This offseason has already been very crazy in terms of teams signing closers and other relief pitchers. Of course there were the Ryan to Toronto and Wagner to NY signings with huge price tags, as well as Eyre and Howry finding new homes. Kyle Farnsworth recently signed with the Yankees and Tom Gordon signed with the Phillies as well.
Even though the Tigers need help in these positions, they have not made a huge splash yet (aka...they haven't signed any huge contracts):
"We weren't prepared to go five years for a reliever (Ryan). We just didn't want to make that kind of a commitment, although Toronto decided it was worthwhile. In some cases, we haven't wanted to go a certain amount of years that other clubs were offering."
Makes sense. The Tigers do not want to give relievers too many years for too much money, and I feel they are doing the right thing at this point. That and if they do make offers equal to other teams, that does not guarantee the person coming to Detroit:
It is another fact of free-agent life known all too well by the Tigers: Players don't always decide based on cash.
Yes, this may leave the team in a bind the further into the offseason it gets, it happened many times last season with guys like Pavano and Glaus, but at the same time I do think Dombrowski is doing the right thing by steering clear of these giant money signs when it comes to relievers.
One option the Tigers may have, which has not been mentioned much so far, is the possibility of signing 35 year old Jim Mecir. Mecir pitched for the Marlins last year and had a 1-4 record with a 3.14 ERA. He would more than likely be very inexpensive.