Pudge elected to Hall of Fame

First-ballot inductee is 14-time All-Star, 13-time Gold Glove Award winner

Pudge elected to Hall of Fame

DETROIT -- Ivan Rodriguez was the superstar who led the Tigers' charge from worst to first in just three years. He needed only one year on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot to get into Cooperstown.

For the first time in 37 years, a former Tiger will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on the writers' ballot. On Wednesday, Rodriguez became a first-ballot inductee by receiving 76 percent of the vote. Players needed to be selected on 332 ballots for induction; Rodriguez made it at 336.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pudge's batch of batterymates a who's who

From Ryan to Rivera to Strasburg, Cooperstown's newest catcher guided talented hurlers

Pudge's batch of batterymates a who's who

Ivan Rodriguez got the call to Cooperstown on Wednesday, when the Baseball Writers' Association of America officially made him only the second catcher in history to earn induction to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

"Pudge" received 76 percent of the vote in large part because of his prowess behind the plate, where he caught nearly 2,500 games, led his league in caught-stealing percentage nine times and won 13 Gold Glove Awards. Between the ages of 19 and 39, Rodriguez donned the mask for six organizations, and from the very beginning until the very end, he teamed up with many talented pitchers.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers add Mahtook to CF mix in deal with Rays

Detroit to send player or cash to Tampa Bay; Gose designated for assignment

Tigers add Mahtook to CF mix in deal with Rays

DETROIT -- The Tigers made a move to improve their options in center field, but it wasn't one of the veteran names on the free-agent market. Instead, Detroit acquired former first-round Draft pick Mikie Mahtook from the Rays on Wednesday in exchange for a player to be named or cash.

To make room for Mahtook on the 40-man roster, the Tigers designated Anthony Gose, last year's Opening Day center fielder, for assignment. The mercurial speedster, who was set to compete for the starting center-field job despite a turbulent 2016 season, could still be outrighted to the Minors and given a non-roster invite to camp if he clears waivers.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers announce Winter Caravan schedule

Cabrera, Verlander, Fulmer among players slated to participate

DETROIT -- The Tigers will visit the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, honor a fallen police officer, visit patients at DMC Children's Hospital, work as celebrity servers at Hard Rock Café and check out cars at the North American International Auto Show as part of their annual Winter Caravan next Thursday and Friday.

The tour leads up to TigerFest at Comerica Park on Jan. 21, while providing fans with a glimpse of spring amid winter's chill.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jones eyeing Tigers' center-field spot

Jones eyeing Tigers' center-field spot

DETROIT -- JaCoby Jones, seen by many as the Tigers' center fielder of the future, could end up wearing the same number as their center fielder of 2016. It was just a coincidence, he said, that he had number 4 -- which Cameron Maybin wore for Detroit last year -- during his stint in the Arizona Fall League.

"That's one of the numbers I had in the Fall League," Jones explained earlier this month at MLB's Rookie Career Development Program. "Once [Maybin] got traded, I told our clubbie, 'Hey, is there any way I can get number 4 if we don't sign another veteran or anybody that wants number 4?'"

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bass excited about potential homecoming

Tigers among teams interested in right-hander from Michigan

Bass excited about potential homecoming

DETROIT -- Anthony Bass grew up in Trenton, Mich., and played college baseball at Wayne State University, where he trained for several winters before moving to Nashville this offseason so he and his wife could be close to her family. He still dreams of pitching one day for the Tigers.

"That would be cool," the right-hander said Saturday from his annual pitching camp at Wayne State. "I was talking with my wife about that. It would be cool to come here and eventually play for the team I grew up rooting for."

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers announce spring broadcast schedule

Club will telecast 7 Grapefruit League games; 21 radio broadcasts

Tigers announce spring broadcast schedule

DETROIT -- The Tigers report to Lakeland, Fla., for Spring Training in four weeks, but they'll be a familiar sight -- and sound -- back in Michigan. The team will telecast seven Grapefruit League games on Fox Sports Detroit, and 21 radio broadcasts on 97.1 WXYT.

The radio duo of Dan Dickerson and Jim Price returns for a 15th season, while Mario Impemba will call the play-by-play on FSD. Rod Allen and Kirk Gibson will alternate as analysts.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers maintain streak, agree to deals with six

Tigers maintain streak, agree to deals with six

DETROIT -- The Tigers will go another winter without an arbitration hearing. The team avoided arbitration with one-year contracts for third baseman Nick Castellanos, utility man Andrew Romine, shortstop Jose Iglesias and relievers Alex Wilson, Justin Wilson and Bruce Rondon.

