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 AROUND THE HORN: Tigers renew interest in OFs Lee, Soriano 
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Post AROUND THE HORN: Tigers renew interest in OFs Lee, Soriano
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BY JON PAUL MOROSI
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

November 9, 2006

The Tigers pursued Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano before the July trade deadline and might renew their interest in the star outfielders now that each has entered free agency.

Lee and Soriano are expected to sign two of the off-season's richest contracts. And, since owner Mike Ilitch likely will authorize a payroll near $90 million, the Tigers might have the financial capability to sign one or the other.

Even then, club officials will pursue more reasonably priced alternatives -- and Frank Catalanotto, the former Tigers utilityman, is among them.

Alan Nero, the agent for Catalanotto, confirmed Wednesday that the Tigers were among eight teams to express interest in Catalanotto.

Catalanotto, a left-handed hitter, has hit .290 or higher in six of seven seasons since the Tigers included him in the Juan Gonzalez trade. He also drew a career-high 52 walks with the Blue Jays in 2006, more than any Tiger except Curtis Granderson and Carlos Guillen.

TIGERS NOTEBOOK: Right-hander Justin Verlander was named American League Outstanding Rookie through a vote of his peers in the Players Choice Awards. Verlander (17-9, 3.63 ERA) is a leading candidate to receive the AL Rookie of the Year Award on Monday. ...

Johnny Sain, who teamed with Warren Spahn to make up one of baseball's most fabled pitching tandems, died Tuesday at 89. Sain was the Tigers' pitching coach when they won the World Series in 1968.

Sain's best year was 1948, when he and Spahn led the Boston Braves to the Series, which they lost to Cleveland. During that season the famous saying was born about them -- and the rest of their unheralded rotation: "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."

Sain, a four-time 20-game winner, suffered a stroke in 2002 and had been in poor health. The Knollcrest Funeral Home in Lombard, Ill., said it was handling the arrangements. ...Paul Gibson, a former Tigers left-hander, joined the Braves as an amateur scout.

CHICAGO CUBS: Gerald Perry agreed to a two-year deal to be the team's hitting coach. Perry was Oakland's hitting coach last season.

CLEVELAND: Second baseman Josh Barfield was acquired from San Diego for infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff and right-hander Andrew Brown.

EXHIBITION: At Fukuoka, Japan, Jose Reyes hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the MLB All-Stars a 5-3 victory over the Japan stars and a sweep of the five-game series. Ryan Howard was MVP of the tour, finishing with four homers and eight RBIs. The last time major leaguers swept a tour of Japan was when the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig All-Stars went 17-0 in 1935.

SAN DIEGO: Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Bud Black was hired to replace Bruce Bochy as manager.

Free Press news services contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2006 Detroit Free Press Inc.


I hope we get at least one of those guys, it certainly couldn't hurt.

Congrats to Justin!!! Let's hope he gets the AL ROY!!!

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November 9th, 2006, 3:07 pm
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If we had Soriano, we would be pretty much unbeatable with his power and speed. Lee would be nice, but the 40 steals would be great for the team.

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November 9th, 2006, 3:21 pm
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Soriano has stealing speed, but so does Guillen and Granderson...who were both given the nod to steal very little this past season. That rests on JL's shoulders.

Soriano's base stealing would be huge...but not if he rarely gets the opportunity or the nod.

I would poop a chicken if we signed Soriano. First things first...MAKE INGE OUR UTILITY MAN!

1st -- Guillen
2nd -- Infante
SS -- Soriano
3rd -- Polanco

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November 9th, 2006, 4:20 pm
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Soriano would be a great pickup, im not as sold on Lee, I think he may be higher priced then what he is really worth. Catallano would be interesting he wouldnt cost so much and he hits for good average with decent pop. If we dont land Soriano, which is a wish at best, I would go for the Cat instead of Lee.

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November 10th, 2006, 8:30 am
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