This time of year always makes me a little crazy. Rumors are all over the place, they are often contradictory and 96% of it is noise. Bits and pieces of information flow freely, some of it is legitimate, some of it is probably intentionally false (on the part of the source, not the reporter), and some of it is completely made up (see the Milton Bradley to the Tigers rumors). But it is always intriguing.
On the Tigers there haven’t been many new revelations. Dave Dombrowski said that the return of Carlos Guillen wouldn’t prevent the Tigers from still going after a bat. That type of acquisition would likely mean bad things for Marcus Thames and/or Ryan Raburn as Guillen is locked into DH at least for the time being. One target, Josh Willingham, made news by hitting grand slams in 2 consecutive at-bats last night. The Giants were also believed to be interested in Willingham, but they just acquired Ryan Garko.
The other Tigers need that is floating about is for a back-up catcher. Leyland doesn’t seem to have any faith in Dusty Ryan as Laird has played every game but 2 (and one of those was the back end of a double header) since the All Star break. I don’t think that Laird can handle the workload he’s under right now (his numbers are quite similar to the only other time he was a full time catcher 224/278/349 in 2007 and 235/315/353 this year), but I don’t know that the Tigers will be able to improve on what they have. Perhaps Baltimore would part with Gregg Zaun who has a 815 OPS when hitting from the left side this year.
Bless You Boys has pretty thoroughly covered the Pirates trade possibilities. For a team that struggles so much, they always seem to have worthwhile players to spin off at the trade deadline. The Tigers could be looking at Zach Duke or a middle infielder.
Finally, one of the areas of trade rumor mongering that I find to be most interesting is the after-the-fact stuff that comes out. Like the back story surrounding the Indians and the Mariners/Mets three way trade that spurred the Edwin Jackson/Matt Joyce deal. In this case, BYB points us to a column by Gordon Edes about the Tigers involvement in the Matt Holliday sweepstakes.
The Detroit Tigers were in hard on Matt Holliday(notes) before he went to the Cardinals, but Oakland turned down a package that included the Tigers’ top shortstop prospect, Cale Iorg. Right-handed pitcher Freddy Dolsi(notes), currently on the DL, would have gone to the Athletics as a player to be named later.
Presumably it should be Alfredo Figaro and not Freddy Dolsi. That was a fair offer, but given the A’s preference for performance and Iorg’s struggles with the bat this year, it’s not surprising they balked.
The Twins are having some issues of their own with Kevin Slowey now out for the season due to a wrist injury. This comes on the heels of Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer begging the front office to make a move. A move or non-move could have longer term implications when it comes to Mauer’s willingness to resign in Minnesota.
One potential target is A’s shortstop Orlando Cabrera who has caught fire in July. But Billy Beane’s asking price is apparently too high. The Twins also asked the Blue Jays about Roy Halladay but the Twins aren’t one of the Doc approved teams.