The offseason free-agent period has started, as the Tigers have been actively pursuing help with the pitching staff. After already talking with AJ Burnett and being linked to visits by Billy Wagner, the Tigers discussed the possibilities of signing closer BJ Ryan, the former Baltimore Oriole.
The Detroit Tigers are on a long list of teams interested in Ryan, who saved 36 games for Baltimore last summer and is one of the top closers on the market. Acquiring a closer is a top priority for the Tigers, who traded both Ugueth Urbina and Kyle Farnsworth, and lost Troy Percival to what is likely a career-ending injury.
Ryan was in Toronto on Monday, and he's expected to visit several other cities. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are the top contenders for Ryan's services, with Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington and the New York Mets among other possibilities.
Ryan looks to be one of the bigger free agent relief pitchers on the market this season, alongside fellow closer Billy Wagner. The price may be high, but Ryan is young and perhaps has more future value than Wagner. Kyle Farnsworth is another possibility to fill the closer hole (with Percival not returning) for the Tigers this offseason.