Another Tigers trade? Maybe, but not big
Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski didn’t rule out another trade before Sunday afternoon’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. But judging from his remarks, if something does happen, it’s likely to be a smaller swap. The roster, for the most part, is set.
“I don’t know if we’ll do anything,” Dombrowski said Saturday afternoon after announcing the trade for Doug Fister and David Pauley.
“I mean, we continue to talk to people, see if there’s ways to make our club better. Again, you never tell what comes out of the blue at this point. Anything can come out of the blue. But our starting pitching, we feel this solidifies our starting rotation. We’re not going to make any moves with our positional players. The way our club settles is the way it is. I guess if there’s one spot that came out of the blue, it might be a bullpen situation, but if we finished here, we’d be happy.”
The Tigers reportedly remain in the mix for Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez, but it’s difficult to see them pulling off a deal unless the Rockies’ asking price drops dramatically. After reports Friday night suggested the Rockies wanted Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer, Dombrowski said Saturday that any trade discussion involving their current starters is and has been a non-starter.
“We have never, ever contemplated trading anybody off our starting staff at this level,” Dombrowski said. “That never has been part of any conversations. Have we been asked for that? Yes. Have we ever contemplated or talked about that? No.
“And when you really stop and think about it, it would make no sense whatsoever, because you’re trying to plug a hole and you just created another hole.”
Conceivably, the Tigers could trade a starter and upgrade to another starter now that Fister is in the fold. But the core group of the Tigers rotation looks very much intact. When Dombrowski talked about his starting staff and where Turner fits in, he talked about them as a long-term group.
Ace Justin Verlander is under contract for three more seasons. Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer don’t hit free agency until the same time. With that in mind, part of the appeal for the Tigers with Fister was that they can keep him for four more years after this before he can become a free agent.
“We’re very happy,” Dombrowski said. “All of a sudden, you look forward and we’re in a spot where you have Verlander and Scherzer and Porcello, who we can see now starting to dial it up like he’s capable, and Fister, who’s a very good pitcher. Four young guys, four guys for an extended period, and we still have Jacob Turner behind them.”
The most likely area for a last-second deal would be the bullpen, where Charlie Furbush’s trade to Seattle removes arguably the most versatile piece of Detroit’s relief corps. More than a long reliever, Furbush was finding his way into specialist situations at times after moving out of the rotation, given his high-strikeout arsenal.
Daniel Schlereth now appears likely to stick around along with Phil Coke, but the Tigers still have to help David Purcey rediscover his command given his recent spat of walks. They could also yet find a seventh-inning arm to complement Al Alburquerque, who remains unavailable while the team medical staff addresses inflammation around his right elbow.