After today’s loss to the Blue Jays, the Tigers activated catcher Alex Avila from the 15-day disabled list and sent fellow backstop Bryan Holaday back down to Triple-A Toledo.
Avila landed on the disabled list earlier this month after he suffered a left forearm contusion when he was hit by a pitch, but he was able to make it back in the minimum 15 days. The 26-year-old batted .242 (8-for-33) with one home run, two doubles, and a 10/2 K/BB ratio over eight rehab games in Triple-A.
Avila seemingly emerged as one of the best young catchers in the game when he batted .295/.389/.506 with 19 home runs and 82 RBI in 141 games in 2011, but he’s hitting just .222 with 14 home runs and a .682 OPS since.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”