DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers have signed general manager Al Avila to a multiyear contract extension.
Avila, who has held the job since Aug. 4, 2015, was under contract until the end of...
Still rebuilding, Tigers hoping for growth in 2019
DETROIT (AP) — Al Avila is known for his candor, and the Detroit general manager has remained pretty straightforward about what the future holds for the Tigers.
Player development still key for rebuilding Detroit Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — For the Detroit Tigers, success isn't really measured in wins and losses these days.
That's what happens when a franchise knows it is rebuilding and has almost no expectation of contending.
"I don't think anybody likes a rebuild. I think everybody would rather have a team that's prepared to win a hundred games and get into the playoffs — as we would," general manager Al Avila said. "But it is a painful process."
Tigers GM says he can see the light at end of tunnel
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers are young, inexpensive and unlikely to be much of a threat in the AL Central.
For at least a couple more years, general manager Al Avila doesn't plan to jolt the roster with any big-money free agents. Instead, he and his front office are patiently waiting for their minor leaguers to develop into big league contributors.
A season after dropping 98 games for the second consecutive year, the club believes its future is beginning to take form.
Moore finalizes $2.5M, 1-year deal with Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — Left-hander Matt Moore and the rebuilding Detroit Tigers finalized a $2.5 million, one-year contract on Tuesday that allows him to earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses.
Tigers still waiting on top prospects after 98 more losses
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers avoided some of their worst-case scenarios this season. They didn't finish last, or all that close to it.
In the end, however, they had the same record as in 2017, and the franchise still seems a long way from contention.
Oakland acquires pitcher Mike Fiers from Tigers
Mike Fiers may end up with another chance to pitch in the postseason.
The Oakland Athletics acquired the right-hander from the Detroit Tigers on Monday for two players to be named or cash. The 33-year-old Fiers is 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA this season.
Fiers was with the World Series champion Astros last year, but he was not included on any of Houston's postseason rosters. He did make one relief appearance for the Astros in the 2015 Division Series.
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers fired pitching coach Chris Bosio, saying he made insensitive comments to another employee of the team.
"I have to take seriously what the comments were," Tigers general manager Al Avila said, declining to give details. "And, the action we took was appropriate."
Top pick gives rebuilding Tigers big opportunity
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers didn't begin their rebuild in earnest until the second half of last season.
Already, they have a chance to add the type of player who could become a centerpiece of the franchise's future.
Detroit – General manager Al Avila and his staff have a decision to make ahead of the Detroit Tigers' three-game interleague series in Pittsburgh, which starts on Tuesday.
Presently, the Tigers are carrying 13 pitchers and just three bench players on their active roster. With National League rules in place, designated hitter Victor Martinez comes out of the lineup and becomes a fourth bench player.
But he no longer plays defensively, so he's limited to one at-bat per game.
Detroit – General manager Al Avila said it at the end of spring training, when the Tigers were debating whether to keep JaCoby Jones on the big-league roster as an extra outfielder, or leave him in Triple-A to get regular at-bats.
"If he hits, he's a superstar talent," Avila said. "If he doesn't hit, then he's a fourth outfielder."
Chicago — From the sound of it, Tigers general manager Al Avila and manager Ron Gardenhire went round and round debating whether or not to send left-hander Daniel Norris back to Triple-A Toledo.
A roster move had to be made to make room for starter Mike Fiers, who was activated off the disabled list after the game Saturday.
DETROIT (AP) — Major League Baseball is standing behind the replay reversal that took the winning run away from the Detroit Tigers in a game last week against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Detroit – It doesn't change anything in the short-term, but the Detroit Tigers got some vindication from the league office regarding the disputed video review that nullified the winning run on Opening Day.
"We heard what we wanted to hear, I can tell you that," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They told us what we knew was right."
Detroit — Well, we have some extra time on our hands, what with Opening Day at Comerica Park postponed until Friday.
So, let's do a little forecasting.
