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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tigers avoid arbitration with six players

In Dave Dombrowski's reign as CEO, president and general manager of the Tigers, no player has gone all the way to arbitration, and the organization put itself well on its way to having that streak continue this year, signing six of their seven arbitration-eligible players to one-year deals.

Friday was the deadline for eligible players to exchange figures with their clubs, but the Tigers later signed 1-year deals with Rick Porcello, Doug Fister, Brennan Boesch, Phil Coke, Austin Jackson and Alex Avila, thus avoiding the process.

According to's Jon Heyman, Jackson will get $3.5 million, Fister $4 million and Avila $2.95 million next season. had Porcello's deal at $5.1 million.'s Jason Beck reported that Boesch will make $2.3 million, and Coke will get $1.85 million.

The Tigers later confirmed all of the signings, but dollar amounts were not disclosed.

Coming off a season where he finished second in all of baseball in strikeouts, Max Scherzer is the lone arbitration-eligible player left unsigned for the Tigers. According to Heyman, the two sides were $1.35 million apart in their submitted numbers, with Scherzer asking for $7.4 million.

Scherzer made $3.75 million in 2012.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Don Kelly among 17 non-roster invitees for spring training

The Tigers announced Wednesday that they'd extended spring training invitations to 17 non-roster players, hoping to uncover another gem or two in the big league camp.

There are some big names in the list, some high draft picks, guys like former Angels first-round pick Trevor Bell, and the Tigers' top pick in 2010, Nick Castellanos, who has a shot to compete for a roster spot in the outfield.

But there's only one guy who's won a postseason game for the Tigers with a walk-off sacrifice fly, only one guy who's lifted up Prince Fielder afterward.

Don Kelly is on the list of invitees, having apparently accepted the minor league deal the Tigers said they'd offer him. Kelly, who hit .186 for the Tigers in 2012, was designated for assignment in August, then brought back when rosters expanded in September, making the postseason roster for his versatility.

The Tigers traded for a Rule 5 draft pick, Jeff Kobernus, who is expected to compete for the big league utility job that Kelly has occupied in recent years.

Here is the full list of non-roster invitees:
Jose Alvarez, LHP
Trevor Bell, RHP
Kenny Faulk, LHP
Shawn Hill, RHP
Michael Morrison, RHP
Ryan Robowski, LHP

Curt Casali
Brad Davis
James McCann

Argenis Diaz, SS
Kevin Russo, IF/OF
Eugenio Suarez, SS
Matt Tuiasosopo, IF/OF

Nick Castellanos
Tyler Collins
Daniel Fields
Don Kelly

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tigers Winter Caravan routes set for late January 2013

Nothing marks the beginning of the end for the offseason like the Detroit Tigers’ annual Winter Caravan.

Scheduled for Jan. 24 and 25 this year — just 17 days before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Lakeland, Fla. — a handful of Tigers players, executives and personnel will take to two buses, hitting a long list of sites around the state. Dave Dombrowski, the franchise’s president, CEO and general manager, will be on the bus trips, as will VP/assistant GM Al Avila and manager Jim Leyland.

Not all events are open to the public, but several are.

A pair of Tigers will serve as guest waiters at the Madison Heights Red Robin restaurant, a couple of hours before an interactive question-and-answer session at the Palladium 12 Theatre in Birmingham.

Below is a full list of this year’s stops on the two bus routes.

* — Denotes an event open to the public (NOTE: Tickets are no longer available for the stop at Royal Oak Middle School).
Thursday, Jan. 24

GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights (1-2:30 p.m.)
* — Red Robin in Madison Heights (1:30-2:15 p.m.)
Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills (1:35-2:05 p.m.)
Detroit Arsenal at U.S. Army Garrison in Warren (2:30-3:45 p.m.)
West Bloomfield Police Department (3:15-4:30 p.m.)
Royal Oak Fire Station No. 2 (4-4:40 p.m.)
* — Birmingham’s Palladium 12 Theatre (4-6 p.m.)
* — Royal Oak Middle School (4-6 p.m.)
* — Hockeytown Authentics in Troy (5:15-6 p.m.)

Friday, Jan. 25
U.S. Coast Guard in Detroit (10-11:30 a.m.)
* — Southfield Dunkin Donuts (10:30-11 a.m.)
DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Detroit (11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.)
DTE Energy in Detroit (1-2 p.m.)
GM Renaissance Center Wintergarden (2:30-3:45 p.m.)
Wayne State University’s Center for Latino and Latin American Studies (2:45-3 p.m.)
Manoogian Mansion (2:50-3:25 p.m.)

Thursday, Jan. 24

Cadillac’s Northern Michigan Regional Chamber Alliance Luncheon (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Cadillac’s Sweet Shop (1-1:45 p.m.)
Pepsi Marketing and Equipment Center in Flint (2-3 p.m.)
Christian Youth Fellowship Association Rally at the Temple Theatre in Saginaw (3:30-6 p.m.)
Saginaw Valley State University’s Great Lakes Bay Hispanic Leadership Institute’s graduation banquet (5-7:30 p.m.)

Friday, Jan. 25 Community rally at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant (7:30-10:30 a.m.)
Community rally at Midland Center for the Arts (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth’s 21st Annual Snowfest (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)

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