When the weather feels cold and miserable, I sometimes reach for my phone, hit the MLB app and read up on the baseball news.  Who will land free agent pitchers Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg?  How many millions will they get?  How many of these guys will end up with the Dodgers or Yankees?    One thing is an absolute certainty: none will end up with the Tigers.

Instead of getting a lift from the baseball news, for Tiger fans, it’s just depressing.  Reading the Tiger news these days is like having it get dark even earlier than 5pm.  But wait…..here’s something.   Not quite like the signing of an Anthony Rendon, but the Tigers get to pick first in the Rule 5 Draft on December 12th.   They have to leave a spot on the 40-man roster, and if they pick somebody, they have to play on the major league team all season. Still, they might get a diamond in the rough.  Good teams have a hard time protecting their top prospects, because they already have 40 good players on their rosters. Detroit has been jockeying for the past few weeks to protect their top prospects from the draft.  It hasn’t been too tough.   Among the players not protected are lefty Nick Ramirez.  Somebody might snap him up.

Today the Tigers made two moves:  They coughed up a few bucks to pry Dario Agrazal away from the Pirates.  The 24 year old righty has had a few bursts of brilliance, but you have to ask how many if he couldn’t stick with the Pirates.

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

 

To get that roster back down to 39, the Tigers said goodbye to right-hander Drew VerHagen.  VerHagen just couldn’t put together enough consistency in his six seasons bouncing from the Mud Hens to the Tigers to the Injured List and back.

So….December 12th….that’s the day to check the MLB app on your phone and see who’ll be riding the pine for 2019 with the Tigers as a Rule 5 selection.   Fortunately, teams get a 26th player starting this season.  That’ll help.   I vote for somebody who can hit the ball out of the infield.

Here are Tiger players from last season that are off the 40 man roster and likely won't be back for 2020 (although some could sign minor league deals to stay in the organization):

  • Drew VerHagen
  • Matt Moore
  • Edwin Jackson
  • Tyson Ross
  • Gordon Beckham
  • Jordy Mercer
  • Daniel Stumpf
  • Blaine Hardy
  • Victor Alcantara
  • John Hicks
  • Zac Reininger
  • Dustin Peterson
  • Nick Ramirez
  • Eduardo Jimenez

Already long gone:

  • Nick Castellanos
  • Shane Greene
  • Josh Harrison
  • Mikey Mahtook
  • Reed Garrett