Tigers still looking at lefties, talk on Mahay

Tigers people were out working the lobby at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Monday morning. That’s a normal thing for them at the start of the Winter Meetings as they try to gauge teams and see where there might be fits.

For now, the buzz is still the Jayson Werth deal and how it might affect the rest of these meetings, especially the top of the outfield market. The Tigers obviously fit into that, but they’re still keeping their eyes on other things, too, including lefty relief. They had some discussion on longtime lefty specialist Ron Mahay, currently a free agent, but nothing seems to have progressed just yet. There’s an impression that lefty relief isn’t a pressing priority at this point.

Mahay turns 40 years old next year. He went 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA for the Twins last year, allowing 33 hits over 34 innings with 25 strikeouts. Left-handed hitters batted just .219 against him: 14-for-64 with 12 strikeouts.

Don’t expect them to make a run at Scott Downs. Though the Tigers love what Downs brings to the job, they don’t want to give another high-round pick as compensation for the Type A free agent. That’s the same problem many teams are facing when it comes to him.


I hope the issue of another starting pitcher does work itself out but I feel by the lack of trade rumours, no media pressure on the issue and DD’s history, he isn’t currently planning to add to his rotation.
DD obviously places more emphasis on home runs than shut out games , and I suppose in a business sense the home runs bring people back more than a 2-1 win.
I just don’t see any smoke where DD may make a move, noting in the past 5 seasons, we have had only 9 pitchers with 100+ IP seasons – Bondo, Nate, Kenny, JV, Durbin, GMan, EJax, Porcello and Scherzer. Putting in the 100+ IP of course leaves out the Willis extension which unfortunately complemented the Nate and Bondo contracts.
Our starters had a 4.46 ERA for 2010 ranking 11 of 14. I could understand if we were San Diego with no funds but to have one of MLB’s highest payrolls with so much coming off the books, and your only plan to move a reliever is just plain stupidity.

That SP ERA is inflated by the high ERA from Oliver, who only stands to get better, the terrible first month of the season by Scherzer, who turned it around and doesn’t figure to ever pitch that poorly again, the D-Train experiment, and the season-long struggles of Bonderman, who doesn’t seem to be destined for the Tigers 2010 rotation. So it isn’t as bad as the numbers show heading into 2011.
That said, I would be more comfortable with a veteran guy who doesn’t cost a ton to solidy the back end in case G-Man implodes or Coke has trouble adjusting or Oliver still isn’t ready. Guys out there that could be cheap and would fit the bill include Dave Bush, Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla. These are the types of guys that could give you 175 innings of competitive ball which would help save the bullpen and each is capable of throwing a gem on any given night. But I wouldn’t overpay for any of them. If they all want $5+ mil, I would give a flier to a guy like Brandon McCarthy…

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