The one-year deals continue the streak for the Tigers, who haven't had an arbitration ruling since 2001. Assistant general manager John Westhoff has been the Tigers' legal counsel and chief negotiator during that streak.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Go behind the scenes of a Miggy workout

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Go behind the scenes of a Miggy workout

Sure, Miguel Cabrera may be entering his age-34 season, but he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down: He hit 38 dingers in 2016, the second-highest single-season total of his career, while slashing .316/.393/.563 and bagging his seventh Silver Slugger Award. 

How exactly does he do it? Luckily, we all get to find out for ourselves -- MLB hung out behind the scenes with Cabrera for a full day of workouts, so now you too can work out like one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time. (We already knew the first step: lots of Drake.)

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Tigers' search for CF slows, turns to internal candidates

Tigers' search for CF slows, turns to internal candidates

DETROIT -- With their offseason of more discussion than deals nearing an end, the Tigers continue to look for a center fielder on the market. Judging from general manager Al Avila's comments, that search seems likely to take until Spring Training.

"There is no clear-cut answer right now for center field," Avila told 97.1 FM Wednesday night on the Tiger Talk hot stove program. "I would say it's a work in progress."

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers won't move vets just to help payroll

GM Avila: Club engaged in talks, but nothing has come to fruition

Tigers won't move vets just to help payroll

DETROIT -- The Tigers aren't going to trade veteran players just to shed salary, general manager Al Avila re-emphasized Tuesday. And if they can't find the return they want, they're poised to enter 2017 with a team that looks a lot like it did in '16.

Avila, speaking with MLB Network's Christopher Russo on his "High Heat" afternoon program Tuesday, said the market never materialized for the kind of trade that would push the Tigers toward the younger, more efficient roster Avila's looking to build over the next few years.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospects Jimenez, Ravenelle among NRIs

Righties part of Tigers' plan to build 'pen via player development

Prospects Jimenez, Ravenelle among NRIs

DETROIT -- Joe Jimenez will get his opportunity to face Major League hitting this Spring Training. So, too, will fellow Tigers relief prospect Adam Ravenelle.

The two hard-throwing right-handers, cornerstones in the Tigers' efforts to build a bullpen through player development, are among 22 of the club's Minor Leaguers issued non-roster invites to Major League camp. The team announced the list Wednesday.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers sign Minors contracts with 22 players

Achter, Mujica among those to get Spring Training invites

Tigers sign Minors contracts with 22 players

DETROIT -- The Tigers officially announced Minor League contracts with 22 players, including seven non-roster invites to Spring Training, as they try to build depth in their system.

Most of the deals on Tuesday had previously been reported. They include A.J. Achter, the former Twins and Angels reliever who grew up in Toledo, along with former Cardinals closer Edward Mujica, former Angels first baseman Efren Navarro, well-traveled infielder Brendan Ryan and utility outfielder Alex Presley. All will be in Major League camp, along with outfielder Juan Perez and infielder Brett Pill.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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Jackson could re-fill Tigers' center-field void

Jackson could re-fill Tigers' center-field void

DETROIT -- The Tigers, with their offseason pursestrings shortened, have spent the winter getting the band back together. Their lone Major League signing so far has been the return of catcher Alex Avila. Their Minor League deals have included reunions with former Tigers Omar Infante and Collin Balester as well as A.J. Achter's homecoming.

As general manager Al Avila tries to fill a void in center field, and as Austin Jackson looks to rekindle his career following knee surgery -- there's a chance for the offseason reunions to continue.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibson named to College Football Hall of Fame

Former Michigan State wide receiver drafted by Tigers before his senior season

Gibson named to College Football Hall of Fame

DETROIT -- Kirk Gibson is finally headed to the Hall of Fame -- for the gridiron.

Before Gibson embarked on a Major League Baseball career that included two memorable World Series home runs, a National League Most Valuable Player Award and a well-earned reputation as a hard-nosed player, he was an All-American wide receiver at Michigan State University. On Monday, he was recognized for the latter, named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers outright reliever Nesbitt to Triple-A

Tigers outright reliever Nesbitt to Triple-A

DETROIT -- Angel Nesbitt will get another chance at redemption with the Tigers this spring. The club outrighted the right-handed reliever to Triple-A Toledo on Friday after he cleared waivers, having been designated for assignment two weeks ago.

It's a hard fall from two years ago, when the power-throwing Venezuelan was the surprise of Spring Training -- earning a spot in the Tigers' bullpen on Opening Day. It isn't necessarily the end for Nesbitt, who turned 26 years old in December.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Pudge's impact on teams was Hall-worthy

Rodriguez helped to change fortunes of Rangers, Marlins and Tigers

Pudge's impact on teams was Hall-worthy

Quick study? No question.

