As we continue to barrel towards the non-waiver trade deadline, many, many fine folks have offered their opinions on what players might fill the Tigers’ most pressing needs.
There have been those that have trumpeted the names of Adam Dunn, Luke Scott, Aubrey Huff, Chad Tracy, and Josh Willingham. Countless words have been used to express the desire for Roy Halladay, Marco Scutaro, and Heath Bell.
Recently, J. Ellet Lambie of Eye of the Tigers broke down some trade possibilities, as well as some minor leaguers you could expect to find leaving the Tigers’ organization if any such deal were completed.
What I haven’t seen anywhere to this point is who exactly would be rumored to be leaving the major league roster if such a trade were to happen.
As far as I can tell, there isn’t a whole lot on the big league club that is both expendable to the Tigers and valued by other clubs. There are also precious few names that have minor league options left, at least as far as the position players are concerned.
If the Tigers are to compete for a division title this season, the fact is the offense must improve. As we stand now almost 100 games into this marathon, you have to expect that what you have is what you are going to have from this current group. You simply cannot hold your breath waiting for Magglio Ordonez to find his 2007 form, or for Placido Polanco or Curtis Granderson to start hitting .300. If there will be significant improvement, it will be from someone not currently on the roster.
So let’s say that the Tigers are able to swing a deal for a hitter. Most of the names that have been discussed would be dealt for prospects. In other words, it would be unlikely that Josh Willingham would come to Detroit in exchange for Marcus Thames. Likely, a deal would be for 2-3 prospects, maybe a pitcher that’s currently on the roster, but not likely a position player.
That leads to my question. If this club could get a Willingham from Washington for (example just for sake of discussion) say, Zach Miner, Cale Iorg, and some guy pitching at West Michigan, the 25 man roster would not technically have to be adjusted per se. Miner out, Willingham in and you still have 25 guys. But the composition of that roster would change, as you would have one less pitcher and one extra hitter.
It is unlikely that the Tigers would want to proceed in this fashion, so a hitter would have to be moved off the roster to make room for another arm. So who goes? Unless the team includes Ryan Raburn or Clete Thomas in a deal for a hitter, those two are really the only options not named Magglio Ordonez to head out. Frankly speaking, both Thomas and Raburn have done more for this year’s club than Magglio has.
What it comes to is this: If the Tigers do pull the trigger on a deal for a bat, would that spell the final doom for Magglio’s Tigers career? My head says that Raburn or Thomas would be optioned out instead, but I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Magglio were cut loose in such a scenario. For the sake of winning this year, as well as keeping an eye on next season, it would be my hope that Ordonez would draw the short straw instead.