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Former Detroit Tigers’ Catcher Alex Avila Signs with Chicago White Sox

November 25th, 2015 at 6:39 PM
By Max DeMara

It didn't look like Alex Avila would return to the Detroit Tigers, and Wednesday, that move was made official.

The catcher found his new home on the south side of Chicago, inking a one year deal with the Chicago White Sox. Avila will make a reported $2.5 million dollars.

Over seven seasons with the Tigers, Avila hit .242 with 66 home runs. He broke into the league in 2009, and looked like he would become the left-handed bat Detroit's lineup so badly needed. Instead, he was always inconsistent with the bat but always worked well with the team's pitching staff during the entire season while being a good defensive catcher.

Last season, Avila lost his starting job to James McCann, who is clearly Detroit's catcher of the future. McCann was anointed so by Al Avila, the team's general manager. Injuries have become a significant part of the narrative as well, with Avila struggling to stay on the field at key times.

Avila will depart for Chicago, where he will provide the White Sox some pop behind everyday catcher Tyler Flowers and try to work with a young and talented pitching staff.

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Free Agent Solution: Could Jason Heyward Be a Fit for Detroit Tigers in Left Field?

November 25th, 2015 at 11:43 AM
By Max DeMara

It seems the only people that see a big-dollar acquisition in the future for the Detroit Tigers' outfield are in the media.

Tuesday, yet another threw his hat into that ring

Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today looked at a list of free agent solutions, and placed the Tigers as his team which might dictate what direction the outfield market takes based on their need in left field.

His target? None other than Jason Heyward, one of the top options available on the open market in left field. Heyward figures to get a hefty contract from somebody, and Ortiz says that it still remains to be seen if Al Avila gets the same free reign to spend like Dave Dombrowski.

If that becomes the case, however, Ortiz sees Heyward as a fit for Detroit because the team could need a dynamic lefty presence to a right-handed heavy lineup. As Ortiz says, however, the team also needs pitching, with names such as Yovani Gallardo or Hisashi Iwakuma possible additions.

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Lloyd McClendon Hired as Manager for Toledo Mud Hens

November 24th, 2015 at 11:02 AM
By Max DeMara

Back when Jim Leyland was retiring, one of the options the Detroit Tigers considered was Lloyd McClendon.

Eventually, Detroit settled on Brad Ausmus as their next manager, and McClendon was hired by the Seattle Mariners to run the show. His first year on the job, McClendon won 87 games. Last season, things didn't go as well, and when Seattle cleaned house, McClendon was quickly left without a job.

That wasn't the case for long, however, as the Tigers snapped him up Monday to serve as the manager for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. After this past season, Larry Parrish had retired, and nothing had been said about a possible replacement, because the team was likely waiting to see who would come available and deciding which direction to go.

Enter McClendon.

"'I'm very pleased to have Lloyd here as our manager in 2016, there's no doubt he will have a great impact on our players here in Toledo, we're very happy to have him working with us," said Dave Littlefield, Tigers' vice president of player development.

McClendon himself said it was an honor to return to Detroit's organization, and specifically, to work with a franchise like the MudHens, who have plenty of history on their side.

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Detroit Tigers’ Bright Move to Land Francisco Rodriguez, Cameron Maybin Starts Offseason Right

November 23rd, 2015 at 11:36 AM
By Max DeMara

The Detroit Tigers needed a closer and an outfielder, two tricky moves to fill in this particular offseason market.

Instead of panicking, though, they simply went out and made two creative moves.

Though it wasn't a high-priced, big dollar trade to nab a pitcher like Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller, the team landed Francisco Rodriguez, sending a modest return back to the Milwaukee Brewers for a closer that had 33 saves in the 2015 season.

That move was big enough for Detroit, and it makes sense for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the biggest for Detroit's purposes is the fact that Rodriguez has been consistent even while reinventing his career. While his flame-throwing ways earned him the nickname K-Rod, the pitcher has been able to have success

Secondly, Rodriguez has an option that can be picked up if the team likes what they sees. They're not tied down for the long term like they might be with a Miller or possibly a Chapman who will be a free agent, but can certainly explore a return if the results match.

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Detroit Tigers Deal Ian Krol, Gabe Speier for Outfielder Cameron Maybin

November 20th, 2015 at 6:17 PM
By Max DeMara

Cameron Maybin has officially come full circle.

The 28 year old outfielder, once dealt in exchange for Miguel Cabrera, will get to play for the Detroit Tigers after all. Friday, Detroit acquired Maybin from the Atlanta Braves for a package of pitchers, Ian Krol and Gabe Speier.

Maybin played three years for the Florida Marlins before departing for the San Diego Padres. While there, he hit between .234 and .264 before playing last season with the Braves. While there, Maybin had career highs in home runs (10) and RBI's (59).

Thus far in his career, Maybin has played mostly center field, but the Tigers had him playing in left field before he departed in 2008, and the team thinks he can play both spots. The Tigers needed another outfielder, and instead of getting involved on the open market for a big name, they appear to have creatively filled the need with the right-handed swinging Maybin.

In exchange, the Tigers ship off Krol, a disappointing lefty who failed to make much of an impact after coming over from the Washington Nationals. He was 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA last season during his time in Detroit, and also spent plenty of time in Triple-A Toledo.

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