Ryan Raburn signs minor-league deal with Cleveland

Ryan Raburn robs Michael Young of a home run. (AP)By now, you’ve probably heard this, but it became official on Monday: Ryan Raburn is going to try to stay in the American League Central, signing with the Indians on a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training with the big league club. My MLB.com counterpart in Cleveland, Jordan Bastian, has the details in his story.

From the Tigers standpoint, it really doesn’t make an impact. Detroit parted ways with the decision to not tender him a contract at the end of November. The Tigers weren’t going to bring him back on a minor-league deal, even though they’re looking for a right-handed bat to provide a presence against left-handed pitchers. The opportunities pretty well ran out last summer.

It would be nonetheless interesting if Raburn makes the Tribe roster and gets to face his old team, even if it’s a reserve role like the Indians are seeking at second and third base. When you look at some of the other names in camp that Bastian mentions, it’s a very winnable competition for Raburn if he hits like he did last Spring Training (six home runs by St. Patrick’s Day). From the story:

Cleveland’s projected infield includes first baseman Mark Reynolds, second baseman Jason Kipnis, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. Utility man Mike Aviles is in line to fill the primary backup job for second, short and third.

Gomes and McGuiness will also be in Spring Training vying for utility roles, along with Cord Phelps and Mike McDade. Like Raburn, infielders Nate Spears and Luis Hernandez will also be in camp as non-roster invitees.

Regardless of how you feel about Raburn’s tenure in Detroit (Remember when everybody dogged Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008 for calling Raburn a scrub?), it would be nice to see Raburn get another shot in the big leagues before it’s too late. He turns 32 in April, and while his shortcomings are obvious, there’s more talent there than he has shown. When he heats up at the plate, the confidence makes him a complete different players. When he’s struggling, well, that carries over too.

For what it’s worth, Cleveland has been a good place for him. In fact, he has more hits at Progressive Field (28) than at any Major League ballpark besides Comerica Park (174) and U.S. Cellular Field (46). Actually, when you look at his splits, he has been an amazingly efficient hitter on the road in the AL Central compared with everywhere else (including at home).

74 Comments

I think he makes the club out of camp and goes north. Thanks for mentioning that “scrub” business in SF. I’d wanted to bring that up several times over the past couple years but always forgot.
I just hope we can get through a season without a whipping boy this year. That gets tiresome.

Ya Inge, Raburn and Valverde are all gone……who will it be now? Infante,.Boesch, or Peralta? It always amazes me how fast this town turns on players. It doesn’t mean these players are perfect, but Valverde saved an aweful lot of games for us and didn’t fail very much. Raburn and Inge had timely game winning homers for us , and Inge made terrific plays. But people forget about that pretty quick around here.

Regarding Valverde, I’ll repost for those who may have missed it. Hardball floated an article today indicating he may be available for a 1 year deal so he can rebuild his value. The idea gave me pause about a possible fit with the Tigers.

Hardball put Valverde’s price tag at $2M.

Oh, I expect they’ll find somebody to scapegoat, unless the team rolls through April. Maybe Peralta, since he got so much scrutiny this winter and has slow starts more often than not. Maybe Boesch, if he’s still around. Hopefully not Infante. But it’ll be somebody.

ironically, offseason “weaknesses” sometimes become strengths. ALA austin jackson, last year. If the 2008 or 2011 Peralta shows up, at least offensively – his range will be a mute point.

Your comments are on target. Just not in the same vein as Peralta and Boesch may be targets. Poor guys. Hope things work out well in April as you potentially noted.

Perhaps being away from home during spring training will be good for Ryan. Best of luck to him.

Too right.
I have no problem giving it to a player either showboating,dogging it or not putting in the effort. Thankfully it has been a long time since any of these had a D on them.

Rangers To Sign Nate Robertson
MLBTR

Lest we forget…..the prime motivation and Raison d’être is to win a championship. Period.
That is the reason that guys like Nate, Brandon, Sheffield, Raburn fall by the wayside. It is not a personal attack. It is an assertion of the obvious. And yes, there will be a fall guy if the team sh… the bed this year and it will likely be Peralta. Nothing against Jhonny, but he is the weak link and a cornerstone to success. He is a machine at short but he also has so little range that he presents a huge problem.
It is natural for a fan base to isolate the issues that are preventing them from seeing their team succeed. Like it or not, JP will be a lightning rod this year if he is not dealt. I hope for our sake (and his) that he is dealt and that he makes an impact as a 3rd baseman, where I feel he will do rather well.
No one could ever convince me that a championship team can win without a premier shortstop. JP will do well in an environment of less pressure than his position demands of him here in Detroit. I wish him well and I wish that we are able to replace him with player that can anchor a very porous infield.

