Transaction Blog: Tigers Add Joba Chamberlain

Chamberlain joins the Tigers bullpen

Stay current with all the roster movement and personnel decisions with the TigsTown Transaction Blog. The Tigers continued the remake of their bullpen, adding hard throwing right-hander and former Yankee Joba Chamberlain to a one-year deal.

12/13/13

Signed Joba Chamberlain (RHP) to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, pending physical

Designated Danny Worth (IF) for assignment

Analysis:

The organization made yet another move at the Winter Meetings, adding hard throwing right-hander Joba Chamberlain to a one-year deal. Chamberlain was once a highly regarded reliever with closer potential, but injuries and inconsistency have plagued him over the past couple years, with an ERA over four and WHIP's of 1.55 and 1.74.

Given the limited cost of the deal, it's a relatively low-risk move, however, a bit confounding as the Tigers passed on the opportunity to bring back Jose Veras earlier this off-season for just slightly more money, and by all indications, Veras was pitching better when 2013 concluded.

The team let go of Danny Worth, who likely had the writing on the wall with the acquisition last month of Steve Lombardozzi to be the team's utility infielder. Worth spent much of 2013 in Toledo dealing with a heel injury and never emerged as a true threat on the big league team.

For the latest transactions and to discuss them further, make sure to check out the minor league movement thread on the TigsTown Premium Forum: 2014 Signings/Movement Thread

Posted by Wez, 12/13/13


12/11/13

Signed Rajai Davis (OF) to two-year contract worth $10 million

Designated Luis Marte (RHP) for assignment

Analysis:

The Tigers answered the question about their plan for left field, signing the speedy outfielder to likely share time with incumbent Andy Dirks. Davis spent the last three years in Toronto, where he hit .252 over that span with 125 stolen bases. The platoon aspect likely makes the most sense, as for his career he hits .294 with a .779 OPS against left-handed pitching.

Marte is still well liked in the organization due to his impressive breaking ball, but went down in the first week of the season with a labrum injury, and ended up having surgery on the shoulder in June, ending his season.

Posted by Wez, 12/13/13


12/04/13

Signed Joe Nathan (RHP) to two-year contract worth $19 million with a club option for 2016

Designated Dixon Machado (SS) for assignment

Analysis:

It seemed very clear to most onlookers that the Tigers needed to make some drastic changes to their bullpen, and Nathan is the clearest sign of that, as he'll lock down the closer's role for the club over the next two seasons.

Of course, signing Nathan simply fills a hole that wasn't much of a problem in 2013, either, as Joaquin Benoit did very well for the Tigers. The bigger questions remain having reliable relievers in the late innings to bridge the gap between the starters and closer, and that issue has still gone largely unaddressed.

Machado remains a defensive whiz, but hit poorly in 2012, and then lost almost all of 2013 to injury. He's still a prospect, but the Tigers have other players that are more in need of being protected than Machado.

Posted by Wez, 12/06/13


12/02/13

Traded Doug Fister (RHP) to Washington Nationals in exchange for Steve Lombardozzi (UT), Ian Krol (LHP) and Robbie Ray (LHP)

Signed Don Kelly (UT)

Analysis:

A perplexing decision from the Tigers, trading one of the key members of their rotation for a trio of players, none of whom have an exceedingly high ceiling. Lombardozzi is largely a utility player that might provide some protection at second and third base (only the Tigers also re-signed Don Kelly), while Krol provides the team a solid left-handed specialist in the bullpen, but as of now is not likely to be a late-inning, high leverage reliever.

The krux of the deal likely comes down to the future success of Ray, a 22-year old southpaw starter who excelled in both High-A and Double-A in 2013. However, he's not considered one of the top prospects in baseball, and so even though he'll be one of the top few pitchers in the Tigers organization, that's not a sure fire bet.

Posted by Wez, 12/06/13


11/21/13

Signed Will Startup (LHP)

Signed Ronny Paulino (C )

Signed Jhan Marinez (RHP)

Signed Pat McCoy (LHP)

Signed Eduardo Sanchez (RHP)

Signed Mike Hessman (1B)

Analysis:

The organization made a half dozen signings in November to help strengthen the upper levels of the farm system in particular. Arms like Eduardo Sanchez and Jhan Marinez have some limited big league experience, and could potentially factor into a bullpen competition, depending on how the rest of free agency shakes out for the Tigers.

Posted by Wez, 12/06/13


11/22/13

Added the contracts of the following players to the 40-man roster;

Daniel Fields (OF), Jordan Lennerton (1B), Kyle Lobstein (LHP), Justin Miller (RHP), Steven Moya (OF), Eugenio Suarez (SS), Jose Valdez (RHP)

Analysis:

Most of the moves were expected to play out as they did, with the Tigers protecting key players that would be susceptible to being snagged in the Rule 5 draft, such as Steven Moya and Eugenio Suarez, Suarez and Daniel Fields especially, as both offer the sort of skill-set that could translate to a limited bench role on a big league club now, with further development hoped for down the road.

The lone surprise of the day was the inclusion of Lennerton, however, the Tigers have liked his defense for some time and he's been a productive player at first base. The decision of course was likely related to the decision made to trade Fielder.

Posted by Wez, 12/06/13


11/20/13

Trade Prince Fielder (1B) and $30 million cash to Rangers in exchange for Ian Kinsler (2B)

Analysis:

The Tigers got the off-season started with a bang, shipping out their prized free agent from just two years ago, with still seven years left on his deal, in an effort to free up money and improve the club's speed and defense, also potentially opening up an ability to shift Miguel Cabrera to first base.

The $30 million is due to the Rangers from 2016-2020, leaving the Tigers with substantial payroll savings in 2014 and 2015.

Posted by Wez, 12/06/13


11/07/13

Released Robbie Weinhardt (RHP)

Released Gustavo Nunez (SS)

Re-signed Blaine Hardy (LHP)

Signed Justin Miller (RHP)

Analysis:

The organization let go of a couple long-time farm hands in Weinhardt and Nunez, though Nunez did spend 2012 with the Pirates.

Hardy was an individual that showed well late in the year in Toledo, and the Tigers sent him to the Arizona Fall League to get in more work, putting time in mostly as a reliever. He has a 4.50 ERA with 13 strikeouts over seven appearances in the AFL.

Miller is an interesting signing, a former prospect that looked very good in 2011 but underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 and didn't rebound to his prior form in 2013.

11/01/13

Darin Downs (LHP) claimed off waivers by Houston Astros

Matt Tuiasosopo (OF) claimed off waivers by Arizona Diamondbacks

Declined 2014 option on Jose Veras (RHP), making him a free agent

Posted by Wez, 11/07/13


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