Winter Meetings: Tigers Talking Number Five Starters


There sure hasn’t been much to report coming out of Disney World if you’re a Tigers fan today. Amid all the trades and free agent signings that have already taken place, very little has come out regarding anything the Detroit Tigers may be doing. Earlier in the day, Jason Beck noted that Detroit is interested in LHP Ron Mahay, who would fit in the bullpen nicely, but any interest there is shared by half a dozen other clubs and nothing appears imminent.

We did get a small nugget from MLive’s Steve Kornacki, who says that word around the lobby is that the Tigers are looking for “number five” type starting pitchers. As Kornacki notes, that’s a job currently held by Armando Galarraga. Galarraga’s role has never seemed safe and if the Tigers don’t feel that Andy Oliver is major league-ready, there’s simply no reason not to look at bringing in an arm or two to create a healthy competition for the job.

Kornacki didn’t elaborate on his tweet, but I think we can assume that they guys being targeted are either fringe-MLB types or low-risk, high-reward candidates. Brandon McCarthy, a name the Tigers have been linked to earlier in the winter, would be a good example. Kevin Millwood is another name that might also fit the description.

It’s unclear as to whether or not the Tigers would be interested in adding a reclamation project like a Brandon Webb, Jeff Francis, or Chris Young. All three have had serious arm problems in the recent past and none would be overly expensive, but all of them would be looking for a major league deal. I’m sure they’ll all get one, I just doubt it comes from Detroit. Roster spots are too important to give away to a pitcher that you can’t count on being ready for Opening Day.

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