Transaction Blog: Kobernus, Lobstein Acquired

Lobstein will compete for a job in Detroit

Stay current with all the roster movement and personnel decisions with the TigsTown Transaction Blog. The Tigers added a pair of players in the Rule 5 draft via trades; second baseman Jeff Kobernus and left-hander Kyle Lobstein. They also acquired a player and lost two pitchers in the Triple-A portion of the draft.

12/06/12

Tigers acquired Boston Red Sox Rule 5 selection Jeff Kobernus (2B) (selected from Washington Nationals) in exchange for Justin Henry (UT)

Tigers acquired New York Mets Rule 5 selection Kyle Lobstein (LHP) (selected from Tampa Bay Rays) in exchange for cash considerations

Tigers lose Jay Voss (LHP) to St. Louis Cardinals in Triple-A Rule 5 draft

Tigers lose Efrain Nieves (LHP) to Toronto Blue Jays in Triple-A Rule 5 draft

Tigers select Eliezer Mesa (OF) from Oakland Athletics in Triple-A Rule 5 draft

Analysis:

After years of remaining mostly quiet in the Rule 5 draft while making big splashes at the Winter Meetings with trades and free agent signings, the Tigers reversed their tune this year, adding two players to the 40-man roster via trades from the Rule 5 Draft.

Kobernus is a speedy infielder that has played almost exclusively at second base since being drafted out of Cal in 2009, but was being viewed as a potential #2 hitter in the Nationals organization, before they elected to leave him unprotected. He'll likely compete for a reserve infielder role with the team, in addition to Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth.

Lobstein has been mostly effective as a starter for the Rays, but will likely be looked at for one of the two left-hander relief spots in the bullpen for the Tigers this spring.

In the Triple-A portion of the draft, the Tigers lost a pair of left-handers in Efrain Nieves and Jay Voss, while adding speedy outfielder Eliezer Mesa. Voss is still rehabbing in Lakeland from midseason surgery, but had potential prior to going under the knife. Nieves had a very good year at Connecticut, but has never pitched above A-ball and is 23 years old.

Mesa hit .255 across three levels for the Athletics last season, posting a .641 OPS with 25 stolen bases.

Posted by Wez, 12/06/12


12/05/12

Traded Andrew Oliver (LHP) to Pittsburgh in exchange for minor league catcher Ramon Cabrera

Analysis:

The organization had clearly soured on Oliver after another disappointing season in which he struggled to maintain consistency, or see any development with his breaking pitch or the control of his power fastball. The move provides Oliver with the chance for a fresh start. On the flip side, the Tigers acquirinig Cabrera is a bit of an odd exchange as well. The Tigers have already invested heavily in the position in recent years in the draft, and their big league starter is just 26-years old. Cabrera is not a high ceiling player, but does appear to make the upper levels of the farm system more crowded at catcher. A bit odd, but a relatively low impact move in all likelihood.

Posted by Wez, 12/06/12


11/26/12

Signed the following players to minor league contracts for 2013:
RHP Trevor Bell
RHP Cesar Carrillo
RHP Shane Dyer
RHP Shawn Hill
RHP Micah Kellogg
RHP David Kopp
RHP Victor Larez
RHP Carlos Monasterios
RHP Jesse Todd
LHP Jose Alvarez
LHP Ramon Garcia
LHP Efrain Nieves
C Brad Davis
IF Argenis Diaz
IF John Lindsey
1B Lance Durham
UT Marcus Lemon
UT Kevin Russo
UT Matt Tuiasosopo

Analysis:

In adding their list of minor league free agents, Tigers fans familiar with the farm system will see a number of familiar names, including returning veterans like Lemon and Durham, as well as Argenis Diaz, who has been solid at short for Toledo the past two years. Shawn Hill is a veteran that pitched for the Blue Jays both in 2010 and 2012 and could add depth in Toledo. Carlos Monasterios is another arm to watch, as he was solid for the Dodgers in 2010, before undergoing surgeries in 2011 and 2012 for Tommy John surgery and to repair his ulnar nerve.

Posted by Wez, 11/26/12


11/20/12

Release Ryan Raburn (UT)

Outright contract of Tyler Stohr (RHP) to Toledo

Purchase contract of Bruce Rondon (RHP) from Toledo and place on 40-man roster

Purchase contract of Melvin Mercedes (RHP) from Lakeland and place on 40-man roster

Purchase contract of Dixon Machado (SS) from Lakeland and place on 40-man roster

Analysis:

Acknowledging that adding Rondon was a no-brainer, the Tigers also elected to protect Mercedes and Machado from the Rule 5 draft, clearing space by officially releasing Raburn after his dismal 2012 season and outrighting Stohr after be again battled injury issues. Mercedes remains a high potential guy that the Tigers wanted to protect, while Machado is a classic case of trying to protect a player susceptible to being snagged and stashed on a roster as a utility infielder for a year. The risk on losing either was low, but given that the roster space was easily made available, it's a good decision to play it safe and protect both.

Posted by Wez, 11/20/12


11/16/12

Signed Torii Hunter (OF) to two-year, $26 million deal

Analysis:

Hunter quickly became a top priority for the Tigers, and the Tigers a top priority for Hunter as he quickly narrowed down his options, sought out Detroit, and agreed to the two-year deal within a day of his visit. Hunter had an outstanding 2012 season with the Angels, and while he might struggle to duplicate that performance, he'll provide the Tigers with a steady presence in right field and in the middle of the Tigers lineup.

Posted by Wez, 11/16/12


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