Day 1 wrapup: No on Reyes, unlikely on Buehrle; maybe on Dotel?

While the Tigers were relatively quiet as these Winter Meetings got underway at the Hilton Anatole, we had some issues cleared up.

For one, that long-speculated chase for Jose Reyes never happened.

“We didn’t have any [discussions],” team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday as the Marlins readied to celebrate their reported six-year agreement with Reyes.

Reyes is the clubhouse leader for the Werth-Crawford award for the big-name free agent the Tigers were linked to but were never close on. But the Tigers were never really linked to Reyes. They were viewed more as an outside possibility by other clubs.

They have been linked in some reports on Mark Buehrle, one of the top free-agent starting pitchers, but Dombrowski said Detroit would most likely not be in for a long-term deal with a starting pitcher.

“”You’re open to being in a position where you listen to anything,” Dombrowski said, “but we think if we have our four starters that are established, that we would go in with a young guy as our fifth starter. We’ve said that all along, really. We’ve said we’re open-minded to things, but no, we’re very happy to go in with one. We think we might have more than one that might be able to step up.

“Now when I say that, you’re looking for them to be your fifth starter. You’re not looking for him to be your first starter. But we feel comfortable to do that. Now, what we have talked about is potentially signing a veteran-type guy that could protect us, that could also slide into the bullpen.”

As for a long-term deal for a starter, Dombrowski said, “Well, I’d say that most likely we would not be heading in that direction. … That’s really not the focus we have.”

Jon Morosi of reported earlier Monday that the Tigers are not currently in discussions on Buehrle.

If the Tigers go with Jacob Turner or another young starter, or even if they go with a low-risk veteran on a one-year deal, one way Dombrowski suggested they could bolster their chances is through bullpen depth to bridge the gap. That’s where Octavio Dotel or another free agent reliever could come in.

According to’s Jesse Sanchez, the Tigers met Monday with representatives for free-agent reliever Octavio Dotel. They also had discussions before these Winter Meetings. The Cardinals, Brewers and Mets also are reportedly interested in Dotel, who won a World Series in St. Louis back in October.

“I think there’s a lot of candidates out there for that job,” he continued, “and we have our priorities in who we like. There’s a lot of guys that pitch in that type of role [that are available].”


Things seem a little askew at this point. Wonder if the A’s would like some outfielders for Gio Gonzalez? I’m not real keen on the Turner and group in the rotation idea. We need to quit rushing these kids.

Jacob Turner as #5? Not ready.

I’d like to let Turner mature for one more year in the Minors myself. Or a spot start or two during the year would be good too. I think though that the reservations or doubt some are expressing is based on his last start for the Tigers last year. It wasn’t a good situation for him to be in and I put that responsibility directly on Leyland. One more win by a different pitcher and our playoff sitiation would have been different, besides the fact that Turner wasn’t in shape for that start.

I agree that someone from the group of young arms could easily be a 5th starter. However, the question is one of wins and how competitive can the Tigers be with whatever situation they are in. While I don’t expect Verlander and company to have the career years or the MVP again I do expect that with the addition of Fister and maturation of Scherzer and Porcello that there would be more wins in the mix. 10 wins out of the 5th spot in the rotation should be enough to land us in the post season again as long as our hitting and especially fielding improve.

I like the Tigers odds next year as long as DD and Leyland don’t become complacent and actually set some term team goals and build the team for long term success

I agree with your thought on the reservations or doubts of some folks regarding Turner and his two starts last year. I’m very high on Turner and want him to develop properly. Our rotation is in nowhere near the shape it was going into 2009 when Porcello was necessary.

Luis Ayala. He looks far better option than Dotel. And on a long term basis . He could be the setup once Valverde leave the team

I saw a lot of Ayala in 2005 with Washington. He was good in spots. I’m not familiar with how the Yankees used him. He is younger than Dotel.

Nice to see Andy Dirks playing winter ball. He is playing very well, hitting for average and power and has stolen his share of bases as well. I must say I would rather part with Raburn than Andy.

People are beginning to think that Cespedes will be our big signing this winter and I’m beginning to think that will indeed be the case.

the trade rumors are indicating as such

I don’t imagine DD was involved in much re Nakajima. Probably going to be expensive. He does play short and runs and hits very well. Should be an interesting player in the bigs. I know he won’t be a Tiger and understand the rationale of not pursuing a player like this.
But we do need a leadoff hitter. AJ would be far better off if he was not required to lead off.

I wish they’d get Pujols and Fielder out of the way and see where the chips will fall.

Anybody think that what the Marlins are trying to do is totally irresponsible? Ten-year contracts for a club that may not draw once the new stadium aura wears off? That could be within two years. You still have to pitch to win, no matter how many big name position players you get. This looks like a disaster in the making. And no-trade clauses, no less.

Well, I think it’s a little insane.

Well, here’s something new: Brandon Inge was involved in a 6 car pileup yesterday. Roads were icy and he slid right through an intersection. No one was hurt. You can imagine the comments written in the Freep. ie, he finally ran into something, etc……………

At MLive will be even better ( or worse from BInge prespective)

I agree Rich on the irresponsibility issue, looks like an advanced case of ‘hope and dream’ albiet a Florida version. What I don’t know is how deep are the owner’s pockets? We have Illich who seems to make very good buisiness decisions when it comes to his spending. I thinks somebody must know thier balance sheet quite well in the Tigers camp. I just hope MLB is looking over the Marlins sholder.

If we are looking for relievers, make sure they are proven and exceptional.
Is Cespedes a viable leadoff candidate?
Is Polanco really avalilable?

It feels like DD is ready to pounce. If Polanco came back and could hit in the 2 or 3 hole with a vialble leadoff hitter I would even drop all reservations about keeping Inge at 3rd most of the time. I do think that Brandon could take a breather more often with Kelley and it would improve his entire game.

I know that intersection. Glad no one was hurt, so I guess people can fire away with the jokes. Some of them have actually been quite good. Think of it, you jump out of your car ready to tear someone a new one and Brandon Inge comes walking up. “NOW you start to hit?!?”
I will admit that Buehrle wanting four years is too much. Guess we can drop that idea. I was down with three, but not four. I would like to fill that spot with a lefty, however.
The Polanco rumor is interesting, but I don’t think that’s happening. Would be cool to have Polly in the secondbase rotation.

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