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National Assistance for the Tigers Bullpen?

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Could Detroit get some bullpen help from our nation's capital? No, the federal government isn't stepping in (as much as some of us might like some legislative aid in the matter), but according to the Washington DC Examiner, the Tigers chatted with the Washington Nationals during Spring Training about reliever Chad Cordero.

Jim Bowden has dangled his relievers in front of Dave Dombrowski before. And knowing what sort of commodity he holds in Cordero and Jon Rauch, Bowden hasn't been afraid to ask for the moon in trade discussions. (Though one player Bowden may have been interested in is no longer in the Tigers' organization.)

But the 26-year-old Cordero has been battling shoulder tendinitis, which is currently keeping him out of the lineup, and you'd have to think Detroit has already had enough of that stuff with Fernando Rodney.

Last season for the Nationals, Cordero saved 37 games (in 46 opportunities), posting a 3.33 ERA over 75 innings, along with averaging 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings. However, he also gave up 75 hits, which is a number you'd really not prefer from your middle relievers.

If the Tigers were to acquire Cordero, they'd have him for one more year of arbitration. This year, he avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Nationals.

That might make Rauch a more appealing option, as he's set to be paid $3.2 million over the next two years, with a $2.9 million club option for 2010. Last year, he pitched in 87 1/3 innings, posting a 3.61 ERA and 71 strikeouts. The 29-year-old Rauch also allowed 75 hits of his own, so neither he nor Cordero is the type of blazing strikeout pitcher that the Tigers' bullpen could really use (yet in short supply throughout baseball). But if you're of the opinion that Detroit needs to find any capable reliever who can get some guys out, two good ones might be available.

(via MLB Trade Rumors)