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Good morning baseball fans!
After signing Justin Upton, our own Mike Bates thinks that the Tigers are back in the hunt.
The Tigers of 2016 look a lot like the Tigers of 2014 or the team we thought they'd be going into last year. So once again, it's going to primarily come down to whether the Tigers can be healthy and if they have pieces in place to absorb the loss of anybody who does go down. Anthony Gose fits in much better as a fourth outfielder and Jacoby Jones will be available as a potential utility player as the season wears on. Boyd and Greene won't be relied on to fill rotation spots, but can spot when necessary. Jarrod Saltalamacchia profiles to do better than Alex Avila in the backup role behind the plate. Still, these are not terribly good players, and some of them utterly failed in 2015. Any stumble will still force the Tigers to rely on players who are, at best, replacement level.
The pieces are in place, and the Tigers are conceivably better than they were a year ago. But it's a chain forged of paper, rather than iron. The slightest rip will tear the whole team apart. But as long as their biggest guns don't go down, they're potential contenders in what should be a thoroughly mediocre AL Central.
The Mets made a signing, albeit not the one most fans were looking for. They signed lefty Antonio Bastardo to a two-year, $12 million deal.
There's also this nugget from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The Nationals may be in on Yoenis Cespedes.
The team’s offer to Cespedes is said to be for less than the Tigers gave Upton. But Nats ownership is intrigued by Cespedes, sources said.
The Mets and White Sox also remain interested in Cespedes, but only are willing to offer him three-year contracts. The Nats possibly could land Cespedes with a longer deal, assuming no other teams are involved.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1960, Stan Musial asks and gets a pay cut from $100,000 to $80,000. He says he was overpaid in 1957 and 1958 and that his salary should be cut based on his 1959 performance.