Dombrowski talks free agent closers, trading starters at GM meetings

I’m not at the GM Meetings this week in Florida, but columnist and MLB Network contributor Richard Justice is. He was in the mix when Dave Dombrowski talked with reporters about Detroit’s offseason priorities. Long story short, Dombrowski confirmed the Tigers are chasing free-agent closers, while all but confirming they’re listening to trade interest on their starters.

“What are our immediate needs? We could use a closer, but we’re discussing those in free agency,” Dombrowski said when asked if he could trade a starter to address immediate needs. “We have six starters when you include Smyly. We’re not looking to trade them per se. We’re always open minded to see what works for us.”

Dombrowski declined to go any further into the trade possibility, though he reportedly told Jon Morosi of that he expects Smyly to be in the rotation next year. On the closer angle, he gave every indication that they’ll fill the post via free agency, not in a trade.

“We need to address our bullpen a little bit,” he said. “We need to come up with a closer, and I think we will.”

So far, the Tigers have been linked in reports to interest in Joe Nathan, Brian Wilson and Grant Balfour. Also out there are Joaquin Benoit, Fernando Rodney and Chris Perez, among others. I’m thinking they’ll come up with a closer, too, whether it’s Nathan or someone else. The bigger question arguably is how they see the rest of the bullpen. On that note, it’s probably not a coincidence that Dombrowski said losing Rondon for the postseason was huge.

“Getting him back, which we believe we will, and you have a closer, all of a sudden, it changes your situation a great deal,” Dombrowski said. “We think our bullpen would have been fine [in the postseason] if we’d had him back.”

One more note from Dombrowski’s session today: When asked about Nick Castellanos competing for the left-field job next spring, he gave it a tentative thumbs-up.

“Well, right now we’re giving him an opportunity to make our club,” Dombrowski said. “Left field was one spot this year where we really didn’t have that regular guy. [Castellanos] got a cup of coffee in September just to get him exposed to the big leagues. We’re thinking he has a chance to earn that spot or a lot of playing time out there. We have a complement of guys like Dirks and Kelly to go along with him. We like him. We think he’s ready to play.”


so he’s saying they’re bringing back don kelly….(said lloyd xmas style)
IMO you pair Dirks and Cast in LF next year platoon/hot hand style. 2 birds (test Dirks one more year, get Cast significant MLB playing time) with 1 stone. Cast’s defense will likely be the bigger hurdle I assume.

It would make sense. Dirks can play all three outfield spots, so he makes sense to stick around.

I agree Cast /Dirks in LF due to high payroll. I think it will be Fister that is traded because he brings the most value back. We need Max for another year even if he walks after this year. Unless we can get the Kendrick in a trade I would not be surprise to see Perez at 2b next year.

after the offseason roster shuffle is over, some important questions will linger:
what to do with Andy Dirks after last season’s results? a conundrum for the GM.
what is Jackson’s best fit in the batting order?
is Avila a regular C or a platoon C?

is Avila a regular C or a platoon C….. has been a running question for several years now, no?

It would have to be a blockbuster to trade Max.

Ugh, please not Perez…

his .445OPS in 71 PAs didn’t impress you?

See might be talking about Chris Perez.

I’d be interested in C. Perez as a bullpen piece! He seems to not like cleveland!

It’s that time of year again!!!! Let me give you a hint: “no team has mortgaged its future to win now quite like the Tigers.” Yep you guessed it: Baseball America’s Farm System ranking released yesterday!

Wow. Surprised nobody at Erie made the Eastern League Top 20.

Chris Perez was prepared to let his dog take the fall for a drug bust. That’s not being a good team mate.

tigers say they will listen to offers on Prince. merry christmas everyone!

Cameron thinks 48 MM would do the trick.
Still surprised that Tigers fans have no problem with trading Scherzer and jump at the sole mention of trading Porcello.
And no way they trade Fister. He will have the longest career among Tiger starters.He, and Sanchez ,are what Verlander and Scherzer will need to be in the future: finesse pitchers.

Did he try to forge the dogs signature?

Sad to see people use xmas. It is Christmas!

Sorry to go off topic here, and Jason, please feel free to remove this post, but this is a pet peeve of mine. DB, please read this regarding abbreviating Christmas as Xmas:: I”m not going to say any more, but that abbreviation has been in use for centuries (I remmeber it when I was a kid, not that I’m centuries old but I remember it from the early 1960s!). It’s not there to remove the meaning of Christmas.

Max—Cy Young!


you da man MAX!!

Hernan Perez just debuted with Leones del Caracas.Playing SS
Danny Dorn is hitting 326 with 4 HR 16 RBI .414 OBP 558 slg 972 OPS 25 games 84 AB

Time to extend Fister. 2 years before FA

Definitely. I saw his name mentioned on MLB Trade Rumors as someone they might be shopping–I sure hope it isn’t true.

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