According to the Detroit Free Press, “reports have said” the Tigers are interested in having free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson replace Placido Polanco, who signed with Philadelphia last month.
We’ve seen Hudson linked to a number of teams this winter — Mets,
Phillies, Red Sox, Rockies, Mariners, Giants and Nationals — but the
Tigers haven’t been one of them. Of course, that doesn’t mean this
report isn’t true, but I haven’t found a single report that has linked
the Tigers to the 32-year-old.
It’s an unlikely scenario anyway, as the Tigers have top prospect Scott
Sizemore at the ready. Sizemore, who turns 24 on Monday, batted
.308/.389/.500 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI between Double-A Erie and
Triple-A Toledo last season. He underwent surgery to repair a fractured
left ankle in October, but there have been no reported setbacks in his
A few of the teams mentioned above have already settled on other
options at second base, leaving a potential landing spot for Hudson
in doubt. It’s very possible that Hudson could find himself signing
another one-year contract. If his price drops far enough, the Tigers
can’t be dismissed entirely.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.