We know this is Year One of the Tigers' rebuild. We know, because general manager Al Avila has said it repeatedly, that there's bound to be regular, if not constant, alterations to the active roster.
Lakeland, Fla. – If you sit in Al Avila's chair, you can't afford to be overly sentimental. Decisions have to be made that impact people's lives and livelihoods, and at times it takes a dispassionate, bottom-line approach.
Case in point: The Tigers needed to create a spot on the 40-man roster, presumably, as things stand now, to make room for utility man Niko Goodrum – who was a non-roster invitee to spring training.
Lakeland, Fla. — We're getting down to it now. Ten days left in spring training and still unsolved are the Tigers starting rotation, the final two or three bullpen spots and the final two bench jobs.
The ultimate roster decisions will be made after a collaborative debate between manager Ron Gardenhire and his staff and general manager Al Avila and the baseball operations staff, which includes senior director of analytics Jay Sartori and director of baseball operations Sam Menzin.
Lakeland, Fla. — So you implode the aging team that is now obsolete and needs to be trucked away in pieces, much like the old Hudson's store disappeared 20 years ago from downtown Detroit's skyline. You know it will take five years, anyway, to build a towering new contender people will see as dramatic and impressive — as baseball's version of a national landmark.
The problem is locals want a makeover. Now. This year. By Opening Day, if you don't mind.
Lakeland, Fla.— Based on last year's miserable numbers, and based on a 39th birthday in December, it was never a sure thing Victor Martinez would wear Tigers threads in 2018.
Yes, they owed him $18 million for another season as their designated hitter. But the money was going to be paid either way. Better, perhaps, to write him a farewell check and think about a younger, more energized bat at DH.
Lakeland, Fla. – The Detroit Tigers thinned the herd a little bit on Friday morning, optioning five pitchers to minor-league camp.
Right-handers Artie Lewicki and Zac Reininger, who both made their Major-League debuts last season in Detroit, were optioned to Triple-A Toledo.
Right-handers Gerson Moreno and Spencer Turnball were sent to Double-A Erie.
More: Tigers' sloppy defense starting to irk Gardenhire
And left-hander Gregory Soto was optioned to High-A Lakeland.
The Tigers' rebuilding efforts landed the organization prospects. Now, it appears, it's going to take patience. And, most definitely, more prospects.
Lakeland, Fla. – It may be too early to talk about extending the contract of Tigers general manager Al Avila – he has three years left on it -- but it's clear his boss likes both his plan and how he is executing it.
Liriano agrees to $4 million, 1-year deal with Tigers
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Detroit agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with left-hander Francisco Liriano, giving the Tigers added pitching depth.
The 34-year-old was 6-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 18 starts last season with Toronto and 20 relief appearances with World Series champion Houston, which acquired him at the July 31 trade deadline. He is 102-99 in a 12-year big league career.
Tigers general manager Al Avila said it has not been decided whether Liriano will start or pitch in relief.
Tampa, Fla. — General manager Al Avila always has left the door open to signing another veteran starting pitcher.
He made his move on Friday. According to a report by FanRagSports.com, the Tigers signed veteran Francisco Liriano to a one-year, $4-million contract. It was initially uncertain if that salary was conditional on him making the big-league roster.
Lakeland, Fla. — Pitchers and catchers report Tuesday with the rest of the squad due in a week. But already, manager Ron Gardenhire has planted the seed.
"Keep the outside world out of your head," he said, when asked what his message to the team might be. "All the distractions of people telling you this and telling you that, we just have to believe in ourselves inside this little bubble. We have to do the work. We have to understand that if we do the work, we're capable.
D-backs finalize $8.25M, 2-year deal with catch Alex Avila
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have finalized an $8.25 million, two-year contract with free agent catcher Alex Avila.
Avila fills a roster spot vacated by Chris Iannetta, who shared the catching duties last year and left for an $8.5 million, two-year deal with Colorado.
There will be no reunion between the Tigers and catcher Alex Avila this year.
