Could Tigers swing a trade for starting pitching?

The Tigers headed into the final full day before Thursday afternoon’s non-waiver trade deadline in much the same position as they were over the weekend — still looking for relief help, notably left-handed, still seemingly finding the asking prices high. The same supply-and-demand issues that inflated the market coming into the heart of the traded still hold, at prices resembling the starting pitching market in a lot of years, and the late-inning relief market already.

Which begs the question: If the Tigers would have to pay prices for another reliever resembling that for a starter, could they simply trade for a starter instead, then move lefty Drew Smyly back to the bullpen?

It might not be that far-fetched. One AL talent evaluator raised the possibility earlier in the month. And while there’s nothing suggesting a deal is close, there are signs not to rule it out.

The Rays have had a scout watching the Tigers’ Double-A Erie team since early last week, including Jake Thompson’s start just before his trade to Texas in the package for Joakim Soria. The SeaWolves are currently in Altoona facing the Double-A affiliate of the Pirates, whose search for starting help and deep prospect ranks have made them a much-speculated suitor for starting pitching. The scout, however, is believed to be watching both clubs.

Six weeks ago, the Tigers and Rays seemed like a logical match for Ben Zobrist, but shortstop is no longer a trade target in Detroit. While the Rays have relievers who would carry some appeal on the trade market, there’s little urgency to make a deal. Their main remaining trade bait, even amidst their charge back into the AL East race, is David Price.

It’s shaky at best that the Rays would decide to buck their recent charge and trade Price. If they did, even with the Tigers enjoying some depth in prospects, they can’t match other clubs in what they can offer. If Pittsburgh to St. Louis were to make a serious run, their best push would beat anything the Tigers could come up with, especially after trading Thompson and Corey Knebel to Texas. Something crazy would have to happen. Still, it’s interesting to have the Rays scouting them.

Meanwhile, a Tigers senior scout spent the weekend in Houston, where the Astros were swept by the Marlins. Both clubs have lefty relievers rumored to be on the trade market — Mike Dunn for Miami, Tony Sipp for Houston. However, the Marlins aren’t expected to sell, according to reports, and the Astros aren’t inclined to deal relievers at this point. By contrast, the Astros are reportedly more willing to deal from a surplus of starters.

If the Tigers traded a starter and shuffled Smyly back to relief, it would certainly be an end-around to address their pitching needs. The problem is that it doesn’t actually add to their bullpen depth when it counts. Though Smyly has spent all season in Detroit’s rotation, he’s likely to shift to the bullpen in October anyway, since the Tigers need just four starters for the postseason. Essentially, then, all a trade would do is put Smyly in the bullpen sooner. So if the Tigers were to trade for a starter, he’d have to be be worth it.

That said, trading for a starter who’s under control for next year could conceivably help fill the void if Max Scherzer leaves as a free agent at season’s end.

28 Comments

Cole Hammels, under control for several more years. I think the Tigers would have to deal one of their starting OF’s and several good prospects to make it happen. Raji Davis and several others would be my thoughts.

I f you mean Price, even if they need to add a MLB player from the current roster, that would be great. They would be contenders for years to come .

Keuchel , who .supposedly, is on the trade block wont be a bad option either

Price:
“This is my last start for the Rays….IN JULY!!! been up and been ready!!!”

2011, 2013, 2014 issues at SS by the deadline. I hop eit is Zobrist and not Drew the next week

wow, last night was rough. I rarely turn a game off but I did last night. The fielding was horrible – they looked like they were at the end of a long road trip instead of starting a series at home after a day off. Soria – yikes…

Gage:
“Ausmus: “We certainly haven’t seen the real Joakim Soria. This is a very good relief pitcher – a closer having an outstanding year.”

Soria, like many closers, do better when they start an inning fresh. Coming in with 2 on, having to pitch from the stretch immediately is troublesome for a guy that didn’t give up many runners.

Is Zobrist out of the radar after Suarez show last night? do they really want Romine and Kelly simultaneously if both rookies like last night are out? or gamble with Miguel on a daily basis?

