Detroit Tigers Links: Ian Kinsler Claus, stolen bases, Cespedes wants to stay

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It’s finally here! Gameday for the Detroit Tigers!

More from Motor City Bengals

While its only against college kids, it is still a game being played on a green diamond in the sunshine, so it’s okay by us! We’ll have coverage of today’s practice for practice games later this morning.

On to the Morning Links….

The Detroit Tigers’ clubhouse is usually a harmonious one and one prone to good deeds. Ian Kinsler played the role of late Santa Claus on Sunday, presenting a Tigers’ prospect with a gift.

The Tigers themselves felt the giving spirit, awarding six players with a 2015 contract.

James Schmehl continues his series on over-under for the Tigers this season. Yesterday he looked at how many stolen bases the speedier Tigers will earn in 2015.

Finally, while we discussed it a bit a couple days ago, Yoenis Cespedes came out strongly in favor of staying in Detroit beyond 2015. He will bat fourth today in the Tigers’ Spring Training game.

Ian Kinsler surprises Tigers prospect with a giftDon Drysdale, Detroit Sports Nation

"Earlier in the week, between drills, Kinsler and Bernard got to talking after noticing they were wearing the same style of shoes. Bernard asked Kinsler if he had seen the navy blue version. Kinlser told him that he had not yet seen them yet but asked the prospect what shoe size he wore and Bernard told him.That was pretty much it until Bernard came into the locker room a couple of days later and was pleasantly surprised by what he found.“Two days later,” Bernard said, “I showed up at my locker and there were a brand new pair of Nikes there. That was awesome. I saw them in my locker and I knew right away. I was like, ‘Ian got these for me.’ What an amazing teammate.”"

Detroit Tigers reach deals with 6 players for 2015 – Derick Hutchinson, ClickonDetroit

"Kyle Lobstein, Bryan Holaday, Hernan Perez, Andrew Romine, Tyler Collins and Anthony Gose all agreed to deals with the Tigers.With those six players signed, the Tigers have all 40 players on the club’s 40-man roster under contract for the upcoming season."

Detroit Tigers over-under: How many bases will the Tigers steal this season? – James Schmehl, MLive

"Question: How many bases will the Tigers steal this season?James Schmehl: The Tigers were one of the worst base-stealing teams in the majors in 2013. In 2014, they were among the best.So what happened? Well, it’s pretty obvious. They added speed. A lot of it.Detroit’s top three basestealers last season (Rajai Davis, Ian Kinsler, Andrew Romine) all joined the team last offseason and in turn combined to steal 63 bases. The Tigers stole 106 bases overall.A new managerial approach likely played a large role, too. First-year manager Brad Ausmus emphasized aggressiveness on the basepaths, and gave nearly every player a green light on the bases if they spotted an opening. The strategy paid off.It took the Tigers just 36 games this past season to match their total in 2013, thanks largely to Davis, who finished with 36 stolen bases — one more than the total number of bases the team stole in 2013."

Yoenis Cespedes would like to play for Tigers beyond 2015Bill Baer, NBC Sports

On Sunday afternoon, Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes said, “I would like to be in a Tigers uniform for many years,” as MLive.com’s Chris Iott reports. He added, “It’s a good team now and it will be for many years to come. Every major league player wants a ring, and with this team, you have a really good chance.”

Next: Tigers' first lineup: Cespedes to hit cleanup

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