Detroit Tigers Links: Max Scherzer still linked, Tom Brookens and more

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It wouldn’t be another day of the off-season if there wasn’t another Max Scherzer back to the Detroit Tigers rumor.

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This one is from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who said on Friday that he “guesses” Scherzer is coming back to the Tigers. If Scherzer and his agent, Scott Boras, are waiting to see where James Shields will sign and for how much, they’ll have to wait longer. The San Francisco Giants who were interested in Shields decided to pass on him and they also mentioned they have never been interested in Max.

Next up, we check in with former Tiger player and third base coach Tom Brookens. With Alan Trammell coming back to the organization this offseason, Brookens seems content with retirement.

Finally, we take a look at an intriguing pitching prospect, Austin Kubitza.

ESPN’s Buster Olney’s guess: Max Scherzer to Tigers – Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press

"“After we reported at the winter meetings that sources said the Tigers wanted Scherzer back, it was flatly denied by GM David Dombrowski,” Olney wrote. “When Scherzer turned down a $144 million offer from the Tigers this past spring, sources say the folks in the Detroit leadership were not thrilled.“But what the Tigers have not said to date is that the door on a possible return for Scherzer is slammed shut. … They know Scherzer; they know his work ethic; they understand firsthand what a great pitcher he is; and, there can be no debate about this: Their chances of winning the World Series, which has been their operational goal more acutely than for almost any other team in recent seasons, are better with the right-hander on the team.“They have the need, and when owner Mike Ilitch decides to spend for a player he wants — as with Fielder, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, among others — deals get done.”"

Retired Brookens: ‘I’m pretty cool where I’m at’ – George Sipple, Freep

"“I kind of enjoyed being home this summer and relaxing,” said Brookens, who served as a first base coach for the Tigers in 2009-12 and the third base coach in 2013. “Missed the game in some things, and in some things I guess I didn’t miss it that much.“I thought about it at the end of the summer when fall rolled around and you start putting in for jobs again. I just thought I’m pretty cool where I’m at.”Brookens, 61, played for the Tigers from 1979 to 1988, then for the Yankees and Indians.Brookens said he might help with some baseball teams around Fayetteville, Pa., this summer. He said he enjoyed watching his 8-year-old grandson play baseball this past year."

Tigers pitching prospect Kubitza is no straight shooter – Anthony Fenech, Freep

"Austin Kubitza can’t explain it.“I’ve been called weird my whole life for not being able to throw the ball straight,” he said. “But it’s got me this far, so I’m not complaining too much.”And his movement could get him further this year if the Detroit Tigers farmhand keeps improving his fastball command and change-up consistency.Kubitza, 23, was the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year this past season at Single-A West Michigan.In his first full professional season, the right-hander posted a 2.34 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 131 innings amidst a friendly competition of fine young arms in the Whitecaps rotation.And while his profile as a low-90 m.p.h. starter won’t move him to the top of prospect lists anytime soon, the movement on his pitches — particularly his two-seam fastball — could move him up the ladder in the Tigers organization."

Next: Tigers' fate rest in hands of Nathan and Soria

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