They could trade Robbie Ray to Washington for Doug Fister.
You had to know someone would say this……..

wishful thinking!

Has been said.. . Seriously: Ray, Adames, Moya, VerHagen would be the equivalent for Price

Forget it. Price won’t help if we can’t score 3 runs a game.

It’s our offense that’s absolutely killing the team. They can’t string together hits, they are not running the bases with confidence, they are not getting the BIG hit when needed, they do not have Ian Kinsler contributing ANYTHING offensively.
I repeat my mantra of late: get rid of Rajai Davis while he is hitting .300.
Something is wrong with Rajai. He is not willing to run anymore and if this is the case he instantly becomes 75% less effective—at least. He is a liability in the field, we’ve actually been lucky with him this year so far, every team will run on his arm and most of the time they will benefit from the decision. Rajai often doesn’t even bother throwing home some times and will elect to just throw to 2nd base.
If Torii is playing RF at the same time the OF is seriously compromised.
I think they could get something for Rajai. He is not energizing this team like he did at the beginning of the year. How would we replace him? Easy, with Ezequiel Carrera who is a LHB, can hit, can fly on the bases and who is an excellent defender.
Nobody else on the roster would generate much interest. Sure I’d like to see Avila gone but what would do behind the plate then? And the truth is I’ll bet not one GM has asked DD about his availability.
As to Kinsler-I suspect he will get out of it soon but why not bat him leadoff? He was hitting a tonne there, bat AJ 2nd. Maybe this will make a difference. I still say bat Casty ahead of Miggy for a little while to see what happens.
Kinsler
AJ
Casty
Miggy
Victor
JD
Hunter
Avila
Suarez

Unfortunately, I do not see much of a market for Rajai.

I haven’t seen the lineup yet but I cringe at the possibility of Kelly; Avila; Romine at the bottom of it today.

They are scoring 4.66 a game and Price would replace Scherzer and make them contenders for years so he is worth half of the top 10 Tigers prospects.. I wont happen. I guess Zobrist is the target. I hope so, if not we will see Drew soon,he will clear waivers easily

Iott:
Both are day to day, but Nick Castellanos seems more likely to play Wednesday than Eugenio Suarez. That’s just my opinion/educated guess.

Im elaborating the view of a Venezuelan journalist, Humberto Acosta.: paraphrasing him:No team will score more than 5 runs per game. Your pitching staff , like the 90´s Braves must be solid and keep the other team from scoring.
Tigers 4.66 runs /game , fourth in MLB, runs differential 36. Oak: 5.04 only team above 5 in MLB. Run differential:139 why? 3.14 ERA. third best in MLB Tigers: 4.04, 23 th.
Counter-fact: the Tigers has the fourth best record in 1 run games. How many times they went ahead and the bullpen barely kept the other team in check?

These numbers may have more to do with a hitter going good or bad at the time, but Kinsler is hitting .332 leading off and .258 hitting second. Lest we forget, his career BA is .274.
Jackson’s best numbers are at leadoff, 5th, and 7th.
Again, I think it’s probably where the manager was putting the guy while he went through a hot/cold spell. There’s really no explanation for why a player/team hits or not at any given time. They will usually hit their season norms by year’s end.

Lineup vs. CWS: Jackson 8, Kinsler 4, Cabrera 3, V. Martinez DH, Hunter 9, J. Martinez 7, Castellanos 5, Avila 2, Romine 6. Scherzer starts.

So wait, now they are talking about moving Smyly back to the pen? So tell me again why the **** they traded Doug Fister???

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honestly, just my opinion, but putting smyly in the pen is crazy talk. he’s a starter!
if we really want to shore up the pen, how about putting max there? he’d dominate. but see? it makes no sense to put someone who can go 6-7 innings in a position where he pitches only 1 or 2. it’d be a waste of talent.
sorry for the sarcasm. but starters in the BP are for those “win or go home” type situations. i know this is a “win now” year. but certainly altering smyly’s development & career path shouldn’t be the answer.

head scratch. i didn’t put that link/pingback in. it must be flawed website formatting that makes it appear that i did. ??

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