October 26th, 2012

Fister seems fine, but will get follow-up exams

The news at this point appears to be positive on Doug Fister after the line drive off his head. He made it through the flight back from San Francisco OK, according to manager Jim Leyland, and he’ll be examined further today.

“I did talk to him on the plane last night, and he seemed fine,” Leyland said. “He’s a little sore, but there didn’t appear to be anything that looked alarming like loss of memory. He looked fine, his eyes looked fine, and the trainers have checked him out, so I think he’s fine.”

The Tigers had their entire training staff on the trip, as well as two team doctors.

Austin Jackson changes agents, and other Scott Boras notes

As noted before the game on Twitter and in the pregame notes, Austin Jackson is the latest Tiger to become a Scott Boras client, joining Max Scherzer and Jose Valverde among others. Jackson, who had been a client of Reynolds Sports since he broke into the big leagues, switched agents sometime near the end of the end of the regular season.

It’s fairly common for players to switch agents right around the time they become eligible for bigger money. And with Jackson eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, he’s in line for a fairly big deal.

The good news for the Tigers is that they’ve had success avoiding arbitration with Boras clients. The question now is whether the move will impact their chances at a longer-term contract. No agent leverages free agency quite like Boras, especially with pitchers, whom he encourages to use the open market to their advantage whether they plan on staying put or not. It’s a somewhat different story with position players, but he has had some big contracts with outfielders in recent years. Jayson Werth comes to mind from a couple years ago.

Whether it makes a difference with Jackson remains to be seen. The Tigers were aggressive with Jackson’s predecessor, Curtis Granderson, signing him to a long-term contract as soon as he became eligible for arbitration. Two years later, however, they traded him to the Yankees, just as his salary began escalating.

Other notes from Boras:

  • Boras lives in southern California, so it was an easy trip for him to San Francisco for the first two games. He said he might fly to Detroit for Game 5. “I want to shake Mike Ilitch’s hand,” if he wins, Boras said.
  • Boras gave no indication there was a long-term deal in the plans for Scherzer and the Tigers, noting that two years away from free agency is a long time. However, two years out is often the time when teams try to sign starting pitchers to long-term contracts, and the Tigers have a track record of pursuing those, having inked Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman to deals at that stage.
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