Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
* * *
The Tigers are in a weird spot. They just missed the postseason in 2016, finishing 2.5 games back of the second Wild Card. That was a massive improvement from a year before, when they finished last in the AL Central. However, they’re looking to cut payroll as they move on from the Dave Dombrowski years — years often characterized by spending whatever it took to make owner Mike Ilitch happy. They aren’t rebuilding, or at least, they aren’t going to use that word. However, they do plan on "charting a new course," according to Jon Heyman, and that might mean venturing forth without someone like Miguel Cabrera or Justin Verlander on board.
Detroit is open to dealing Cabrera or Verlander or Jordan Zimmermann or Justin Upton or Victor Martinez if it makes them better in the long run, but as Kurt Mensching wrote at Bless You Boys, the important thing is that the Tigers go all-in on whatever direction they choose. The middle depends entirely too much on luck, good or bad. Go all-in or smash that rebuild button until the roster is unrecognizable. Moving just Cabrera or just Verlander will make a team that already wasn’t playoff-ready even worse, but cheaper. Adding to the roster that’s already there could make them a postseason team. They’ll have to pick one and go with it.
Cabrera and Verlander aren’t going to get any better, not when they’re both going to be 34 years old this year. Cabrera managed to hit .316/.393/.563 this past season and played in 158 games, not showing any signs of decline. Verlander very well could win the Cy Young this year. The time to sell is now for the Tigers, and with a weak free agent market this winter, the $220 million and $84 million still guaranteed Cabrera and Verlander, respectively, won’t look so ridiculous to a team trying to win right now.
- The 2016 Gold Glove winners were announced on Tuesday night, with Adrian Beltre winning his fifth.
- That weak free agent market mentioned above? Grant Brisbee ranked the top 40 free agents on it. Spoiler: there are not 40 good free agents.
- The Rangers will get their new ballpark in Arlington, as the city passed the necessary measures.
- Tim Tebow hit a walkoff single, so at least he’ll be able to remember that moment forever if nothing else comes of his pro ball career.
- Here is the case for the Blue Jays rebuilding by dealing Josh Donaldson. And here is the case for them doing no such thing.
- The Giants are "open-minded" at the prospect of signing Justin Turner, and probably not just because that would mean the Dodgers lost another major free agent to a rival.
- With David Ortiz retired, it’ll be even more important for the Red Sox that Dustin Pedroia continues to get on base atop the lineup.
- The Dodgers are reportedly "exploring" a Howie Kendrick trade.
- Five million people at the Cubs’ championship celebration? Rodger Sherman doesn’t buy it.
- It doesn’t seem likely that the Blue Jays will be able to re-sign Edwin Encarnacion early on in free agency.
- The Mets are hoping for the Yoenis Cespedes situation to resolve itself sooner than later.