In year of transition, Tigers see same results

Club wins fourth straight AL Central title, but again falls short of ultimate goal

In year of transition, Tigers see same results

DETROIT -- The Tigers' search for a World Series continues for another year, and their 2014 quest ended earlier than it ever has during their four-year run of division titles. And yet, 2014 was a fascinating transition year for a team that finished in much the same position as in seasons past.

They began the year as a team in transition, adjusting from Jim Leyland to first-year manager Brad Ausmus while moving on from slugger Prince Fielder to second baseman Ian Kinsler. Detroit ended the year in a new kind of transition, eyeing what shapes up to be a vastly different rotation and a team seemingly built more on balance than one centered specifically on starting pitching.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soon after trade, Yoenis takes time to bring joy to kids

Soon after trade, Yoenis takes time to bring joy to kids

Yoenis Cespedes had only been a Detroit Tiger for less than 24 hours. He has been a hero to kids in a tough spot for a while, whatever uniform he has been wearing.

While most of Detroit was still trying to digest the Tigers' latest offseason trade, Cespedes was in South Florida trying to pass along a little happiness to others. He had scheduled a visit to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and he wasn't going to miss it.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers may look in-house for bullpen answer

Getting more out of Krol could shore up relief

Tigers may look in-house for bullpen answer

DETROIT -- The close of the holiday season usually changes the outlook on the free-agent pitching market. Yet with the calendar about to turn, the Tigers' best answer to their biggest remaining need in 2015 might well be their answer to lefty relief in 2014.

In other words, even if the Tigers add an arm or two, their best chance to shore up their bullpen might be to find a way to get more out of Ian Krol.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moya's future in Detroit delayed by Cespedes' arrival

Top-notch prospect likely to start 2015 in Minors

Moya's future in Detroit delayed by Cespedes' arrival

DETROIT -- Steven Moya rose from hit-or-miss prospect at this point a year ago to the Major Leagues in September. Even he's in awe of how quickly it all happened.

"It was a really blessed season," Moya said earlier this month. "I thank God that I had that season."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gillett leaving, Walter new conditioning coordinator

Gillett leaving, Walter new conditioning coordinator

DETROIT -- One of the longest-tenured figures on the Tigers' staff has moved on. And while Javair Gillett was never on the field in uniform, his departure leaves a major void for the team to replace.

Gillett spent 10 seasons as the Tigers' strength and conditioning coordinator, serving under three managers. At season's end, however, he took a job with the NBA's Houston Rockets as a strength and conditioning coach.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers outright right-hander Mercedes

Tigers outright right-hander Mercedes

The Tigers outrighted right-hander Melvin Mercedes to Triple-A Toledo on Friday.

The 24-year-old made his Major League debut this season, appearing in one game for the Tigers and throwing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers promote Arias to director of Dominican Academy

The Tigers have promoted Oliver Arias to the position of director of the team's Dominican Academy.

Arias, who has served as the coordinator of the academy since joining the Tigers' organization in 2006, will oversee the daily operations as well as the scouting of Cuban players in the Dominican Republic.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tiger Stadium site to become HS field, houses

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Tiger Stadium site to become HS field, houses

The Tigers play their home games in Comerica Park, but from 1912-1999, fans filed through the gates of Tiger Stadium to watch Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg and Al Kaline belt homers and win four World Series.

In 2008, demolition Tiger Stadium was complete, but a new development deal looks to preserve the romantic history of the site by integrating the former playing field into plans for commercial and residential space

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Happy 80th birthday to Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline

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Happy 80th birthday to Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline

Today Al Kaline turns 80 years old, and it's hard to pick just one thing to celebrate him for. In 1955, he hit .340/.421./.546 and became the youngest player in history to win the AL batting title. That same year, he was selected to his first All-Star Game, a process that would be repeated 14 more times over the course of his career.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

AL Central looking like one powerhouse division

Tigers are reigning champs, but pennant-winning Royals, Indians, White Sox eye top spot

AL Central looking like one powerhouse division

The Tigers are the king of the American League Central, and the king is always given his due. They would probably be the division favorites if the 2015 season began today.

But in this case probably is a big word.

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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.

Tigers expect Verlander to adjust style, bounce back

Dip in fastball velocity means righty likely needs a new approach

Tigers expect Verlander to adjust style, bounce back

SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers believe Justin Verlander is in a good position for a bounce-back season in 2015. They do not necessarily expect his power fastball to bounce back with it.

