Dombrowski talks trade market, bullpen, Infante

Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski has not done a whole lot of talking with the media this month as the trade deadline approached. When he has, he has kept his comments guarded, and to some degree he did the same with reporters after Sunday’s win. Still, there were some comments that stood out.

His vote of confidence in his closer and second-year setup man seemed to be near the top of the list.

“All I can say is that we feel very comfortable in the ninth and eighth innings with Benoit and Smyly. I don’t know where you’re really going to go out and improve that significantly,” Dombrowski said. “Now, can you get better? We’re very young in our bullpen right now. We’re talented but we’re young. That’s really where I guess I’d leave it at this point.”

Without directly identifying his pursuit, the quote seemed to reinforce the growing perception that the Tigers are directing their search for relief help to guys who would support Benoit at closer, where he’s 10-for-10 in save chances with standout secondary numbers, rather than replace him.

His remarks on Smyly, too, seemingly indicate his work has made him a piece to build around as well, at least for the stretch run. It’s everywhere else in the bullpen where Dombrowski might use some help.

“We have some guys, and I think some of them could end up being very good for us,” Dombrowski continued. “Some days, they’re very, very good, and some days they’re not quite as good. That’s what happens when you’re young at times, but it doesn’t mean that they cannot contribute. So that’s what you look at, and I think it’s also very dependent upon how deep into the game our starters go. That makes a difference. Jim [Leyland] has always said can he use the bullpen how he wants to use it. I think he’s been able to do that since the All-Star break most of the time.”

Whether Dombrowski can swing a deal to help him do that remains to be seen. There were no remarks Sunday indicated whether or not a deal was close, but Dombrowski there was a lot of talk ongoing. He also indicated the supply-and-demand ratio on the trade market is heavily tilted, and the impact on demands is heavy.

“I think it’s more of a seller’s market,” Dombrowski said. “There are many more clubs that are looking to [buy]. There’s very few clubs that are in a position right now where they’re saying that, ‘We’re not in it,’ at least with the second Wild Card. There’s very few clubs that fit that category. …

“This is a very unusual situation. It’s a lot different. I’ve read other clubs’ comments. There are very few clubs that don’t think that they’re in a position to be able to get a playoff spot, at least the second wild card spot. So that leads to very few clubs that are willing to make moves, and a lot of clubs that want to make some type of addition. Again, you have to sit back and do your own homework, which we do on a daily basis: Who might be available? Do you have interest in that guy? And then also, what are they asking for that guy? That’s what you do at this time of year all the time. But yeah, there’s a lot of talk going on and we’ll see what happens.”

Whether that means talks are going to continue up to Wednesday’s 4 p.m. deadline is something Dombrowski says he doesn’t have a read on yet.

“I don’t really know, because you just never know about those things. You see [Matt] Garza got traded already. [Alfonso] Soriano got traded. I’m not really sure. I know what people are asking for right now with various conversations. When you talk to other general managers, you get a pulse for that. But, will clubs come off of those requests? Will they not come off of those requests?

“I always say at this time of year, things change on a daily perspective. Some clubs might say, ‘Hey, we’re close enough now that all of a sudden we’re going to be in it.’ And there might be somebody else that says, ‘You know what, it’s changed, and we’re willing to make a move.'”

Dombrowski downplayed a  sense of urgency to swing a deal, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t pushing for one.

“There’s not any sense of urgency,” he said. “I don’t feel that. You do what you can. We’ve got a good club. We’ll go about playing. We’ll see if we can improve the team and see what happens.”

He does not, however, see them having to do anything at second base, where Omar Infante’s setback with his sprained left ankle seems set to cost him another week or two.

“He’ll be back fine,” Dombrowski said. “It’ll be a little bit of time. I don’t really know a time frame at this time, but he’ll be back. And [Hernan] Perez has played very well for us with [Ramon] Santiago. If that’s our biggest problem, then we’ll be in pretty good shape. I feel comfortable with them.”

Dombrowski declined comment on anything regarding Jhonny Peralta’s link with the Biogenesis clinic in Miami and the ongoing MLB investigation.

