We already knew that the Detroit Tigers were worried about the starting pitching depth in the organization. Aquilino Lopez was sent down to Toledo to "stretch out" from a reliever's workload and get ready to pitch starter's innings. But it looks like the Tigers are exploring all available options, in case Eddie Bonine doesn't prove major league ready or Dontrelle Willis can't regain his control this season.
Jon Paul Morosi of the Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit has contacted the agent of Freddy Garcia, who's available as a free agent while he rehabilitates from off-season shoulder surgery. Garcia only pitched 11 games last season for the Phillies before shutting it down last June to have a torn labrum and rotator cuff repaired. He finished 2007 with a 1-5 record, 5.09 ERA, and 50 strikeouts in 58 innings.
Garcia's agent told the Freep that his client is currently "throwing at 75% intensity and should be ready to pitch in a showcase for scouts next month." If all proceeds on schedule, Garcia would probably be ready to pitch in August. Other teams that have expressed interest in Garcia include the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets.
Back in May, ESPN's Buster Olney reported that seven teams could be interested in Garcia, though he didn't mention the Tigers as one of them. However, a few days earlier, Newsday's Ken Davidoff listed Detroit as the third most likely destination for Garcia, after the Mets and Braves. As Morosi did in his report today, Davidoff cited Garcia's friendship with fellow Venezuelan (and former Mariners teammate) Carlos Guillen as a potential selling point for the Tigers.
For his career (almost all of which was spent in the American League), Garcia has a 117-76 record and 4.07 ERA, striking out an average of 6.6 batters per nine innings. He's two years removed from winning 17 games (pitching 216 1/3 innings) for the White Sox.