Tigers relief options dwindling

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.

Winter Meetings – Heading to Day 4

Could James Skelton be looking at a new team - cr Roger Dewitt
Could James Skelton be looking at a new team - cr Roger Dewitt

On the last day of the Winter Meetings things shift a little bit to the Rule 5 draft. Okay, not everything shifts to that, but it will be the focus in this here blog post.

A quick rule 5 primer is that teams can’t bury players in the minors forever. Eventually they have to add them to the 40 man roster or risk losing them to other teams. The time limit for this varies based on the player’s age when they signed. Teams with open space on their 40 man roster can select from this pool of players, but the catch is said player has to stay on the 25 man roster all season, or the player has to be offered back to the original team.
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