The Next Few Days Will Tell the Level of Paranoia of Leyland, Dombrowski


The Detroit Tigers missed a golden opportunity to widen their lead over the Chicago White Sox Wednesday afternoon in Chicago.  Time and time again, the Tigers failed to get a big hit in the 2-1 loss.

A win would have widened their lead over the third place Chicago White Sox to 5 1/2 games.  The White Sox are quickly emerging as the biggest challengers to the Tigers as the Indians season continues to spiral toward mediocrity.

There have been more rumors surrounding the Tigers acquiring a starting pitcher than there have been bases loaded strikeouts by Brandon Inge, Ryan Raburn and Austin Jackson combined this season.  That’s a lot of rumors.

Rumblings have ranged from the ludicrous (James Shields) to the cringe-worthy (Jeremy Guthrie).  Whatever happens, it’s becoming apparent that something WILL happen.  Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland are the biggest targets in Detroit since Wayne Fontes started a season 3-6.  They’re going to make a deal for a pitcher.

You can judge how desperate Leyland and Dombrowski are based upon who they trade.  Here’s the player and the corresponding level of paranoia associated with dealing that prospect.

Jacob Turner – Full-out Bird Flu/H1N1/Mad Cow Disease all rolled into one paranoia!

Turner is the crown jewel of the Tigers system.  He’s on schedule to team with Justin Verlander to give the Tigers a pair of aces for the next 5 plus years.  If Dave Dombrowski has the cajones to deal Turner in a package, he better go big and get a James Shields-type in return.  Anything else would fully constitute a revolt in Detroit.

Nick Castellanos – “My flight leaves in an hour and I haven’t packed yet!” paranoia

Castellanos, the Tigers former #44 overall pick in 2009, is ranked as the teams #2 prospect by Baseball America.  He’s the Tigers strongest position prospect, has a strong arm and is an excellent hitter.  He’s in line to start in Detroit at third base within a few years.  He’s done well for low-A West Michigan, but is still only 19 so a lot can happen.  If the front office trades Castellanos as part of a deal, it shows they’re sweating it out.  In this situation, they need to get a pitcher good enough to deliver the division.  A Hiroki Kuroda level talent.

Andrew Oliver – “My video’s due back at Blockbuster and it closes in 10 minutes” paranoia

Andrew Oliver opened 2011 as the Tigers #3 prospect, but he struggled in both his starts with the Tigers this year and has since been scuffling with the Mudhens.  With lefties Charlie Furbush, Adam Wilk and Duane Below showing moderate major league ability and lefty prospects such as Casey Crosby and Drew Smyly waiting in the wings, the powers that be might see Oliver as expendable and open the competition for the left-handed rotation spot next year.  Oliver’s stock might be ready to dip, so now might be the time to deal him and get a starter such as the Mariner’s Justin Vargas.