“That’s all commissioner’s office stuff,” Dombrowski said. “They’ll let us know when they want us to know.”


trying to ‘read the tea leaves’: it sounds like they want a veteran reliever to help out in the 7th and sometimes 8th. Dotel is that guy, but who knows if he makes it back in time to contribute. seems like Bonderman maybe getting some consideration for the role, but still a longshot. The Beard is lurking out there, but again a mystery as to whether Tigers are interested, and how close he is to throwing in a game.
regarding the 2nd wild card causing more teams to be buyers…maybe they should push the trade deadline back a few weeks into mid August. that extra time could help sort the contenders from the pretenders.

good points. on a side note the tigers were not reported to be at the Beard’s pitching sessions.

One veteran reliever might be enough. A guy who doesn’t have all the ups and downs that our younger relievers experience. Stabilize it a little.
I don’t have any numbers on this, but would the increase in 4-game series this year kind of even up the packs? Seems like it would. Thus not as many clear cut buyers and sellers.

doesn’t seem like DD is going to go out and get much for us this time around. Not that it would seem like DD was going to go out and get much for us if he was going to go out and get something awesome for us. I guess someone in DD’s position is as close to a politician as i can think of in a MLB org.

@jonmorosi Sources: Tigers and Rangers have talked about a Joe Nathan trade. Price is high. At present, no momentum toward a deal.
I don’t see this happening but I’d be surprised if DD didn’t at least check into it. At this point I’m wondering if we’ll need infield help.

regardless the suspensions will only make it MORE of a sellers market. right? Maybe that is why teams have already acted (pre suspensions).

besides, morosi says drew smyly could be the one traded – so that makes essentially no sense. He also says Gregorson from the padres might be a target, and they are NOT targeting papelbon…..who seems to be trying to get out of town faster than peavy thinks he is leaving. Sox apparently asking alot.

Trading Smyly for Nathan (or anyone for that matter), would be just plain stupid.

Smyly makes no sense for both teams . Texas is looking for a bat and they have to many relievers. And Smyly is the most valuable arm in the bullpen and one of the centerpiece of the rotation in years to come.
One of the LH of the Cardinals , Scott Downs or Gonzalez from the Brewers look like better fits and but for Downs cheaper than Nathan.
Prices could go down soon:Close to the the first trade deadline , team wont risk ending with costly players in races to nowhere

It was Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that made the idiotic suggestion of Smyly for Nathan.


Aaaand that’s why I don’t follow trade rumors.

The ‪#‎Tigers‬ have acquired RHP Jose Veras from the Houston Astros in exchange for OF Danry Vasquez and PTBNL on or before 9/15. Jose Veras went 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 44 SO in 43.0 innings pitched for the Astros in 2013.

Jose Veras has inherited 3 runners this season. none have scored.

(i didn’t realize he closed in HOU. my b)

I wonder what Benoit thinks about this – I thought he was good for the job. Am I missing something, but nothing screams fantastic on this guy, but I am not one for interpreting stats very well. 3 inherited and none scored though is good. I see he saved 19 so far, did not see in how many opportunities. You knew something would happen though!!

Veras is supposed to be the setup and the closer in a pinch . Benoit is not trusted to close 4 consecutive games

They are filling a big hole. A flaw in the ointment has been remedied. Danry Vasquez was very highly thought of and a name we should keep track of but Veras gives us another quality RHP in the pen. Rondon is not an effective solution and this will help big time. I don’t think they will close with Veras unless Benoit indicates otherwise.
That lefty in the pen question still remains. It would be great to find a quality solution there too but I think they are going to try to go with Downs.
Nice work DD

No surprise with Veras or Vasquez. The former was always mentioned and Vasquez was the 4 or 5th prospect in the organization . After, The KRod trade the prices went up.

I expected the prices to go down with not many trades made so far

I would guess Rondon or Reed go down. Probably Reed.

ok Luke?

The Tigers like Luke a lot

Jose Veras was my target back in May. Solid addition to our bullpen but do we need one more?? How many Jose’s will we have in the bullpen on August 1st??

has Jose Potato come back from his “family related issue” yet?

He pitched last Saturday., another tortured save.

Yes, we need a LH that can get out RH.

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