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>>caption: NEW TIGER CLOSER JOE
During the last month I turned
66, have been hospitalized twice
and I'm averaging three doctor
visits per week.
It's time to join my wife in
We'll both continue to work part-time and help take care of our growing
number of grandkids.
As for GETdetroitsports.com, we'll continue to update you on our
Motor City teams and events. However, you've likely noticed a reduced
number of "Coach Kurt" by-lines at the bottom of our game recaps
I'm still negatively opinionated as ever, however.....
Al "Let's Make A Deal" Avila needs the skills of Monte Hall to pull off
a Tiger Fire Sale before the July 31ST non-waiver trade deadline. It
appears the seller's market is even tighter now than it was during this
past cold winter of inaction.
Nobody is about to take on the HUGE contracts of declining super
stars Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, who could both veto deals
The rumor that the slumping defending World Champion Chicago
Cubs offered OF-CA Kyle Schwarber (.178-BA and just back from the
minors) for either RHP Michael Fulmer or LHP Daniel Norris is absurd.
The 24-year old Fulmer is the reigning AL Rookie-of-the-Year and
an All-Star. Fulmer, not Verlander, is the ace of the Tiger staff. He is
cheap and under team control for five years. Fulmer is a guy you
build a pitching staff around.
Why would the Tigers be interested in Schwarber? A 2016 post-
season hero, he's a 2017 flop who is, in reality, a designated hitter.
The Tigers already have two of those in Victor Martinez (who in
decline at age 38 has a year left on his contract) and Cabrera (who
has demonstrated in his worst ever season he needs to get out of the
infield to get healthy).
As for Norris, if the Cubs make a legit offer I say make the deal.
Everybody says Norris has great stuff and enormous potential.
Maybe so, but it's also clear he's a head case. By the third inning he's
always out of whack, doesn't trust his strengths and nibbles and his
high pitch counts rarely allow him to reach the sixth inning.
Is there a chance Norris can become Robbie Ray, the lefty who
finally developed into a #2 starter and All-Star hurler this year after
the Tigers sent him to Arizona in a 3-cornered December, 2014 deal
that netted Detroit RHP Shane Greene of the NY Yankees? Maybe,
but at the moment that appears to be a longshot.
Norris needs to take his sore groin to Toledo to work out his
problems like Matt Boyd did and Boyd can be recalled to fill the
Tiger rotation hole.
Any other Tiger trade possibilities?
There is no contender looking for a 2Bman or back-up catcher
right now, so Ian Kinsler and Alex Avila (both reasonably priced)
both appear to be going nowhere unless somebody on another team
RFielder J.D. Martinez is a goner. Arguably Detroit's #2 MVP this
season (after Fulmer), J.D. is a free agent at the end of the year.
If he plays out the season with Detroit and then leaves, all the Tigers
get is a compensatory 4th round draft pick next June. All the other
GMs know this and with so many enormous contracts on the books
the Tigers can't afford to re-sign him. So Martinez will be traded with
little coming in return.
At the risk of returning to closer hell, Avila will listen to offers
for LHP Justin Wilson, who is 10-for-11 in save situations since
replacing fizzled Francisco Rodriguez. The one thing every contender
needs is more bullpen help.
Better hope Toledo's Joe Jimenez isn't another Bruce Rondon.
The Pistons renounced their $5-million offer to former first round
pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and cut him loose last week. Wednesday
he got a 1-year/$18-million deal with the LA Lakers.
Good for KCP.
Also, good for SVG.
Pistons/Prez Stan Van Gundy tired of a "shooter" who often didn't
have his shot.
Going in another direction and acquiring Avery Bradley from Boston
was the right move, even if Detroit can only keep him for the last year
of his contract. (They only offered KCP a one year deal, remember.)
Avery is a better offensive and defensive player than Caldwell-Pope
and knows how to win.
The loss of FWD Marcus Morris in the Bradley trade is negligible.
He was a generally solid player in his two Piston seasons. His departure
will allow some of the younger Pistons to get some PT to see if they're
Perhaps the best off-season Piston move was bringing back free
agent Anthony Tolliver, who toiled for the Sacramento Kings this past
season after two years with Detroit. Although a journeyman with nine
NBA teams, the 32-year old Tolliver was a solid bench contributor in his
two Piston years who averaged 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds, hitting
40 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc. His
veteran presence in the locker room is a plus.
Enough of the Calvin Johnson sour grapes tour this summer.
Nobody forced Megatron to sign a seven year contract extension
with the Lions that he dumped out of with three years left.
Who goes to Italy to gripe about a team he quit on a year ago?
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