As the trade deadline approaches and the rumors begin to fly, I thought I would take a team by team look at the A.L. Central, and what the trade deadline could bring for the franchise. With the new CBA in place, it is going to be interesting to see the type of movement we see around the league, if there is much at all. The Central is interesting in that maybe it is a little better than anticipated, and that could make for an exciting deadline.
Here is a look at the Detroit Tigers…
Buyers or Sellers?
As much as I would love for the Tigers to be in both categories, I just don’t see it. Owner Mike Ilitch firmly set the course in the off-season when he dropped a literal truckload of money in the lap of then free agent Prince Fielder. From that point on, the Tigers became buyers at the deadline if they needed it. It’s a good thing too, because the Tigers need it. In the past couple of weeks, the Tigers have been linked to almost every available player out there, and in the past, David Dombrowski and company have shown a willingness to part with prospects in the past.
I don’t see why 2012 would be any different, given the owner’s desperation to win a World Series in the here and now.
For a team that is contention, there are surprisingly quite a few. Make no mistake, the Tigers are a star driven team, and they have four of them in Austin Jackson, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and Justin Verlander. The supporting cast, especially offensively leaves a little to be desired. On the Tigers shopping list would be a starting pitcher, corner outfielder, and 2nd baseman. A SS wouldn’t be the worst idea ever either if they could find one.
The priority is probably a starting pitcher and a 2nd baseman if Andy Dirks can come back healthy soon.
State of the Farm:
It’s not really good though there is starting to be a little bit of depth that wasn’t there in the past. It’s not very high ceiling depth though, and there is a clear cut top prospect in Nick Castellanos. Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly should have some utility in trades, and if teams are interested in tools, Avisail Garcia and Daniel Fields would be good additions to sweeten a deal.
The Tigers farm hasn’t been a strong part for a good amount of years, though David Dombrowski has managed to turn their system into good quality major leaguers.
Given that the Tigers are pretty much destined to buy, it could be anyone who is selling. It seems that the Tigers have been prominently mentioned in deals with the Cubs for several of their players including Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and Darwin Barney.
Arizona has been mentioned as recently as today.
And don’t be surprised to see the Tigers get involved with the Marlins if they become sellers.
The Tigers are likely to go out and get somebody. Whether that is a complimentary piece, or one that is going to shock the world, we will just have to wait and see.
Should be an interesting deadline though for Tigers fans.