Who were the starting shortstops on the past ten World Series’ winners?? How many premier shortstops do you see?? I recall Jeter and Rollins who fit that description. Who is the third one?? How many dirtbags??? The other eight maybe. Come on, Dan. Overall team health is much more of a concern than Peralta. How many guys on our current projected starting nine spent time on the DL last season?? How many months missed??

as with most ex-tigers, wish ran rugburn the best of luck against all teams not brandishing the old english D.
.
on another note, does anyone else remember jhonny peralta’s in the park HR in CLE when RR was playing CF and the gate opened up when he crashed into it (trying to make a catch)? That was WILD. I’m sure RR and JP will never forget it.

Things just seemed to happen to Ryan, many of them not his fault. I remember that play in Cleveland and remember saying something like “if that gate is not locked properly, you can be sure it will be Raburn to discover it.”
Regarding scapegoats, whipping boys, or whatever you call it, there’s a difference between seeing a player as a weak point vs turning him into a punchline. It’s the latter that gets irritating. Fortunately there’s very little, if any, of that sort of thing here.
Man, I’ll be glad when there are actual GAMES to talk about, you know? Florida four weeks from tomorrow.

Jhonny became a Tiger just weeks later!!

Oh, there will be a whipping boy, unfortunately. Jason is right on that one. Let’s hope they get off to a good start this year because that will shut everyone up.

Well said.

Boras about Valverde:“Closers normally have anywhere from 58 to 62 appearances and Valverde’s just had two years where he was used a lot,” Boras told George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. “It was a very unusual year this year, because he had so many non-save situations. He had like 31 of them, which normally they only have 17 or 18. So, it was a very unusual year.”

He was lucky last year. He ran out of luck.He is not the first closer to go without notice : Bobby Jenks, Heath Bell, Brandon Lidge( he was already faltering when he ended injured)
And the market was flooded with closers and relievers that can close:.Wilson, KRod,Lyons, Capp and Farnsworth , are still there. And all are better than Valverde at this point

I read the same article. Interesting. Boras is obviously trying to drum up business for Valverde. The thing is, no other relievers on the market have anything close to Valverde’s credentials and he is now cheap. The question(s) is whether he is done and/or injured.

when i think of kyle farnsworth I often remember the time he was a tiger and he speared a KC Royal during a skirmish. I think it was 2003, but I could be wrong. It was one of the highlights that year – I know that!

[spear meaning a fighting tactic/move where you turn your body into a spear of sorts]

Boras knows this baseball business quite well. He points out that Jose probably pitched in ten games more than he should have. No one will ever convince me that he was not on several occasions just a “game finisher” because 40, 000 people were at Comerica Park and many expected to see him pitch. He was the closing act of the “show”. How many times did this happen?? Not sure. Does anyone else have a number?? The most blatant overuse of him happened in mid-September and we were trailing in a heated pennant race. He pitched on 9/11 and 9/12 against the Hawk Sox and then faced the Indians on 9/14, 9/15 and 9/16. He was ambushed on the 16th by the Indians. He always pitched for his teammates. Almost to a fault. But eventually he bounced back and had four saves to finish the regular season. We needed every one of them. We started the playoffs against Oakland and he had a save where he was as sharp as he had been all season. Then something went terribly wrong and he was never the same. One of the best closers in the business the past six seasons for $2mil. That will be a good investment for some smart GM. Unless Boras gets him 5 mil.

Yardbarker posted an article this morning regarding a possible deal with the Marlins. Castellanos, Garcia and possibly Porcello for Stanton. At this point that scenario sounded like mere speculation, but the idea certainly got my attention.

I just read it. Basically, he’s complaining why insiders aren’t mentioning the Tigers as possible suitors for Stanton, because YOLO.

Yeah, I’m wondering the same thing. the idea is intriguing. Stanton is a proven game changer.

I heard somewhere the Phillies were considering Delmon. If they sign him I hope he hits an amazing number of homers against any time not wearing the old english d – something that ballpark is known for.

Sure that Delmon would like to land in the NL to keep away from that DH thing.

Galarraga signed minor league contract with the Reds

I sure like Garcia as he is so “Toolsy”, but Castellanos seems to have most pundits thinking he will be great hitter in the Show. I would kinda hate to see him go.
The good thing is he would bring some defensive flexibility to the club too. If Fielder could ever be convinced to DH.