Avila has agreed to a two-year, $8.25-million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. The deal is reportedly pending a physical.
Avila, who turned 31 on Monday, is coming off a resurgent season in which he batted .264/.387/.447 over 112 games, most with the Tigers, before they traded him to the Cubs in July.
Detroit — Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio ducked under the fifth amendment when he was asked Saturday about Alex Wilson's transition to a starting role.
"We did not discuss that," he said.
Here's the conversation Wilson said he had with Bosio in December.
"He straight-faced asked me, do I really think I can be a starter," Wilson said. "And I said, yeah. Then he said, 'Awesome. That's all I need to know.'"
Detroit — As marketing pitches go, Al Avila knows this one is a tough sell.
"Everybody talks about this season as, 'Are the Tigers gonna be that bad?'," the Tigers' general manager said at a Detroit Sports Media luncheon Wednesday, a day before his team rolls out its annual winter caravan ahead of spring training.
Detroit — Al Avila was fired up.
It was at the end of what is normally a calm question-and-answer period at the Detroit Media Association's annual Tiger Day luncheon at Sinbad's on the river Wednesday. Avila, the Tigers general manager, said he wanted to say one more thing.
Tigers GM Avila says Fulmer, Martinez having no setbacks
DETROIT (AP) — Michael Fulmer and Victor Martinez are expected to be at full strength at spring training for the Detroit Tigers.
General manager Al Avila gave an update on their status Wednesday following a luncheon with Detroit Sports Media. Fulmer had elbow surgery in September, around the same time Martinez underwent a surgical procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
Detroit — There will be some empty seats on the Tigers winter caravan Thursday and Friday, and at TigerFest on Saturday.
Miguel Cabrera, Jose Iglesias, James McCann, Victor Martinez and pitching coach Chris Bosio will not take part in the annual barnstorming weekend, Tigers general manager Al Avila said.
The new-look Tigers are meeting up in Detroit next week to kick off the annual winter caravan.
The Tigers will make several stops across Michigan on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with several of them open to the public.
Participating in the fan tour will be general manager Al Avila, new manager Ron Gardenhire, new Hall-of-Famer Alan Trammell and dozens of Tigers players. TigerFest wraps up the week's festivities, at Comerica Park on Saturday.
Detroit — Pitchers and catchers will report to spring training in less than six weeks, and still baseball remains in a veritable free-agent freeze-out. When the first dawn of 2018 broke Monday, there were still 136 unsigned free agents on the market, including most of the high-end talent including J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer and Yu Darvish.
Ron Gardenhire, whose debut season as Tigers manager will mark a major reconstruction of the team's roster, will join Tigers general manager Al Avila, as well as catcher-first baseman John Hicks, as celebrity speakers at the 2018 Detroit Baseball Dinner.
The dinner is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 27, at the Polish American Cultural Center in Troy.
The rebuilding Detroit Tigers likely are staring a season of 100-plus loss season in the face.
After trading away stars such has J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton and Justin Verlander during last season's fire sale, the Tigers simply don't appear to have the talent to compete. ESPN in November tabbed the Tigers the worst team heading into the 2018 season, and they face the longest odds to win the World Series, according to Las Vegas sports books.
Detroit — The Winter Meetings were all but over and Tigers general manager Al Avila was asked late Wednesday night if he felt the club had met its objectives thus far this off-season.
"Absolutely," he said. "Yes."
Then he put his hands up in a defensive posture. He knows that sentiment isn't shared by the majority of the Tigers' fan base.
Orlando, Fla. — The question was posed to Tigers general manager Al Avila late Wednesday night: Why not just buy out the last year of Victor Martinez's contract?
"You got $18 million you want to give me," he said.
It could still happen that way, the Tigers could ultimately work out some sort of buyout and thank Martinez for the memories. But it's clearly not that simple.
Meet new Detroit Tigers prospects Wilkel Hernandez, Troy Montgomery
The Tigers traded second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Angels on Wednesday night for two prospects.
