LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2013 — The Detroit Tigers are the defending American League Champions after an 88-74 season. The Tigers didn’t have many needs going into winter, but they did need a closer after parting ways with Jose Valverde.
However, Valverde remains a free agent and the Tigers are still in need of a closer. The hope was for Bruce Rondon to take the job, but he has not had a very good spring, to say the least.
The Tigers may choose to stick with Rondon, but a closer by committee situation seems to make sense for now.
With their strong rotation and even stronger offense, the lack of a closer will not keep them from winning the AL Central pennant again in 2013, but it may hinder their post-season exploits.
Projected payroll: $145,425,000
Notable Players Out: DH Delmon Young, C Gerald Laird, RHP Jose Valverde
Notable Players In: RF Torii Hunter, C Brayan Peña
Prospect Watch: OF Avisail Garcia and LHP Casey Crosby
Highlight Hitter: 3B Miguel Cabrera (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .318/.395/.561 35 HR/96 R/112 RBI)
Highlight Pitcher: RHP Justin Verlander (ZiPS 2013 Projections: 17-8, 3.09 ERA, 9.03 K/9, 238.1 IP)
Projected Lineup: C Alex Avila, 1B Prince Fielder, 2B Omar Infante, 3B Miguel Cabrera, SS Jhonny Peralta, LF Andy Dirks, CF Austin Jackson, RF Torii Hunter, DH Victor Martinez
Projected Rotation: RHP Justin Verlander, RHP Doug Fister, RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Anibal Sanchez, RHP Rick Porcello
Projected Closer: RHP Bruce Rondon? (Possibly a closer by committee or a free agent yet to be signed)
Manager: Jim Leyland
Projected 2013 Finish in AL West: 1. Detroit Tigers 2. Kansas City Royals 3. Cleveland Indians 4. Chicago White Sox 5. Minnesota Twins
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