October 28th, 2008
As agents go, Barry Meister has a very good sense of humor. He can lose a call to a reporter on his cell phone, call back the reporter, then say he meant to hang up on him.
Also as agents go, Meister figures to have a lot of phone calls this winter, because he has more than a few clients on the market. He has not, however, heard from the Tigers just yet.
Among his players, Meister represents soon-to-be free agents Edgar Renteria and Kyle Farnsworth. The Tigers decided by season’s end, of course, that they would decline Renteria’s option and let him hit the open market. However, president/general manager Dave Dombrowski left the door open a crack to bring him back at a lower salary than the $12 million he was set to earn. It’s becoming clearer, though, that Detroit is going to scour the market.
Renteria and Meister are preparing for the open market as well.
“I think Edgar’s going to kind of point himself in a different direction,” Meister said.
The Tigers retain exclusive negotiating rights with Renteria until a couple weeks after the World Series ends.
Meister also represents Kyle Farnsworth, whose late-season stint with Detroit did not go well for either side. For what it’s worth, though, Meister said Farnsworth would be willing to return if the Tigers want him back.
“He likes it there,” Meister said. “He thinks [manager Jim] Leyland’s a really good guy. He felt the clubhouse was good.”
Again, there’s no indication the Tigers plan to re-sign him. But on the relief market, there’s more demand than supply.
The Tigers could still end up calling Meister on the relief front, though, because Meister represents closer Brandon Lyon. He’s set to become a free agent unless the Diamondbacks move to re-sign him. And in a market where Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes are expected to be in high demand, Lyon is in the next tier. That’s a conversation that can’t really take place until Lyon files for free agency once the World Series ends.
Lyon’s second-half numbers were alarming — an 8.46 ERA, a .976 OPS from opponents, and just seven out of his 26 saves for the year. He saved just two games after August 1 as Chad Qualls took over the closer’s role in Arizona. On the other hand, he was very effective in the first half (2.43 ERA, 19 saves, .658 OPS). Teams are going to have to figure out whether that was a sign of Lyon wearing out in the role or a product of a heavy first-half workload.
The Tigers put right-hander Virgil Vasquez on outright waivers with the idea of taking him off the 40-man roster. The Red Sox claimed him on Tuesday.
Most of you will remember Vasquez for his spot starts with the team in 2007. Though Vasquez was on the 40, He did not pitch with the Tigers at all in 2008, passed over for Armando Galarraga early in the season, Eddie Bonine heading into the summer and Chris Lambert later on. He went 12-12 with a 4.81 ERA in 27 games for Triple-A Toledo.