As the Trade Winds Blow

With a week before the non-waiver trade deadline, rumors are flying everywhere. A quick round-up of Tigers items of note so far:

It appears that the Tigers had scouts at the Orioles/Blue Jays game when A.J. Burnett started. Whether they were scouting Burnett or lefty reliever George Sherrill is unclear. The Tigers could of course use some starter help, and there is a belief they are looking for a lefty reliever also.

The starter isn’t a surprise, but the Tigers could always turn to Clay Rapada. And while I haven’t been a proponent of Casey Fossum, he has been pretty good in his last 7 outings. He’s stranded 8 of the last 10 runners he’s inherited and fanned 11 in his last 14.1 innings. Plus he’s had 3.1 and 4.1 inning games. I’m not saying there isn’t room to upgrade, but would that be the best use of limited chits?

Jayson Stark notes that the Tigers are offering Gary Sheffield. He could still fetch a player or two if the Tigers pay the bulk of the salary. The mildly surprising part is that Stark lists a young shortstop on the Tigers wish list. Yes Renteria has been awful, but I’d guess the Tigers would look for a stop gap. Mike Hollimon is more of a second baseman, but could fill in at short and some combination of Cale Iorg, Danny Worth, and even longer shot/higher ceiling player Audy Ciriaco could be reading within a year or year and a half. The Renteria 1 year/1 option year contract was attractive for that reason (before the sucking of course).

And then in the old news department the Marlins inquired on Pudge Rodriguez. Pudge is having a very solid year – not a $13 million year – but he does probably represent the best production that could be available at the position. Rodriguez would likely fetch 2 draft picks should the Tigers offer arbitration and he declines. I’d view the declining as likely because he’d probably pursue a multi-year contract.

Of course the intensity of any buying or selling on the Tigers part is likely to pick up following this weekend tilt with the White Sox.