Tigers release Brennan Boesch, save $1.9 million

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Detroit has released outfielder Brennan Boesch, who averaged 127 games and 496 plate appearances per season for the Tigers during the past three years.

Back in January the Tigers and Boesch avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.3 million deal, but by releasing him now Detroit is only on the book for one-sixth of that salary. So he gets $383,000 and hits the open market as a 28-year-old free agent and the Tigers save $1.9 million on a player who fell out of their plans by hitting just .240 with 12 homers and a .659 OPS in 132 games last season.

Boesch was a quality regular in 2011, but his 2010 and 2012 production suggest he’s better suited as a part-time corner outfielder. He should have no trouble landing another big-league roster spot, but may have to fight for playing time. Meanwhile, the Tigers are going with another left-handed hitter, Andy Dirks, as their primary left fielder.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.