The free agent pool is getting shallower

Several of the players the Tigers have expressed interest in have signed, or are on the cusp of signing with other teams.

Jeff Kent signed a two year deal with the Dodgers. Troy Glaus signed a 4 year, $45 million deal with Arizona. And Steve Finley appears ready to sign a two year deal with California.

While I don’t think the Tigers were chasing Kent that hard, all reports indicated that they were agressively pursuing Finley and Glaus. The money Finley is signing for is comparable to what the Tigers reportedly offered. The Glaus contract seems to be on the high side given Glaus’ recent injuries. If Glaus can return to his previous form, and play 3rd base then it seems to be a fair price. However, if his shoulder isn’t fully repaired and he has to play first base. In any case, it would have been nice to add any of these bats to the Tigers’ lineup.

While some of the bigger names are still out there, and the Tigers have been linked with those names (Beltre, Beltran, Pavano) getting those guys will be difficult. It sounds like Pavano is leaning towards Boston or New York. However, the Tigers still have an outside shot at the Belt-boys. If Beltran’s 10 year demand manages to scare enough people off, he may be available late like Pudge was last year. As for Beltre, Frank McCourt’s heavy borrowing may make it difficult to spend like a big market club. When he bought the Dodgers, he financed pretty much all of it. A big chunk of it is a personal $145 million loan from Fox Corp that is due in 2006.

Hopefully the Tigers will still be able to make some headlines during the winter meetings.