Tigers look to move Guillen, acquire Pierre

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The Tigers would “love” to come up with a three-team trade that would result in them surrendering Carlos Guillen and landing Juan Pierre, says FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.
Now, we’re still rather skeptical about Morosi as a national guy, but he did work for the Detroit Free Press before joining FOX. He should know about as well as anyone what the Tigers are thinking.
And if this is what they’re thinking, perhaps something could be worked out. Guillen is due $26 million over the next two years, while Pierre will make $18.5 million. So, again, the Tigers are being motivated by finances here.
But Guillen has gone from being an extremely valuable shortstop to a question mark in left field during his Tigers tenure. His OPS has dropped sharply three years running:
2006 – 920 (153 games)
2007 – 859 (151 games)
2008 – 811 (113 games)
2009 – 757 (81 games)
Guillen has a chance to be an above average left fielder for the duration of his contract, and the Tigers do have need of one of those. However, Pierre is cheaper and he’d fill the center field and leadoff slots while the team waits for Austin Jackson.
To make a deal work, the Tigers would have to find a team willing to accept Guillen in return for an overpaid pitcher. Seattle’s Carlos Silva would make a ton of sense, given that the Mariners have plenty of use for a right-handed hitter capable of playing first base and left field, but he’s due $22.5 million over the next two years — $4 million more than Pierre — and the Dodgers should have very little interest in him. The Mets’ Oliver Perez could work. He’s due $24 million through 2011. Derek Lowe’s contract fits, but the Dodgers have no interest in bringing him back.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.