Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com said today that the Tigers offseason priority is to find a leadoff hitter. Not surprisingly, Crasnick says that Jose Reyes is a “dream candidate.”
Just about anyone I talk to about the Tigers seems to think that too. The only problem with it is that the Tigers already have $90 million committed to just nine players, and by the time they fill out their roster, pay the necessary raises for 2012 and all of that, they’re looking at something like $120 million at least. Probably a bit more. They’re even still paying Gary Sheffield for cryin’ out loud.
Oh, and they still have Jhonny Peralta, who just had an awesome season and is under contract through 2012 and has a club option for 2013 that is exceedingly affordable.
To be sure, Mike Ilitch has shown in the past that he’ll spend money if he thinks it’ll make the difference. But it’s a 95-win team already and they have shortstop covered. If the Tigers are going to spend money, they should spend it elsewhere.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.