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Quick Hits: Tigers, Turner, Rays, Archer, Dodgers, McCullough

Tigers GM Al Avila wants to remain patient and disciplined this winter when it comes to augmenting their young core through free agency, writes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. Detroit will look to add a catcher, corner outfielder and first baseman, as well as a pitcher or two – but all in due time. Detroit hasn’t posted a winning record since 2016, and they haven’t reached the postseason since a four-year run ended in 2015. Those playoff teams, of course, were led by formidable pitching staffs that included Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Anibal Sanchez, and others, as well as an all-time bat in Miguel Cabrera still in his prime. These Tigers don’t yet have that kind of offensive force, but they’ve begun to graduate some of their highly-touted arms, such as Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal. For now, let’s take Avila’s lead and not get too far ahead of ourselves. Elsewhere…

  • Justin Turner is seeking a three-year deal, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. That might be a tough sell for the 36-year-old. Three years might be the ask for Turner, who is represented by GEM Agency, but it’s just as likely a starting point to give their side some wiggle room in negotiations. That said, Turner was a central piece for the World Series champs, slashing .307/.400/.460 across 175 plate appearances in 2020. That’s good for a 140 wRC+. The immediate concern, rather, relates to his viability at third base that far into the future. His glovework earned marks of -2 OAA in 2020 and -1 DRS, both of which are palatable marks. But if there’s significant regression coming for Turner, the glove is where to look first. Regardless, for those clubs looking to add an impact bat in 2021, there aren’t many better than Turner.
  • The Rays have discussed the possibility of a reunion with Chris Archer, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Given the Rays’ tendency to limit starter innings, they need the whole of the staff to be capable of soaking up innings. Archer could certainly help in that regard. Besides, if anyone knows what Archer is capable of, it would be Tampa Bay. For the present, however, the Rays are focused on players who might accept minor league contracts. The payroll likely is what it is, notes Topkin, meaning that if they’re going to add much in the way of salary, we should expect a matching expulsion. They need a catcher, of course, probably a couple, and more generally, GM Erik Neander wants the club to make more contact.
  • Clayton McCullough will replace George Lombard as the first base coach for the Dodgers, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (via Twitter). Lombard was named A.J. Hinch’s new bench coach in Detroit. The rest of the Dodgers’ coaching staff from 2020 are returning. McCullough has been with the Dodgers for seven seasons, serving recently as minor league field coordinator. Prior to joining the Dodgers, he managed at a number of different levels in the Blue Jays’ system.
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