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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30
--CF Curtis Granderson is reportedly on the short list of players who could be part of the United States' entry in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Granderson and Cleveland's Grady Sizemore, both center fielders, have been mentioned by manager Davey Johnson as players he wants on his team. Granderson is expected to arrive early for spring training to start getting in game condition as quickly as possible.

--1B Miguel Cabrera provides Detroit with one of the better power bats in major league history. Cabrera slugged .537 for Detroit in his first American League season, and that nicked a couple of points off his career mark. Cabrera enters 2009 with a .5408 career slugging percentage, 35th in big-league history and 16th best among active players.

--LHP Kenny Rogers still hasn't publicly declared whether he intends to pitch in 2009. He recently had a short conversation with Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, but no word was released concerning the veteran free agent's status. Rogers, if he decides to try to pitch again, would enter 2009 with 219 career victories, sixth among active pitchers.

--C Matt Treanor, 32, is no stranger to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who acquired him in a 1997 trade for the Florida Marlins. Dombrowski called him "an outstanding makeup guy. He's the type of guy you outline as an outstanding backup. For us, he fits the mold."

"I don't think one individual can change everybody on the active roster," Treanor said, "but guys may draw some energy from me. As a backup catcher, I've never wanted to take anything away from the guys doing stuff on the field every day. Hopefully, that good support system can be my addition to the club."

--DH Gary Sheffield, 40, enters 2009 tied for 80th on the all-time list with a career on-base percentage of .3937. That places him 11th among active players. Sheffield, coming off shoulder surgery prior to last season, didn't begin hitting his stride until after the All-Star break last season, and the Tigers are optimistic he'll give them decent numbers in '09.

--RF Magglio Ordonez has one record he isn't shouting about -- grounding into double plays. Ordonez grounded into 27 double plays last season to tie a major league record for most seasons with 20 or more double plays. It was the sixth season in his career that Ordonez has reached 20 or more GIDPs, his second in a row with the Tigers.

--The Tigers and New York Yankees were the only two franchises assessed a luxury tax by the commissioner's office for their payrolls last season. New York was hit with a $26.9 million tax, while Detroit has until Jan. 31 to cough up $1.3 million. New York's payroll was $222.2 million, and Detroit was second at $160.8 million, based on average annual values plus benefits of contracts for players on 40-man rosters. While the Yankees pay at a 40 percent rate for the amount over $155 million, the Tigers were assessed at a 22.5 percent rate because they exceeded the specified threshold for the first time. The threshold rose from $148 million last year to $155 million this season. It goes up to $162 million next year and rises by $8 million in each of the following two seasons.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Major league teams charged with paying the luxury tax for 2008 by the office of the commissioner, the New York Yankees and Detroit. The Tigers have to pay $1.3 million by the end of January.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We've really been focused on improving our defense, and that starts with putting Brandon (Inge) back at third, where he is one of the best in the league. When you add Adam (Everett), that gives us one of the best left-side infields in the game. Adam is one of the premier shortstops in the game." -- GM Dave Dombrowski, on achieving one of the team's offseason goals.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 30, 2008

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