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 FOXSports.com 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 MLB.com’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].”