Tigers nontender Feliz, Alburquerque (updated)

The Tigers’ bullpen reconstruction will not include Neftali Feliz or Al Alburquerque. The two right-handers were nontendered Wednesday, making both of them free agents.

The two decisions cut potentially $7 million off the Tigers’ projected 2016 payroll, which currently has around $145 million guaranteed to eight players after Jordan Zimmermann signed a five-year, $110 million contract on Monday. Three other arbitration-eligible Tigers — shortstop Jose Iglesias, infielder Andrew Romine and outfielder J.D. Martinez — were tendered contract offers.

Neither nontender is a particular surprise, given what they were projected to make in arbitration. Their chances of returning hinged largely on the Tigers avoiding arbitration by working out a deal for a lower salary.

Feliz, a midseason signing by the Tigers, presented a complicated situation. He eligible for arbitration for a fourth time, having achieved “Super-Two” status while he was closing for the Rangers. The 27-year-old right-hander made $4.125 million this past season between Texas, which designated him for assignment July 4, and Detroit, which signed him as a free agent a week later. He gave up 34 runs on 57 hits over 48 innings combined, walking 18 and striking out 39 while recording 10 saves. While his arm showed promise, evidenced by a jump in his velocity in his longest season since Tommy John surgery a few years ago, his results were inconsistent.

Feliz was projected to make around $5.2 million according to MLBTradeRumors.com. The Tigers weren’t going to bring him back for that type of salary, but could have tried to sign him to a lower salary before the deadline. Talks on that front had stalled by Wednesday afternoon. Those talks could be revisited, but Feliz will check out the open market first, making a return highly unlikely.

Feliz and his agent, Ryan Royster, are now free to negotiate with any club. In a relief market seeing high asking prices and long-term contracts for top free agents, Feliz is expected to draw a fair amount of interest for teams looking for a bounceback candidate on a short-term deal.

“He should be some nice interest,” one Major League talent evaluator said Wednesday night. “Still has velo.”

Alburquerque was eligible for arbitration for his second time following a 2015 season in which he set a career high in innings pitched but also dealt with higher hit and walk rates while watching his strikeout rate drop. He gave up 17 runs on 30 hits over 23 1/3 innings after the All-Star break, walking 15 against 19 strikeouts. His inconsistencies were symptomatic of a Tigers bullpen that was in flux for most of the season.

The 30-year-old Alburquerque made $1.725 million this past season, having avoided arbitration in January when players and teams were scheduled to exchange arbitration numbers. MLBTradeRumors.com projected him to make $2.1 million in arbitration. His Tigers tenure ends after five seasons in Detroit, during which he vacillated between dominant strikeout artist and enigmatic middle reliever.

Considering the Tigers signed him out of winter ball in November 2010, inking him to a Major League contract without having thrown a big-league pitch, he enjoyed a bigger career than many expected. His 67 strikeouts over 43 1/3 innings as a rookie in 2011 helped fill out Detroit’s bullpen, setting up a run of four consecutive division titles. He missed most of the 2012 season following elbow surgery and found his top form for stretches over the next three seasons.

With Feliz and Alburquerque out, the right-handed side of the Tigers bullpen after closer Francisco Rodriguez currently consists of Alex Wilson, Drew VerHagen, Bruce Rondon, Buck Farmer, Jose Valdez, Jeff Ferrell and Angel Nesbitt. Top starting pitching prospect Michael Fulmer could be a bullpen candidate, manager Brad Ausmus reiterated Monday, but the Tigers are expected to pursue two more relievers this offseason to fill holes in a bullpen that finished next-to-last in the American League with a 4.38 ERA.


Bastardo? Sipp? Hunter?

Author says there’s probably nothing to it. I agree with that.

Mostly agree with you. Something is there, but it doesn’t sound like it has risen to the level of actual collusion.

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Cishek was non-tendered. He is only 29, but commands a pretty hefty paycheck..

Cishek is interesting in that he has closed successfully before, but Cards soured on him and left him off their postseason 25 man

Flowers was non-tendered. Avila is a what?

Could be Brantly shares time or another catcher is picked up. Several candidates are out there.

Turner was non-tendered.

“baseball’s little secret is that revenues have been rising faster than salaries”
— Verducci

Yep. I’ve commented about that and the redistribution of wealth in MLB on several.recent occasions That is a major issue to be addressed in the upcoming CBA. Boras has already jumped on the bandwagon in his negotiations. Revenue has gone to owners instead of players during the last several years. Owners are loaded.

MLB is now a $9B industry.

Surprise surprise.
Glad to see these moves today. AlAl is a gem, but $$$ need to be found. Feliz will be well overpaid by anybody who signs him. Yet he stil has some upside.
AlAl will likely be resigned by us.

Thinking about what Verducci said. The revenue matter is no secret. It has been building. Maybe Verducci just woke up or it just takes longer for him to process info than the average fan.

why the venom for Verducci?

Verducci is an expert. My expectations for him are higher than for the average fan. The increase in revenue and the redistribution of wealth between owners and players is not a “secret.” To present a storyline statement like it’s a scoop smacks of unprofessional reporting in my mind.

Actually the Verducci quote came from an article about the Price signing. It was included as an aside and even appeared in parentheses. I engaged in a little yellow journalism by posting it.
The full article can be found here:

I totally agree with Verducci’s point about revenue and salaries and have commented repeatedly to that effect over the last several weeks. If I can figure it out as an average fan, it’s no “secret.”

