Ryan Raburn in the mix for Tigers’ starting job at second base

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Carlos Guillen’s slower than expected recovery from knee surgery has opened the door for Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes to compete for the Tigers’ starting job at second base, but Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that Ryan Raburn has emerged as a contender for the gig as well.

Raburn has never started more than 15 games in a season at second base and his defense there would likely be pretty ugly as an everyday player, but he has logged 377 career innings at the position and brings a lot more offensive upside than Sizemore or Rhymes.

Trading defense for offense certainly isn’t a decision unique to Detroit, but I’m not sure the Tigers really need to be doing that after adding Victor Martinez to a Miguel Cabrera-led lineup that was solidly above average in 2010. By playing Jhonny Peralta at shortstop they’re already committing to one sub par middle infield glove and pairing him with Raburn could be pretty ugly for a pitching staff that induced an above-average number of ground balls last year.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.