The fact that the Tigers didn’t have to give up a lot for Jarrod Washburn, and didn’t have to give up highly-rated prospects, means they’re still talking with teams about beefing up their offense before today’s nonwaiver trade deadline. Foxsports.com reported the Tigers have continued to talk with the Orioles about Luke Scott. They’re also believed to be checking around with other clubs to see if asking prices go down on other outfield/DH types before the deadline.
— Jason Beck
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
The Tigers have traded outfielder Josh Anderson to the Royals for cash
considerations. Anderson’s contract was designated for assignment last
week to make room for Carlos Guillen. The Royals and Yankees both had interest, but the Yankees
reportedly weren’t willing to offer up a prospect in the deal.
Kansas City will be the third team for Anderson this calendar year and
the fourth in his career. Detroit acquired him from Atlanta in the
final week of Spring Training.
Anderson batted .242 with the Tigers with
four doubles, four triples and 16 RBIs in 74 games, covering 165
at-bats. The 26-year-old stole 13 bases in 15 attempts.
— Jason Beck
An industry source confirmed the Yankees have shown interest in former Tigers outfielder Josh Anderson, following a report earlier Wednesday from cbssports.com’s Danny Knobler. A second team, not yet identified, is also said to be interested in Anderson.
The Tigers designated Anderson’s contract for assignment last week to make room for Carlos Guillen to return from the disabled list, so Detroit isn’t in a position to ask for much in a trade. Still, the speedy Anderson could be a fit for the Yankees to fill in for Brett Gardner, who’s out until mid-August with a fractured left thumb.
The Tigers will have to either swing a deal with another club or let Anderson go if they can’t get him through waivers. If he does sneak through waivers, the Tigers can outright him to Triple-A Toledo.
Anderson batted .242 with the Tigers with four doubles, four triples and 16 RBIs in 74 games, covering 165 at-bats. The 26-year-old stole 13 bases in 15 attempts.
— Jason Beck
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Tigers have shown interest in adding a backup catcher and another reliever for the stretch run, adding to the shopping list for Detroit heading towards Friday’s nonwaiver trade deadlines. The goal of the backup catching list would reportedly be for offense to supplement starter Gerald Laird, whose average has fallen to .233 as his workload continues to pile up.
Previous reports this summer have linked the Tigers to catching help, most recently a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report that the Tigers were looking at Pirates farmhand Robinzon Diaz, who backed up in Pittsburgh while Ryan Doumit was on the disabled list but is now catching at Triple-A Indianapolis. Detroit called up catching prospect Dusty Ryan from Triple-A Toledo last month to provide more of an offensive punch than defensive-oriented Dane Sardinha, but amazingly, Ryan has started just six games since his arrival in mid-June.
The Tigers continued to scout potential relief help over the past week even with injured Joel Zumaya looking more and more likely to pitch again soon.
So, add up the various rumors and reports, and the Tigers have spent the last week or two looking with varied interest at starting pitching, relief, designated hitters, outfielders, middle infielders and catching. They have not looked for help at first and third base, but could acquire a hitter from those positions to DH if they wanted to add a bat. That’s quite a range for a team in first place.
— Jason Beck
Could the Tigers’ solution to its offensive woes in a pennant come from a hitter who, once upon a time, provided a brief boost to the Tigers at their lowest point? If that hitter is Cody Ross, it’s possible, though not necessarily likely.
Yahoo Sports’ Gordon Edes reports that the Tigers have shown interest in Ross, currently manning center field for the Florida Marlins after finally getting a chance to be an everyday player last year. Now 28, he’s an experienced, right-handed bat with power and run production for a Florida club that has had an outfield in flux, including an up-and-down season for former Tigers top prospect Cameron Maybin. If the Marlins reverse course and decide to be sellers at Friday’s trade deadline, Ross is one player they could shop.
The Tigers have always had high regard personally for Ross, who broke into the Majors with the 2003 Tigers after coming up through Detroit’s farm system as a draft pick. He hit his first big league home run, a grand slam, in the same game in which he blew out his knee running out a sacrifice bunt. While Jair Jurrjens has become well-known as the Tigers prospect who got away in a bad deal, trading Ross to the Dodgers for lefty reliever Steve Colyer in Spring Training 2004 was a move the Tigers came to regret, though it took Ross two more organizations before he emerged.
While the Tigers might think a lot of Ross, so do several other teams that have faced him, making Ross a popular trading chip if the Marlins decided to move him. But if anything, the Marlins are looking to upgrade right now, since they’re within striking distance of the NL East lead and NL Wild Card.
— Jason Beck
The Cubs might like to find a new home for Milton Bradley, but it won’t be Detroit.
The rumor of Tigers interest in the gifted but much-maligned outfielder began with a Twitter from White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone, then picked up steam quickly with a report from a Chicago web site.
