Today, the Boston Red Sox made a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, adding first baseman Adam LaRoche in exchange for two minor leaguers.
While this move does not necessarily mean anything as far as the Tigers’ trade plans (I hadn’t heard they were even remotely interested in LaRoche), it does mean the Sox will not be going after Washington first baseman Nick Johnson, whom they had been targeting for months.
Johnson’s name had been tossed around the Tigersosphere as a possible target to fix the ailing Detroit offense. While he’s not a perfect fit, as he cannot play the outfield, he would provide a left handed bat with some power and a very good OBP.
Rumor has it that the Nats are asking for a top prospect in return for Johnson, however so that may prove cost-prohibitive for Detroit anyway. On the other hand, with the Red Sox out of the mix, perhaps the Nats could have to lower their asking price to move Johnson, allowing a team like the Tigers to swoop in and grab him for maybe two mid-level prospects.
If that proves to be the case, he could be a big boost to this club. If not, the Tigers should set their sights elsewhere for a better fit. Luke Scott for example.