Looks like DY found a home in Philly. The funny part, to me, is my oft-told conversation in Clearwater last spring when I tried to defend Delmon. His biggest detractor in that conversation? A Phillies fan.

Good for DY. Glad he is in the NL and hope he stays there. Less chance of him haunting the Tigers that way.

Will we be ready to face him in October???? May the best team from the Midwest win!!!!!!

I don’t much like bringing up salary but who would have thunk before this Delmon’s walk year started that he would end up with a sub-million dollar contract?
Like Austin Powers says, “Oh Be-hayav

We don’t want Prince at DH for five or six years. The only thing that would get him there before then would be an injury like V-Mart had this past season. We do not want that to happen. Just love the way he goes at it for 162 games. Don’t DHs tend to be on the DL more than first basemen?? Not sure. Are you looking at Castellanos being a four corners’ player like Miguel was at Miami?? Now that’s a good idea, Dan!! That keeps our options open. Is Nick C. considered a good defender at 3B??

Delmon goes from $6.75mm to $750g? That is one hell of an expensive night on the town, not to mention the tons of ABs given away in 2012. That lesson might even sink in.

Good points. Hope he learns his lesson better than Mike Tyson.

Delmon did lead the way offensively in the post season hitting a collective .313/.365/.542/.907.
I was sure he was going to end up as a DH somewhere like Tampa.

Rosenthal:”Source: Delmon Young’s 1-year, $750,000 deal with #Phillies includes roster and performance bonuses that could bring total value to $3.25M”.

I’d say that’s a smart signing by the Phillies, then.

Agreed. He is slated to play RF. DY has not done that since 2007. He better come in healthy and in shape. Talk is that if the Phillies tank, DY could be traded to a contender because of his postseason effectiveness.

DKnobler: “In addition to Porcello, Tigers have been calling around, still trying to move Boesch.”

DOK…Got carried away earlier about speculative material regarding Stanton as well as the DY situation. Meant to reply to your post and analysis concerning Valverde. It was loaded with interesting information and food for thought.

Wow! I’ve missed alot of the news today. Justed wanted to remark on Valverde. He looked to me like he had a “dead arm.” Well, we knew it was dead at the end there, but something happened to his arm. Hope he can pitch again.

DOK–our last two Series losses can be traced to motivational and exceptional play by our opposing shortstops. Brandon Phillips far less than David Eckstein to be sure, but both those guys had the ability to get outs for their pitchers with play that bordered on inspirational.
Fine that you disagree, not sure why so personal though.
And it has nothing to do about berating or vilifying Jhonny Peralta. JP is a good ball player and has really helped the Tigers since DD picked him up. Does not change the fact that he is the Achilles Heel of the Tiger defense at the position he is required to play. At least IMHO.

Sorry, Dan, did not intended to attack you personally. You certainly have a lot of good input for all us bloggers. Tip of the cap to you for seeing that Garcia was hitting for a high average at Erie in August and that he could help us in September. We agree that JP is a good ball player and has helped the Tigers win two AL Central championships. I believe that when DD picked up Jhonny he was looking for a player that would give us solid defense and contribute on offense by getting us some extra doubles, homers and rbis. He has done that. With our pitchers increasing their Ks by over 300 during the past two seasons, most of our fielders have had a serious reduction in the old RF. Jhonny’s was probably hurt the most. I agree he has flaws. His worst is that he does not hit LHP for a high average. And he sure isn’t a base stealer. Right now there is only one SS that I would want in a trade for JP and that is Jimmy Rollins. We both agree that our mission is to win it all. I think we can do it with one Jhonny Peralta. On the other hand, Jimmy Rollins would be a good fit with our team and probably give us 15-20 steals and bat leadoff. You want a trade. What would we have to give the Phillies to get Rollins. Remember we have Suarez one or two years away. Rollins costs us $11m this year and $ 11m next year. What do you think??

Knock the ed off the word “intended” on line 1.

Should have said “some” motivational and exceptional play………….

Jeter has been a statue @ SS for years. Yet, the Yankees have won big, repeatedly. And, Jeter will surely end up in the HOF.

There are many factors besides SS range in the configuration of a winning team. It is way past time to move on to other issues to discuss about how the Tigers can better compete.

Good comparison. Believe that Rollins and Peralta match up well, too.