In the decade he was in his prime, everything about Ivan Rodriguez was quick.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What are Tigers' options in center field?

What are Tigers' options in center field?

DETROIT -- The quiet Tigers offseason, if it carries over into Spring Training, will leave a lot of familiar names in the lineup come Opening Day. That's the upside of Detroit's inability to find common ground on trades in the team's long-term movement to get younger and leaner.

The downside could be seen in center field, where the Opening Day starter is anyone's guess.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers hoping for a healthy Zimmermann in 2017

Tigers hoping for a healthy Zimmermann in 2017

DETROIT -- The Tigers are having a very quiet offseason on the pitching front. But they could have a big addition this spring if Jordan Zimmermann can report to Spring Training feeling like his old self.

It's far from certain, given the neck and back issues that derailed Zimmermann's first season in Detroit. Six weeks out, the signs are encouraging.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' roster likely to resemble '16 club

GM Avila yet to shift toward youth movement

Tigers' roster likely to resemble '16 club

DETROIT -- Four weeks have passed since Brad Ausmus forecast a quiet Tigers winter rather than an offseason shakeup.

"I just think it's easy to talk about and harder to do," Detroit's manager said at the Winter Meetings.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Tigers, reliever Mujica agree to deal

Source: Tigers, reliever Mujica agree to deal

DETROIT -- Long after Christmas stockings have been emptied, the Tigers continue stocking their Spring Training camp with non-roster invites, this time adding to their crop of relief candidates. Detroit has agreed to terms with veteran right-hander Edward Mujica on a Minor League contract with an invite to big league camp.

The Tigers have not confirmed the deal. A source confirmed the agreement, first reported by FanRag Sports.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In '17, Tigers might be in store for shakeup

J.D. Martinez, Kinsler, Upton among potential free agents after season

In '17, Tigers might be in store for shakeup

DETROIT -- Change is coming to the Tigers, as general manager Al Avila warned in September.

But change isn't here yet.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 pitchers who dropped off Hall ballot too soon

5 pitchers who dropped off Hall ballot too soon

MLB.com has already taken a look at some of the more surprising position players to go one-and-done in Hall of Fame balloting. Next up are the pitchers.

Players eligible for election to the Hall of Fame need 75 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America to be enshrined in Cooperstown; they only need 5 percent to reserve a spot on the ballot for the following year. But not all candidates hit that mark, and many have dropped off the ballot after only one year. Many more will do so again in the future.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stafford sports Tigers cap for 'Sunday Night Football' interview

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Stafford sports Tigers cap for 'Sunday Night Football' interview

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has a more-than-tangential connection to the baseball world. As many probably know, he's lifelong friends (and former high school football teammates) with Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, who showed up at a recent Cowboys-Lions game. 

On Sunday night, Stafford's Lions were matched up with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a showdown for NFC North supremacy, and for his pregame interview Stafford donned a cap supporting the Tigers. 

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Tigers claw back in '16, fall short of playoffs

Fulmer's AL ROY Award, Verlander's resurgence among highlights

Tigers claw back in '16, fall short of playoffs

DETROIT -- For the Tigers, 2016 was a season of rebound and renewal, starting with their offseason dealings for proven talent and ending with the success of young prospects. In the end, however, it was a season just shy of a return to the postseason. And a franchise that has made a World Series title its urgent goal for more than a decade was left to debate how far away that goal sits from the club and how best to chase it, starting with general manager Al Avila.

"I'm very happy and proud of the way that our team competed," Avila said at season's end. "They worked hard and they battled all year long, all through adversity as far as the injuries and the situations that we incurred. I'm very proud how they all handled it. There was a 12-game improvement. We were there till the very end, and it was really in our hands at the end."

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris looks to turn strong finish into breakout year

Tigers lefty posts 3.04 ERA over final 10 starts in '16 after injury woes in first half

Norris looks to turn strong finish into breakout year

DETROIT -- Unlike last winter, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus hadn't received any surfing photos from Daniel Norris as of a couple of weeks ago. However, the young left-hander has reprised his offseason travels, searching for the perfect coast.

Once he returns to Florida in February for Spring Training, he'll be looking to ride the wave from his 2016 stretch run into '17 as a critical piece of the Tigers' rotation.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Most amazing American League games of 2016

Most amazing American League games of 2016

The Indians came thisclose to bringing a World Series title home to their fans and to the American League after an amazing 2016 season. Taking the Chicago Cubs to the 10th inning of the seventh game of the Fall Classic was just about as memorable as it gets.

But the Indians were one of 15 teams in the AL, and each one had its own Game of the Year. In consultation with the MLB.com beat reporters for every team, here are the best individual games for each AL club during another fantastic year in Major League Baseball:

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.