"Justin may think he is, but I don't think he's going to come out and throw 98-99 [mph] on a regular basis," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said at last week's Winter Meetings. "But we never thought that, when we signed him long-term, that he would do that."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dombrowski: No talks with Scherzer

Dombrowski: No talks with Scherzer

SAN DIEGO -- On Thursday, one day after agent Scott Boras said that the pursuit of free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer "is not church bingo," Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski suggested that Detroit is not playing the game.

Although Thursday's trade of Rick Porcello to the Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes brought more change to the core of the Tigers' vaunted rotation, Dombrowski suggested that it did not change their stance on Scherzer, a part of the rotation since 2010 before hitting the open market.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Detroit makes splash on last day of Meetings

Detroit lands Cespedes, Simon on last day of Winter Meetings

Detroit makes splash on last day of Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers were dormant for all but a handful of the 80 or so hours of baseball's Winter Meetings. That handful of hours of activity, however, could be what determines whether the Tigers have another World Series run in them.

They wanted to add one more offensive cog, and they liked Yoenis Cespedes, but they didn't want to create a void in their rotation to do it. They wanted to work around that, but they didn't have an abundance of prospects to help them out.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In separate deals, Tigers land Cespedes, Simon

Detroit sends Porcello to Red Sox for outfielder, then deals for Reds righty

In separate deals, Tigers land Cespedes, Simon

SAN DIEGO -- Once again, the Tigers made noise at baseball's Winter Meetings, this time waiting until its final hours.

By adding slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for right-hander Rick Porcello on Thursday morning, then acquiring Alfredo Simon from the Reds for Eugenio Suarez and Jonathon Crawford, their parting shot at this year's Meetings answered the past few days of deals by the rest of the American League Central.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Flurry of moves may be just the beginning for Tigers, Red Sox

Flurry of moves may be just the beginning for Tigers, Red Sox

SAN DIEGO -- So what did you think the Red Sox and the Tigers were going to do? Punt?

Yeah, right. Even after the wild flurry of moves that restated the two teams' intention to roll on to the 2015 World Series without the aces who led them into their most recent postseason appearances, history says they might just have something really crazy left in their bag of tricks.

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

Tigers pick Minors righty Manzueta in Rule 5 Draft

The final day of the Winter Meetings began with the annual Rule 5 Draft. Teams were only able to make a selection if it had space on its 40-man roster.

ROUND 1
1. Arizona Diamondbacks: C Oscar Hernandez, Rays
2. Colorado Rockies: IF Mark Canha, Marlins
3. Texas Rangers: OF Delino DeShields Jr., Astros
4. Houston Astros: RHP Jason Garcia, Red Sox
5. Minnesota Twins: RHP J.R. Graham, Braves
6. Boston Red Sox: RHP Jandel Gustave, Astros
7. Chicago Cubs: SS Taylor Featherston, Rockies
8. Philadelphia Phillies: IF David Herrera, Rangers
9. Miami Marlins: LHP Andrew McKirahan, Cubs
10. New York Mets: LHP Sean Gilmartin, Twins
11. Atlanta Braves: RHP Daniel Winkler, Rockies
12. Seattle Mariners: LHP David Rollins, Astros
13. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Logan Verrett, Mets

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Tigers promote Maroth as part of Minors' staff changes

Tigers promote Maroth as part of Minors' staff changes

SAN DIEGO -- The last time Mike Maroth took the mound at Triple-A Toledo, he was still trying to work his way back into the Tigers' rotation. That was in 2006, after he underwent surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow earlier that year.

Maroth missed out on the Tigers' postseason run that fall, and his Detroit tenure ended the next summer. When he walks to that same mound at Fifth Third Field next spring, he'll be playing a quietly important part toward trying to get the Tigers back to the World Series -- as a coach.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moya named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

Most Valuable Player Greg Bird leads young stars following AFL season

Moya named to Fall League's Top Prospects Team

The Arizona Fall League on Wednesday announced its 2014 Top Prospects Team, highlighted by league Most Valuable Player Greg Bird and baseball's top prospect Byron Buxton.

The 22-man Top Prospects Team includes at least one player from 16 Major League organizations. The Fall League managers and coaches voted on the team, taking into consideration the players' performances during the fall and their projected future in the Major Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers to give young catchers serious look in camp

McCann and Holaday to challenge Avila

Tigers to give young catchers serious look in camp

SAN DIEGO -- Amidst a Winter Meetings dominated by rumors and questions about who will pitch for the Tigers next season, the bigger question might be who will catch.