Thanks for your answer. Rollins is multi-dimensional, and the speed, the ability to provide a lead-off man and free AJ up to be a dangerous force batting 6th or 7th. Rollins is also a guy who can positively influence those around him. Extroverted as much as JP is introverted. His age is a factor. Would I trade even up. For sure but it would take more than that. I would not include Porcello, Castellanos or Garcia. Boesch? Yes. Rollins would definitely change the chemistry of the Detroit Tigers and would make the team better, -no question.
I’ve said this before regarding JP’s range. The inability to get to a ground ball not only costs the team an out it is demoralizing for a pitcher to see he has not been rewarded for doing what a pitcher is expected to do. Those ground ball outs lessen the pitch count and also allow a pitcher to refine his secondary pitches as well.
The Tigers can win with the current roster but I don’t think DD is done yet. Not by a longshot.

In general, I understand your position about SS range. But, I don’t think it applies to the Tigers rotation with the exception of Porcello. JP is solid and can be an offensive force. If his bat doesn’t pan out, then there may be a problem.

Frankly, I think if SS range, defense in general and pitching was all baseball was about, the Mariners would be a great team. But that obviously is not how things work.

I hear you Dan about the need to upgrade your SS range. I feel though team needs rank as follows:
1. Maintain starter depth given the farm looking like a desert;
An almost dead heat 2. Provide a closer buffer to Rondon to allow an orderly climb; and coming in a respectable third
3. Upgrade SS whilst maintaining some offense.
What I don’t understand is how poor MLB currently is for infield positions besides 1B.

The fact that the Diamondbacks traded Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius reflects the state of the game with young shortstops right now. If you don’t have one coming up through your system, it is tough to get one. That has been a big frustration with the Tigers system when you look at how many shortstops they’ve drafted/signed over the last several years.

wow quite a story about Delmon on the blessyouboys blog today. apparently delmon was historically terrible as a DH for detroit.

Heck, I’m all for upgrading the Tigers in any way possible. But practicality is an issue. Sure, Tulo would be nice at SS. Kemp, McCutcheon or Trout would be great in CF. Stanton would be sweet in a corner OF spot. Posey would be fabulous at C. But as JL might say, “It is what it is,” so options are limited. And JP is not a disaster at SS by any stretch of the imagination, particularly if he again goes 20 pls HR 80 RBIsor more this season.

Those numbers coming out from various sources on Delmon are mind boggling, even though we saw it with our own eyes. Yet he was plugged into that 5-hole everyday. I’ve seen no comments on that as of yet.

Yeah, I read a similar blurb a few days ago but the slant was much different. It spoke to how much more effective DY was as a hitter when he played the field.

Of course those field playing stats included 2007 when DY finished second in the Rookie of the Year race and 2010 when he was an MVP candidate.

“played” being the key word ;)

of course, who would we put in the 5th spot instead?
Peralta: 588 in 28 PAs
Avila: 633 in 18 PAs
Boesch: 597 in 13 PAs
Omar: 663 in 87 PAs (many of which were with the NL club)
Delmon: 708 in 508 PAs

And i won’t provide the Jackson numbers because I believe his speed is too needed in front of our big men. His 415 slugging in 2012 with men on is promising that he COULD someday hit 5th, however.

So you be the judge, was JL screwing it up or did we not have the people (DD/MR I fault)?

OH i’m sorry those are OPS numbers

the OPS and the plate appearances BATTING 5TH in 2012

We’ll never know………..

fair enough. but lets not jump on JL for this one – it takes away from areas he truly does bad in (bullpen, running game).

Evan…I admit it was tough to watch DY in the field. He put on way too much weight which negatively impacted his speed and athleticism. As I noted before, DY needs to show up for the Phillies both healthy and in shape in order to get the most out of his talents. Otherwise, I think he may well stink up his opportunity to resurrect his career.

agreed. And if he doesn’t show up in shape he literally won’t be paid as much: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/21604845/phillies-include-weight-clauses-in-delmon-youngs-contract apparently they are going to put him on the scale 6 times throughout the season. LMAO!!!

Hilarious, but absolutely necessary for DY. By the way, did you take a look at his photo when he was in shape? It’s hard to believe he’s the same guy. And DY’s still a young (no pun intended) man.

I’ve been trying to figure out his weight when he entered the league. Very hard to do it. And yes, he doesn’t even look like the same person.

Stark retweeted by BecK: Delmon Young (20 GIDP, 20 BB) last year became 10th player ever w as many GIDP as walks in a season w 600+ PA, 20+ BB & 20+ GIDP

I’m not quite clear on how a ST competition between Porcello/Smyly or Dirks/Boesch would tell management anything they didn’t already know.

Yep, I remember a certain RR tearing up last years ST until the final few days which he then carried forward for the next five months.

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