Only on rare occasions do I find Tigers-related nuggets in my local paper, The Arizona Republic, and today qualifies as a rare occasion. Here’s one such item from the (excellent) blog of Diamondbacks beat writer Nick Piecoro:
Something we forgot to mention: The Diamondbacks were serious players for Brandon Lyon before Lyon signed with the Tigers, a deal that was finalized on Monday.
Only the Diamondbacks wanted Lyon for their rotation.
General Manager Josh Byrnes said earlier this week that Lyon received â€œbetter financesâ€ from the Tigers. Lyon goes to Detroit as the favorite to win the closerâ€™s job.
Lyonâ€™s agent, Barry Meister, said Lyon was interested in the idea of starting, but timing stood in the way of making a deal happen.
â€œWe had gotten pretty much to the end in Detroit,â€ Meister said, â€œand we were unable to change gears and do something with Arizona. Sometimes itâ€™s just a timing issue and that was the case here.â€
Given what Lynn Henning wrote this morning about the Tigers having seven starting pitchers, perhaps he’ll want to bump that number to eight?
Second tidbit: According to Piecoro, the D-backs may have big plans for former Tigers farmhand, Arizona Rule-5 pickup James Skelton:
General Manager Josh Byrnes said Rule 5 pick James Skelton already has reported to Tucson and is working with coaches Jack Howell, Chip Hale, Lorenzo Bundy and others. He’s hitting, taking ground balls, working in the weight room, etc.
It will be very interesting to see how Skelton looks at positions other than catcher, where he has played almost exclusively in the minor leagues with Detroit. He played a lot of middle infield in high school, and Byrnes wouldnâ€™t rule out the idea of Skelton seeing time in the outfield as well.
â€œAthletically, he can do it,â€ Byrnes said.
So — and yes, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here — could he be in the mix at second base in 2010?
â€œThatâ€™s not the plan,â€ Byrnes said. â€œBut he has a background there, heâ€™s athletic enough to do it, has a nice bat and with his body type, maybe thatâ€™s the spot for him.â€
Maybe Skelton will be a reverse-Chris Shelton situation for the Tigers. Given how Big Red’s career evaporated, let’s hope that’s not the case for Skelton.
Finally, if you’re watching the Super Bowl today root for the Cardinals. It would be nice to have a team from my town win the final football game of the year. And I don’t mean the Pro Bowl.