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. They are looking hard for a left-handed hitting outfielder. They will be waiting Friday to see which players are “non-tendered” by their clubs, the formal term for a team not offering a 2018 contract to a player. This most often happens because of potential salary arbitration costs that a team views as not worthwhile. The Tigers, meanwhile, are burrowing into their minor-league scouting reports in a bid to grab, for a mere $100,000, a player they might poach from another club in the Dec. 14 Rule 5 draft, which traditionally wraps up the Winter Meetings. The Tigers have the first pick in this year’s Rule 5 draft and are almost certain to snatch a pitcher or position player who must be carried next season on their 25-man active roster. Players eligible for the Rule 5 draft have, in most cases, spent four or more seasons in the minors and haven’t been retained on a team’s 40-man roster. One potential pick could be Travis Demeritte, 23, a second baseman and right-handed hitter who couldn’t be squeezed onto a loaded Braves team’s 40-man list. Demeritte has power and would make sense if the Tigers, as anticipated, trade Ian Kinsler, who has been part of conversations between the Tigers and multiple teams.
Pitching help remains atop Tigers’ to-do list
Detroit News | Nov 30