They know who their catchers are going to be. They do not know who's going to catch more often.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Versatility may be Perez's ticket to Majors

Versatility may be Perez's ticket to Majors

SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers have had a super-utility player on their roster for the bulk of the last six years, thanks to Don Kelly. They could be setting up Hernan Perez to be the next.

It might be Perez's best shot to not only stick in the big leagues, but to stay in the organization.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lindsay Berra

Young looks to get slimmer 'meat hooks' into coaching

13-year big leaguer seeking job in player development at Winter Meetings

Young looks to get slimmer 'meat hooks' into coaching

SAN DIEGO -- A tall, lanky man leans against a pillar in the lobby of the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel. Another man hurries by, makes eye contact, and literally stops in his tracks.

"I didn't even recognize you, man!" he said. "Where's the rest of you?"

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

Detroit News' Gage wins Spink Award

BBWAA narrowly votes Tigers beat writer for honor ahead of Bisher, Shaughnessy

Detroit News' Gage wins Spink Award

SAN DIEGO -- Tom Gage, the longtime Tigers beat writer for the Detroit News, was named the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award on Tuesday after the annual balloting among eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The Spink is awarded for a meritorious career in baseball writing. Gage will receive the award in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 25 during next year's Hall of Fame induction weekend.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers talking trades early at Winter Meetings

Dombrowski says his club's starting pitching is drawing interest

Tigers talking trades early at Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers usually cast a wide net at the Winter Meetings on many fronts. It's early, but their approach this year leans pretty heavily towards the trade front.

"There's a lot of talks going on, actually," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said on Monday evening. "I think I had more conversations this year trade-wise coming into the meetings than I think I probably ever have."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers hoping internal arms will bolster bullpen

Club counting on bounce-back season from Nathan and healthy Rondon

Tigers hoping internal arms will bolster bullpen

SAN DIEGO -- Building a bullpen isn't always about which relievers a team acquires, Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski argued. It can also be about when a team adds them, and when it holds onto others.

It was a nod to the idea that relievers, more than other players, can go from standout to fallout from one year to the next, and vice versa. It was also a glimpse into the Tigers' philosophy towards their bullpen assembly this offseason under the scrutiny of the national spotlight and the postseason stage.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers 'open' to idea of reuniting with Dirks

Tigers 'open' to idea of reuniting with Dirks

SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers continue to seek outfield help. Meanwhile, Andy Dirks is going to linger on the free-agent market, looking for a roster that he can make on Opening Day after being non-tendered by the Blue Jays last week.

Could a reunion be in the works?

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' MVP Package drawing interest at auction

Fantasy batting, fielding practice along with club tickets up for bids

Tigers' MVP Package drawing interest at auction

SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers are one of a handful of teams garnering significant bids in this year's Winter Meetings auction thanks to an enticing package of unique offerings that cannot be matched anywhere else.

The Tigers are offering a doozy of an experience titled "MVP Package & Ceremonial First Pitch," and as of early afternoon on Tuesday, it had drawn 21 bids: Included are autographed baseballs signed by All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Justin Verlander, along with four tickets to a mutually agreed-upon home game during April or May, and the winner will have the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers get Greene from Yanks in three-way swap

Detroit sends lefty Ray, infielder Leyba to D-backs as part of deal

Tigers get Greene from Yanks in three-way swap

DETROIT -- The Tigers saw Shane Greene shut down their offense for 15 innings of two-run ball over two starts with the Yankees last August. Come Spring Training, they'll be seeing him in a Tigers uniform.

After acquiring Greene in a three-team trade Friday, they expect to see him for a while.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks, D-backs, Tigers have rich history as trade partners

Yanks, D-backs, Tigers have rich history as trade partners

The Yankees went back to a familiar source on Friday to find Derek Jeter's replacement, acquiring shortstop Didi Gregorius from the D-backs as part of a three-team swap between the Yanks, D-backs and Tigers.

These are the same three teams that -- nearly five years ago to the day -- pulled off a blockbuster that sent Curtis Granderson to New York, Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke to Detroit and Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson to Arizona.

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trade interest swirling around Porcello, Price

Trade interest swirling around Porcello, Price

DETROIT -- Rarely do the Tigers head into the Winter Meetings without an underlying rumor to track. In that sense the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes arrived right on time. The Max Scherzer makeup rumor, by contrast, has been lingering for a while.

Fittingly, one could lead to the other. But as president/general manager Dave Dombrowski talked about Friday's trade for former Yankees starter Shane Greene, he tried to put forth the notion that Detroit's rotation could be set, with Greene filling Scherzer's old spot.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.