That was news to the Tigers. A source with knowledge of the team’s plans said Bradley’s name hasn’t come up in organizational discussions all year. For a team that has been searching far and wide for offensive help, that speaks volumes.
The reasons are numerous. Though the Tigers lost out on Matt Holliday, there remain several outfield/DH types on the market with better numbers and contracts than Bradley, who entered Saturday batting .242 with six home runs and 22 RBIs and is under contract through 2011 with $21 million over the next two years. Even with money kicked in, it would still be a big commitment for a player who would probably be a full-time DH again in the American League.
While manager Jim Leyland has a reputation for working well with players who have been labeled as difficult, he does not like issues that distract from the team. And Bradley, justifiably or not, would have the potential to be a major distraction.
— Jason Beck
Considering the Tigers’ offensive woes, including another 2-1 loss Wednesday to the M’s, perhaps it isn’t a Halladay Detroit needs, but a Holliday. The San Jose Mercury News reported Wednesday that several teams had scouts this week in Oakland, where Matt Holliday put on a hitting display over three games against the Twins. The Mercury News names the Tigers and Giants among teams “known to have at least a degree of interest” in Holliday.
The Tigers have had internal discussions about Holliday, but their level of interest likely depends on how much the A’s demand in return. The Tigers arguably don’t have the depth in their farm system to offer Oakland enough talent to top the two First-Year Player Draft picks the A’s would receive if they lose Holliday as a free agent this winter instead of dealing him now.
For now, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal suggests the Tigers would need to include lefty pitching prospect Casey Crosby, which is a deal-breaker for Detroit. Though Crosby was a fifth-round Draft pick in 2007, the same year the Tigers selected Rick Porcello in the first round, they view Crosby with top-round talent.
For now, no deal appears to be close for the Tigers, on Holliday or anyone. Any deal they make will likely come in the final days leading up to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, given their history over the past several years.
“Normally if [president/general manager] Dave [Dombrowski] gets something going, he’ll fill me in on it,” manager Jim Leyland said Wednesday about Tigers dealings in general. “But we haven’t had any conversations about that.”
Again, Carlos Guillen’s situation could impact any decision the Tigers make on offense. He began the Triple-A portion of his Minor League rehab stint Wednesday at Toledo, and he could return as soon as this weekend. That would give Tigers officials at least the three-game series at Texas through next Wednesday to evaluate him and figure out how much he can help. That said, the Tigers could use more offense with or without Guillen.
— Jason Beck
Many on hand at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon wondered if they were watching Roy Halladay’s last outing as the ace of the Blue Jays. If so, Doc did not disappoint, spinning a complete-game gem en route to a 3-1 win over the Red Sox.
“I was hoping he’d have an unbelievable performance, something I could remember when I look back at my time here in Toronto,” Jays catcher Rod Barajas said. “It definitely goes through your head. I hope it’s not the last time. Everybody in this clubhouse hopes it’s not the last time.”
Multiple reports indicated that representatives from the Dodgers, Phillies, Brewers, Tigers, Red Sox, Rangers and Twins were in attendance for Halladay’s latest start, which netted his 11th win and lowered his ERA to 2.73. Former Jays GMs Pat Gillick (Phillies) and Gord Ash (Brewers) were in Toronto for the entire weekend series against Boston.
Philadelphia is still believed to be the front-runner to land Halladay, and the Jays and Phils have reportedly already discussed a few of the Phillies’ top prospects, including outfielder Michael Taylor, shortstop Jason Donald and pitcher Carlos Carrasco. Top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek likely needs to be included to convince the Jays to pull the trigger on any deal with the Phils.
As far as the other clubs in attendance for Halladay’s start, it’s possible some were there to take a look at Boston’s players, or Toronto’s relievers — Doc’s fourth complete game of the year robbed scouts of that chance — and position players. The Red Sox don’t have serious interest in Halladay and the Rangers and Twins appear to be long shots.
It’s worth noting that Ash was at the helm in Toronto when the Blue Jays drafted Halladay. According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, “Rival teams say the Brewers have enough prospects to make a Halladay deal.”
Prior to previous Trade Deadlines, Halladay’s name has been tossed around in rumors and reports. This year, though, the speculation is real and Halladay’s recent comments indicate that he’s more open to the idea of being dealt than he was in the past. On Saturday, Halladay’s wife, Brandy, stepped into the radio booth during the Jays’ game and the talk eventually turned to the wave of rumors.
“This very well could be our last homestand,” Brandy Halladay said on The FAN590. “If something happens before the Trade Deadline, I won’t be back. That’s difficult. That’s more than difficult. I just broke into tears four minutes ago. … It’s very difficult for everybody. … You’re making me cry now.”