I think it’s clear that the Tigers bullpen situation will be an on going saga. It’s been the lead story leading up to Tigerfest and will likely hold that distinction throughout spring training (unless of course someone gets injured in the World Baseball Classic). Without an established and healthy closer available, anyone that is brought in to help the pen wouldn’t be a lock to close games anyways.
Continue reading Like sands through the hourglass
As we move closer to spring training, the Tigers bullpen still remains highly questionable. This hasn’t bothered me for the most part due to the number of options on the market. And while still not bothered, I am growing more concerned as two more of those options are close to signing deals.
Trevor Hoffman doesn’t appear to be an option as he mulls over a one year offer from the Dodgers amidst reports that he is close to a deal with the Brewers.
Another intriguing possibility, Michigan native John Smoltz, is set to sign with the Red Sos for a $5.5 million base and incentives that could push the deal to $10 million.
I don’t know how excited I would be about either option, but knowing they were out there made me feel better about the Tigers situation. The market for relievers isn’t barren yet. Juan Cruz is in compensation pick purgatory and Brandon Lyon is still available. But the only Tigers rumor floating is that they will watch Chad Cordero throw, along with a third of the league. For a bullpen that has exactly one member who is both productive and not a huge injury risk (Bobby Seay), that doesn’t really instill the warm fuzzies.
With the World Series officially over after the longest game 5 ever, I half (actually more than half) expected the Tigers to make a trade today. When I saw a press release come across I thought my intuition was correct. Instead it was a compilation of roster moves and the hiring of a bullpen coach.
The Tigers rehired Jeff Jones to be the bullpen coach after firing him at the end of the season. I don’t find it that surprising or awkward. Jones had been all but assured a role in the organization and his firing was more related to the dismissal of Chuck Hernandez. I’d imagine Rick Knapp had the freedom to look elsewhere, but decided to stick with Jones.
The Tigers also announced that Dane Sardinha and Gary Glover had been outrighted and both decided to become free agents. As I imagined when Virgil Vasquez was claimed, he was one of several the team were pruning. Eddie speculates on the motivation for the Tigers keeping Eddie Bonine and Mike Hessman on the big league roster.
Another spot on the 40 man roster was freed when the Tigers formally declined Edgar Renteria’s option. This is hardly news though since Dave Dombrowki indicated as much a month ago.
Declaring free agency was Freddy Garcia. Garcia is still in the long toss stage after leaving the last game of the year with tightness in his greater shoulder area. Don’t read too much into this as it is merely a formality.
In addition to the Tigers getting their house in order, there is speculation about potential targets. Jason Varitek’s name has gained some steam. Mostly due to a Ken Rosenthal report that Scott Boras is shopping Varitek to Detroit. But I have to agree with the consensus that this would not be a good thing.
Now Chad Cordero on the other hand…that’s worth considering for the right price. And while the Tigers, like many teams, would be hesitant to offer much in the way of guaranteed money they can offer a wide open bullpen situation.