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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-11-07

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-11-07

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-11-07
--1B Miguel Cabrera was selected Tiger of the Year by the Detroit Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Cabrera overcame a slow beginning to his first American League season to lead the league with 37 home runs while driving in 127 runs and batting .292. His 331 total bases tied for the league lead. The Tigers locked him up long-term even before the season began. He opened the year at third base, but he and Carlos Guillen were quickly swapped across the diamond. Cabrera, 25, is also the fifth-youngest player to reach 1,000 hits for his career.

--RHP Armando Galarraga was named the Tigers' Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. Galarraga led American League rookies with 13 wins and 126 strikeouts, and he was third with a 3.73 ERA. He ranked second among AL pitchers with a .226 batting average against. His 126 strikeouts are the most by a Tigers rookie right-hander, two more than RHP Justin Verlander posted in 2006.

--SS Edgar Renteria, whose 2009 option was bought out for $3 million by Detroit, has filed for free agency but could still wind up re-signing with the Tigers. Detroit could offer arbitration to Renteria, but as a Type A free agent he could wind up getting more than the $11 million the Tigers would have had to pay for picking up his option. "We're looking to improve our defense," GM Dave Dombrowski said, "so any consideration will have defensive discussions. They're all intertwined, but I think it's also one where you look at them independently, too. You look at the best players you can." Declining defense is one reason the Tigers chose to buy out Renteria's option.

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth has filed for free agency, and Detroit is not likely to make an attempt to bring him back. Farnsworth was obtained in a trade-deadline deal with the New York Yankees for C Ivan Rodriguez. He was 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA for the Tigers and didn't pitch in September after reporting he had a bad back. Detroit is not expected to offer arbitration to Farnsworth.

--LHP Casey Fossum has filed for free agency, and it's doubtful Detroit will offer him a contract for 2009. Fossum was an early-season pickup as a free agent and wound up getting into 31 games for the Tigers, posting a 3-1 record and a 5.66 ERA. He pitched well in long relief but faltered in later-inning roles, especially later in the season. Fossum also had problems with left-handed hitters as the season wore on.

--SS Cale Iorg, 23, is the chief reason Detroit isn't seeking a long-term solution at shortstop for 2009. Iorg, chosen in the sixth round of the 2007 draft after spending two years on a mission for the Mormon church, played his first full season of pro ball at high Class A Lakeland last summer and was regarded as one of the top prospects in the Florida State League. He hit .251 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs. He confirmed that he probably could handle defense at the major league level right now but still is green at the plate.

"Ideally and probably he is not ready now," GM Dave Dombrowski said. "But he just did so very well in the Instructional League that he caught our eyes even more so. We're not counting on Cale being on our club next year, but we are not 100 percent closed on doing that. Though, we are comfortable with Ramon Santiago at shortstop and whoever else might play with him."

The Tigers may hope Iorg hits well enough in Class AA this spring that he can come up early and take over. The club could open with Santiago at short and see what happens, or it could bring in a veteran for one season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 126 -- Strikeouts by RHP Armando Galarraga last season, two more than RHP Justin Verlander posted in 2006 and the most by a Tigers rookie.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have flexibility to do some things. I don't have flexibility to do tons of things, but I have flexibility to do some things. Sometimes you trade young players for young players. We've got plenty of finances that are attributed to our ballclub. Now we just have to make them work better for us." -- GM Dave Dombrowski, on what lies ahead in the reshaping of Detroit's roster this offseason.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 7, 2008

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