Zumaya surgery might not alter Tigers plans

The plug was pulled on Joel Zumaya’s 2009 season Thursday, when Dr. James Andrews scheduled surgery for next month to fix the stress fracture in his shoulder. Now that it’s official, the question is whether the news, coming hours before Friday’s nonwaiver trade deadline, changes the Tigers’ approach on dealings.

Reports have pegged Detroit to interest on some relievers on the market over the past couple weeks, but as of Thursday, nothing seemed to be close. Orioles closer George Sherrill, one reliever on which the Tigers reportedly inquired, went to the Dodgers Thursday. Toronto’s Jason Frasor and other Blue Jays relievers might not go anywhere if the team decides to keep its team together around Roy Halladay for a run in 2010.

Truth is, though, the Tigers moved on without Zumaya a while back, since they weren’t in a position to count on him once he went on the disabled list. His struggles in June and early July prompted manager Jim Leyland to put Brandon Lyon in more setup situations before Zumaya’s last outing July 17 against the Yankees. But then, with all the other issues the Tigers have faced, they’ve had just four save situations since the All-Star break. They could go after some bullpen depth, and there’s plenty of depth out there.

— Jason Beck

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