Bullpen woes spawn trade talk

Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Tigers bullpen headaches have the team talking trade. Morosi notes that there have been “general discussions” with the Cubs. Chicago has become a favorite trading partner of Dombrowski with the two clubs completing five trades during DD’s tenure.

Morosi notes that the Cubs may be interested in a right handed hitter who could play center. Like maybe Inge. There is the Alan Trammell factor and a recommendation from the bench coach could come into play.

MLB Trade Rumors throws out the name Ryan Dempster as a potential target. Dempster will turn 31 and make $5.5 million this year, so for 2008 anyways the salaries would work out. Dempster fanned 7.43 per 9 innings last year while walking 4.05 per 9 and posting a 4.51 FIP. In other words he’s a poor man’s Jason Grilli (7 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 3.85 FIP). Well, with some saves.

As for the current bullpen candidates, well, umm, yeah:

  • Matt Mantei’s arm went pop and he’s retiring and was released
  • Fernando Rodney threw for the first time today in a couple weeks. He made 15 throws from 60 feet. But that doesn’t provide a lot of hope at this point given his history.
  • Francisco Cruceta still hasn’t made it into the country.  At this point I wonder if the Tigers could get him through waivers.
  • And Todd Jones was rocked today for 6 runs in an inning.  But that’s probably less of a concern at this point.
  • At least Denny Bautista has looked good in his limited time with 3 scoreless innings.
  • I find it interesting that Yorman Bazardo has only thrown 1 inning. I thought he’d be a strong candidate to make the team given his option status.

16 thoughts on “Bullpen woes spawn trade talk”

  1. You beat me to the punch on Cruceta. I was about to suggest slipping him through waivers now before he has a chance to have a nice spring.

    I hope the right-handed hitter who can play center is Inge and not Raburn. I have a hunch the Tigers will regret their treatment of Ryan Raburn.

  2. One more comment. I hate to jump on a premature diagnosis of Rodney’s condition, but biceps and shoulder tendonitis is a bit worrisome if for no other reason than the fact that the labrum tears that typically plague pitchers occur where the biceps connect to the glenoid labrum.

    I’m not counting on Rodney this year… or Zumaya for that matter. I do, on the other hand, have faith that the likes of Bazardo, Miner, Bautista, and yes even Grilli can be solid relievers for the team. It may be misplaced faith, but stranger things have happened, and I’d hate to see the Tigers go out and trade a player like Raburn for a reliever who doesn’t help any more than those guys do. Relievers are a strange breed.

  3. I’m hoping the lack of Bazardo appearances is a result of his father’s passing, not a lack of interest or confidence on the Tigers’ part. I think he would be a good choice to regularly work in the bullpen and make starts if there’s a rotation injury. We didn’t get to see Bazardo much last year, but his circle change appeared superb.

    As for Dempster, I cringed when I first read his name on MLBTR. It seemed every time I watched the tail end of a Cubs game on WGN, Dempster would enter in a Jones-like fashion and leave everyone biting their nails. Even though he wouldn’t be our closer, I don’t want to have that feeling with two people in our bull-pen.

  4. Good point about Bazardo. That had slipped my mind and he probably missed what would have been his first appearance.

    Eddie – I agree on all counts. I think Rodney will be good for 2-3 months this year, spread out of course. Zumaya doing anything would be a bonus.

  5. I don’t think they have enough interest in Bazardo.

    Infact, there were times late last season I kept wondering why they didnt throw him out there and give him a larger chance…

  6. I had a really vivid dream last night that Jacque Jones was traded for a catcher with the initials MM. I can’t quite grasp the name. Help me out here. I’m pretty sure he exists.

  7. i used to look at the yankee lineup and think the same thing i’m thinking about the tigers today…how can you spend that much money and have so many potential holes in the lineup.

  8. Honestly the bullpen woes are kind of overstated. Cumulatively they were just slightly below league average in ’07, which looks bad. That’s until you remember that Joe Table and Capellan were prominently involved in those numbers. I’m no mathematician, but I think 26 ER in 25.2 IP is going to inflate the group’s ERA. Note that neither of those guys are on the club anymore. Add in some innings thrown by guys named Aquilino Lopez and that further skews the numbers. The core group is, at very least, serviceable. I’m more concerned with the defense on the left side of the infield. That’s going to be a horror show.

  9. Dempster is awful. It’s baffling that the Cubs are considering putting him in the rotation when he’s had one good season (out of 6) as a starter. He’s also had exactly one good season (out of 3) as a reliever. Career WHIP of 1.55. This is a guy we want to pay $5.5 million to instead of Inge? He’s just not any better than the guys we already have, now imagine him pitching in the AL Central.

    It’s going to be tough to trade for bullpen help until we get closer to the end of spring and teams figure who they need to fill holes from injuries and who can’t get through waivers. Zach Miner is a guy they could call upon if they need, and if they get healthy later, he has options to be sent down.

    I won’t even discuss the lack of fit Inge is for the Cubs.

  10. Just noticed on mlbtraderumors that….

    MetsBlog passes along a Jon Heyman WFAN appearance tidbit. The SI.com writer said the Mets and Tigers are discussing a Marcus Thames for Jorge Sosa swap. Thames definitely fits the Mets’ needs, though Sosa seems a little light for him.

    Double ugh. Sosa is only marginally better than Dempster. And since Marcus figures to get 300 ABs this year, I would venture that getting only Sosa back is indeed very light.

  11. Well keeping in mind that rumors are just that – rumors – I’d lean more towards Dempster than Sosa. Mostly I look at his K rate to make that decision (he kills Sosa on that front). Plus when he falls apart, he’s got the whole built in ‘Dumpster’ nickname and all. I don’t really think either guy is worth getting excited over. I’d rather hang on to Thames and/or Inge and use an internal option if the need arises for relief help. Odds are you’ll get similar production from a guy like Tata or Vasquez or someone like that if you need to.

  12. Ken, the only possibility I can find is Miguel Montero of the D-Rays. Thus concludes my dream-research for the day.

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