With the deals for LaTroy Hawkins and Brandon Lyon it appears that the market for “back end of the bullpen pitchers who could potentially set-up or close” may be getting steep for the Tigers. And with that the club may turn to in house options.
Jason Beck spoke with Dave Dombrowski who said that a return of Fernando Rodney is unlikely calling it a “long shot.” More frightening though is that the team is viewing Joel Zumaya as a legitimate option for the closer role.
I’m on board with not sinking a lot of money into a bullpen. I think the Tigers have done a good job the last few years of mixing young guys, minor league free agents, and fringy closer material guys together the last few years. It’s a quantity over quality approach where you hope enough guys make it work each year.
But going into a season with Zumaya competing for the role of closer is a ridiculous gamble and yet another reason to question the clubs intention to compete in 2010. In 2006 Zumaya was incredible. He hasn’t been healthy or effective since then. The velocity is certainly still there, but the results haven’t been for too long to “count on him.”
Ryan Perry and the newly acquired Daniel Schlereth would like be competing for such a role as well so all the eggs aren’t in Zumaya’s incredibly fragile basket. Still, those other options are particularly assuring at this point in their career either.