Detroit Tigers: Let’s Talk About the Bullpen
Minor League Options and Hypothetical Trade Targets
It may be time for the Detroit Tigers to turn to Ruben Alaniz and Arcenio Leon. The hard-throwing duo impressed in Spring Training. Both would certainly add more strikeouts to a Detroit Tigers bullpen that could desperately use them.
So far, Leon owns a 1.12 ERA and five saves in nine Triple-A appearances, while Alaniz is sporting a a 3.12 ERA and 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings at Double-A Erie.
Rondon is another option if he can find the form he showcased in 2016. The right-hander has yet to allow a run in four Toledo outings. In other words, he could be starting to figure things out.
In terms of other options in the minors, Logan Kensing has a 2.00 ERA in nine innings.
Detroit could also turn to one of the team’s Triple-A starters.
Chad Bell (1.25 ERA and 10.4 punch outs per nine frames in 2017), Buck Farmer (2.78 ERA) and Drew VerHagen (2.25 ERA) have all found success so far with the Mud Hens. Each of the trio has also pitched in relief roles in the past.
The Trade Market
At this point in the season, there aren’t going to be many teams looking to trade away pieces.
This is in part due to clubs likely wanting to see what they have, but also because every team is conceivably in the playoff hunt at this point.
Entering Friday, of the 20 teams not leading a division or in a wild card place, 19 are within at least five games of one of the two postseason slots.
The only team that doesn’t fit that description is the Toronto Blue Jays, who are 6-16.
As of now, the American League East club is nine games back of Baltimore in the division, and six games out of the wild card.
Purely from a speculative standpoint, Toronto has a trio of relievers on expiring contracts in Jason Grilli, Joe Smith and J.P. Howell, who could appeal to Detroit.
All three have solid track records, and could help the Tigers.
Atlanta, who is already 7.5 games behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East are another conceivable trade partner.
Josh Collmenter, also on an expiring deal, is a speculative fit.