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Signed: By the Angels as an international free agent in July 2015.
2017: Hernandez pitched for the Orem (Utah) Owlz in the Pioneer League and for the Arizona League (Rookie) Angels. Combined he was 4-1 in 12 appearances with a 2.64 ERA and 1.060 WHIP. He struck out 44 in 44.1 innings and walked 22.
Orlando, Fla. — Tigers director of player development David Littlefield has been spending time at TigerTown monitoring the offseason work of some of the club's younger players. And he offered an encouraging report on right-handed reliever Joe Jimenez.
"He's in Lakeland, he's staying in Lakeland and he's lost 20 to 25 pounds," Littlefield said Tuesday. "He looks in great shape. He's going to go back to Puerto Rico for the holidays and then come back in January."
Interest in Fulmer grows; Kinsler in holding pattern
Orlando, Fla. — After a relatively quiet Monday at the baseball Winter Meetings, the rumor mill started to churn and some of the buzz involved Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer.
The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers were among teams that have reportedly contacted the Tigers about what it would take to pry away the former American League Rookie of the Year.
Avila optimistic he’ll get a deal done for Kinsler
Orlando, Fla. — Tigers general manager Al Avila was asked Monday if he thought he would be able to work a trade for second baseman Ian Kinsler during the Winter Meetings, which commenced in earnest Monday.
"I think we will, yes," he said.
Manager Ron Gardenhire, sitting to Avila's right, dropped his head and said, "You don't have to though."
What they’re saying about Alan Trammell, Jack Morris
Comments following the election of the Detroit Tigers' Alan Trammell and Jack Morris to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday night.
Detroit — Tigers general manager Al Avila already has made his intentions known throughout the baseball community: He is open for business.
And he may not wait for the Winter Meetings, which get under way Monday at Disney World, to start dealing.
Avila and his staff have been hunting for veteran starting pitching (one, possibly two) and for a veteran reliever. The requirement — experience and durability. The stipulation — willing to accept a lower-end, one-year deal.
Detroit — Tigers general manager Al Avila expected the questions and he stood his ground Wednesday when asked about the signing of veteran catcher Derek Norris, who is coming off a Major League Baseball suspension stemming from domestic-abuse allegations.
Avila said the Tigers spoke to MLB as well as to Norris, and were satisfied enough to sign him to a minor-league contract Tuesday.
What the Tigers know, for certain, 10 days before baseball's Winter Meetings convene at Disney World, are their shopping specifics.
Although general manager Al Avila isn't offering details, a person familiar with their business agenda, and who asked not to be identified, said the Tigers are following these generally acknowledged offseason outlines:
They want to sign ahead of 2018's spring camp two lost-cost starting pitchers. And, perhaps, a reliever.
Tigers discussing Ian Kinsler with ‘multiple clubs’
Detroit — The Tigers, big-time sellers for the better part of a year, continue to have trade talks.
A source with knowledge of the Tigers discussions said Monday night they are discussing with "multiple clubs" a possible deal for veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Jon Paul Morosi of mlb.com and Fox Sports said Monday on Twitter that the Tigers have been in talks with the Mets.
Orlando, Fla. — Tigers general manager Al Avila was about as transparent as anyone in his position could be.
"Yeah, we need pitching help," he said during the general managers' meetings Monday. "Probably one, maybe two starting pitchers. You can never have enough pitching. But take a look around. There are 29 other teams here and they are all looking for starting pitching and bullpen help."
Orlando, Fla. — This one is not going to be like the other one.
Dave Dombrowski was in his second year as general manager in 2004 when, with owner Mike Ilitch's blessing, went out and signed now Hall-of-Fame catcher Pudge Rodriguez for $40 million over four years.
The Tigers had lost 119 games in 2003, 106 in 2002, so it was still early in that rebuilding phase, which made such a financial splash shocking at the time.
Do not expect a similar shock early in this present Tigers rebuild.