Tigers trade Kyle Lobstein to Pirates for cash

Kyle Lobstein went into the offseason as one of the Tigers’ insurance starters in case of injury, a role he has filled capably the last couple seasons. Instead, the lanky left-hander will go into Spring Training as a Pittsburgh Pirate, traded by Detroit on Monday for cash considerations.

The Tigers designated Lobstein’s contract for assignment Friday night to make room for Mike Aviles on the 40-man roster. Detroit had 10 days to either trade, release or outright Lobstein to the minor leagues. An outright assignment would’ve hinged on Lobstein clearing waivers. Considering waivers go in reverse order of finish, he almost got through, before being claimed by the team with baseball’s second-best record in 2015.

Thus ends the Tiger tenure for Lobstein, who came to Detroit as a Rule 5 Draft pick three years ago. The Tigers traded catcher Curt Casali to Tampa Bay to acquire Lobstein’s full rights, allowing him developmental time before making his Major League debut in the summer of 2014.

Lobstein went 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts and a long relief appearance in 2014, but helped the Tigers avoid disaster with an injury-riddled pitching staff in August and September. Detroit went 4-2 in his starts, a stat that loomed big once the Tigers held off Kansas City by a single game for the AL Central title.

Lobstein’s performance earned him first dibs at a rotation spot to begin this past season once Justin Verlander opened the 2015 campaign on the disabled list. Lobstein won three of his first five starts, but struggled through May with what left shoulder soreness. He went on the 15-day disabled list, rehabbed without the need for surgery and made it back as a September call-up, but struggled in three starts down the stretch.

For the season, the 26-year-old Lobstein went 3-8 with a 5.94 ERA, allowing 78 hits over 63 2/3 innings. He walked 23 batters and struck out 32. He was expected to compete with Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, Shane Greene and others for the fifth spot in the rotation in Spring Training.

19 Comments

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Basically a give away of salary. Lobstein was making around 500k per. Would be interesting to know what the “cash considerations” actually were!

This is too bad about Lobstein but the Tigers must have decided they have 40 better players for their roster.
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I was very saddened to hear about the Flint and Detroit water problems. It appears voters made a mistake by putting one party in complete control.
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Let’s hope the Tigers and all of us have a great 2016!

The claiming fee is 20 K. Since he was traded and not awarded, more than 20 K.

Thanks.
Unless lightning strikes twice and we come up with a lucky charm again for a left-fielder (like JD) I think the team will not be a true contender at the end of the season.
The present “mix” there is more a “mix-up” I fear. And it matters.

Hey all. I have been pretty quiet this offseason but I thought I would chime in now.
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Overall, I am happy with the offseason. The Tigers had many holes to fill and I think AA has done a pretty good job. One of the biggest complaints in recent years is the BP has been neglected. One may argue that DD didn’t even try to fix it. We cant say that about AA. If this bullpen fails, it wont be because AA didn’t try. It will be on the players (and to a lesser extent on BA if he mismanages them). The bench is better with more late inning offensive potential. AA did all of this without touching the top level prospects they just acquired. The offseason is not the time to trade prospects (or suspects as Darline cleverly refers to them as). Save them for the trade deadline. Are they good enough to contend right now? Maybe. Maybe not. But the Blue Jays were a .500 team around July 25 and they made some great trades and almost went to the WS. Now the fan base here is lamenting the offseason of inactivity (JA Happ is the prize acquisition) and the fact that there are no high level prospects left. If the Tigers can stay competitive through the summer, they have pieces to use.
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The bottom line is this. If Miggy, JV, Vmart and Sanchez (4 highly paid players last year) do not spend considerably more time on the field this year, it will not matter. Healthy and productive seasons from those 4 players would make them an immensely better team. One more high priced player (as nice as that would be) would not be as impactful as one may think, IMO. Remember David Price and Cespedes were on this team last year for 4 months and the team underperformed. The big 4 + Zmann need to stay healthy and perform. That will be the greatest impact of all.
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I wish all you passionate bloggers and great Tigers fans a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016 (hopefully for our Tigers as well)
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Go Tigers.
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— Bob

Hi Bob, nice to hear from you again. That is an accurate assessment in my view. It can be fun not knowing what to expect.
Merry Christmas to all.

A, 2015: FIP 4.20 2.3 BB/9 5.6 /9 Babip 263
B, 2015.FIP 4.00 2.5BB/9 4.7/9 Babip 336

A will make 16 /year. The Tigers will pay 16 /2 to B
Leake/Pelfrey

Leake has pitched 200 inning once .
4.83 2.4BB/9 4.7 /9 with Giants

Waiting a rebound year in 2016.
Merry Christmas to all

I guess the Cardinals saw value in 28 year old Leake, who has averaged 12 wins and 200 innings over the last 3 seasons. Leake had a 3.70 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP in 2015, when hitters only managed a .243 BA against him.

By comparison, Pelfrey has won only 11 games while losing 27 over the last 3 seasons. He has not pitched over 164.2 innings nor held hitters to a less than .300 BA since 2011.My only hope for Leake is that Avila has spotted something in him like he did in JD..

“My only hope for Pelfrey is that Avila has spotted something in him like he did in JD.”

this from the archives at BB America, their projections for 2005 First Round:
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10. TIGERS
New Tigers scouting director David Chadd has Wichita roots, and knows Pelfrey personally. That would be a natural match in this spot, though the Tigers have also eyed Braun and Clement.
PROJECTED PICK Mike Pelfrey
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they chose Maybin instead

Pelfrey went #9 to Mets. Andrew McCutchen went #11 to Pirates.

I sure don’t see it. If we get a .500 W/L percentage and 180 IP it will be a success—-of sorts.

And that’s very optimistic indeed.

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