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.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.
Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.
Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.