8 players: 141.9 MM
3 arbitration eligible:10MM
14 players , minimum wage: lets say 7.3 (The addition will cost more than that)
13.7 MM to match 2015 Opening day payroll and being close to luxury tax

If the Tigers were to sign two of Bastardo, Sipp and Hunter and were also to sign at least a mid-rotation starter ( I’m still hoping along with Dan and a few others for a front end guy), how much would that cost in today’s market?

Heyman and Henning predicted Ilitch would spend the bucks. And Ilitch has repeatedly said he would spend the bucks. Time will tell and “actions do speak louder than words.”

MLBTR predicted AAV’s of about $9M for a combo of Sipp and Bastardo. Another $13M-$16M for the likes of Gallardo, Kennedy, Kazmir, Chen, Leake, or Shark. So, a total of $22M to $25M for payroll additions, plus the benefit bucks that are rolled in (which I am unclear about). Stay tuned.

Verducci’s article just confirms how crazy the GM’s and owners have been in getting hooked for long term SP contracts.
No one would dream of giving a Closer more than 2, absolute max 3 year contract yet will happily shell out for 7 years for an SP contract. Don’t recall even Mo getting more than 3 years at a time yet constantly see dud SP contracts more often than not will kill off a teams chances for years to come. Firmly believe in limiting your SP contracts to around the $100m mark regardless of length.

An interesting take from Dayn Perry today on the revenue issue…Boras has saber-rattled that players are receiving just 43 percent of league revenue that is soaring to $10B. After possibly doing some revisions on how money is calculated, Tony Clark of the MLBPA is now engaged in a “curious and possibly self-defeating negotiating tactic by denying the premise.” The possible good news as an upshot is baseball could avoid a work stoppage since the CBA, which governs the economic and labor relationship between players and MLB, is set to expire 12-1-16.

How is this for irony? A comparison of our fifth starter turned ace, Simon, versus Shark…In 2015, Shark was 11-13 and Simon was 13-12 to lead the Tigers in wins. Shark had a 4.96 ERA and Simon was 5.05. Shark had 6.9K/9 SO and Simon was 5.63/9 SO. Shark is looking at $16 AAV. Simon, who knows?

Pelfrey to be signed

Why? Boras client, of course: with career 4.21 FIP 3.2 BB/9 5.2 SO/9
4.00 FIP 2.5 BB/9 4.7 SO /9 198 H in 164 IP in 2015

8 MM/ 4th spot Schmehl

The former Twin tradition goes on

1.50 GB/FB. trust the IF

I was just getting to write that Mike Pelfrey had been seen in the D yesterday. Now, we know why. Hope he does well.

Seems a little high dollar amount for a rotation placeholder, but I suppose that’s the market. I’d have been tempted to try out the youngsters instead, as it will probably come to that in the end anyway. As usual, I’ll wait to see how the entire offseason plays out.

Are you bloody kidding me? May as well be Brad Penny.
I think this is a very lazy decision and a poor one to boot.
Ver, Sanchie, Zim, Rookie and injured marginal RHP?? That will not cut it Al.
Pelfrey has had 5 years in the bigs with ERA OVER. 5.0
He gives up a run for every strikeout pretty much, and has an exprememly unflattering WHIP. And they are willing to give up ($8.5 million/2.5 millinon RAISE!) salary space for this?
The only bats Pefrey will miss are the ones in the belfry.

That’s a lot of money for 6 wins and a 1.48 WHIP. By comparison, the unpopular but cheaper Simon had 13 victories and a 1.44 WHIP. I don’t want either guy, but this signing is ridiculous.

And shame on me for taking Ilitch’s remarks at face value about spending for the best players The Tigers are shopping the bargain bin at the Dollar Store.

It just got worse. Sherman reported Pelfrey will get $16M for 2 years, pending his physical. Here’s hoping Pelfrey fails it and the Tigers come to their senses.

fWAR 2.0 that is , roughly, 14 MM

He had TJ too

to further the Simon comparison, Pelfrey didn’t complete the 5th inning in 10 of 30 starts. Simon in 5 of 31. Pelfrey put pressure on the Twins bullpen last season. do wonder who in the Tiger camp likes him more, the scouts or the statisticians?

One can only hope that Pelfrey is improving coming off health issues.
One can also hope that the Tigers are NOT made division favorites next year.

on the plus side, Pelfrey did not give up the long ball last season…led the AL in fewest HR/9 IP among qualifying (>=162 IP) starters. Tigers clearly expecting their defense to help him, as ElTigre mentioned

maybe when they look at Pelfrey, they’re thinking he could do what Porcello did in Detroit with fewer Ks and HRs allowed

The article concerning a helpful defense for Pelfrey focused on Iggy and Kinsler. It was rather dismissive about Nick (rightfully so) and Miggy (don’t agree).

And if you are a metrics guy like some on this blog, you really have to wonder how much help Pelfrey, with his repertoire, will get from his infield, catcher included. DRS ratings for the group were as follows: Kinsler 19 (the best of any 2B in baseball); Miggy 4; Mac 0; Iggy -3; and Nick -9.;

Minnie : 1B 4 /2B -4 /SS -10/ 3B 0.

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