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Fearing the Tigers On the Trade Market?

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The latest ESPN The Magazine has a story on Brad Lidge's tumble from lights-out closer to confidence-shaken middle reliever. It's an intriguing article that attempts to figure out what went wrong with the guy and tries to get into Lidge's head through teammates and coaches. But for the purposes of this blog, it's the accompanying sidebar by Buster Olney that might provide the most intrigue.

First, Olney writes about the perception of Houston GM Tim Purpura around the league. He's seen as a guy who doesn't take many risks. So putting Lidge on the trade block might not be his style. Of course, if Purpura were to start taking offers, plenty of teams would want to make a deal. Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Indians, etc. You know that already. But check out who Olney thinks might go after Lidge the hardest:

But many executives feel that if Purpura actually puts Lidge on the market, the Tigers will be the most aggressive bidders, because of a bullpen need that became acute when Joel Zumaya went down with a finger injury. The expectation among Detroit's wild-card and AL Central competitors is that the Tigers will land the best available reliever this summer, whether that turns out to be Lidge or the Rangers' Eric Gagne.

Olney follows that up, however, with the general belief that the Astros won't deal Lidge because they're still in the NL Central race, and thus Purpura won't take a chance.

But it should be very interesting to see just how aggressive the Tigers will be over the next six weeks.