Coke.

So long Phil. We’ll always have the 2012 Yankees series to remember you.

Tigers still figure atop AL Central race – Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

"The teams are better. The packing might be tighter. But the biggest of the big guns remain on the Tigers. Barring a trade or a major injury, they remain the best team in the division. They also remain the richest, which means that nothing, not even Scherzer, is ever completely off the table as the elusive quest for a title continues."

Phil Coke ‘most likely’ done in Detroit; Joe Mantiply could be worth watching this spring – Chris Iott, MLive

"General manager Dave Dombrowski almost always leaves his options open. He rarely shuts the door entirely on any possibility. But when asked by MLive on Wednesday whether the Tigers had ruled out bringing back Coke, Dombrowski responded with “most likely.”In other words, Coke is certainly not Plan A, probably isn’t Plan B and likely isn’t even Plan C.The Tigers, like a lot of teams, would like to add a talented left-hander to their bullpen, but talented left-handers are difficult to find and the market is thin this offseason. That has many teams weighing their options: Should they spend millions to sign a free-agent left-hander or just ride some young talent and see what happens?"

Next: Signing James Shields could benefit Tigers

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