November 27th, 2011
The Tigers have been in contact with the agent for free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, an industry source confirmed to MLB.com. At this point, though, there are no negotiations going on to bring the former Cubs slugger to Detroit.
SI.com senior writer Jon Heyman first reported the Tigers’ inquiry, which took place earlier this month. The two sides supposedly haven’t talked since, but that isn’t unusual given the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether talks pick up into serious discussions remains to be seen. Free-agent negotiations and trade talks traditionally pick up in the days leading into baseball’s Winter Meetings, and that’s expected to be the case here, too, at least to see if there’s a fit.
For the Tigers, who have been looking for at least one more piece to their offense, it’s an interesting fit. The Tigers’ biggest need has supposedly been for a hitter to place near the top of the order, in front of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Delmon Young. Ramirez is a classic middle-of-the-order power hitter, with six 100-RBI seasons to his credit. After two injury-shortened seasons, he rebounded for 93 RBIs to go with a .306 average and 26 home runs in 149 games this year.
The Tigers return Brandon Inge for 2012, the back half of the two-year contract he signed last fall, and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski has mentioned Inge in a possible platoon with superutilityman Don Kelly. All the while, though, the Tigers have remained open to an offensive upgrade.