If the Tigers are interested in making a trade before July 31, we're not sure if relievers are a priority on the shopping list. If Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya are healthy and mechanically sound, probably not. Starting pitchers and utility infielders might also be on the list. But that's probably something we could devote an entire post to.
One reliever whose name was associated in trade rumors with the Tigers early this season - and at last year's trade deadline - was Washington's Chad Cordero. Cordero has been out all season with shoulder tendonitis, however, so if he ever was a trade target for Detroit, he probably wasn't this year. But if the Tigers were still curious about Cordero's health, thinking of him as a possibility, they can officially begin to look elsewhere. His season is done.
After the Nationals wanted to know why Cordero's rehab was going so slowly and soreness persisted, the team had his shoulder examined. A tear in his labrum was found by an arthrogram. Here's more from Nationals Journal:
* He officially has a torn right labrum; many on the team believe Cordero had the injury all season, and tried to pitch in spite of it. Asked if Cordero has likely been pitching with the torn labrum all season, pitching coach Randy St. Claire said, "I think he probably was, because he said it didn't hurt, but we didn't see the velocity. Normally with Chad -- he wasn't a mile or two off. He was 10 miles per hour off. He said there was no pain, so we thought it was maybe just weak."
* Worst case, rehab on such injuries can require 12 months... or more. Depends on what kind of healer you are. For now, the team is just ruling Cordero out for the rest of this season. The team will know more about the extent of the injury once it's operated on.
If the Tigers are still interested in talking with the Nats about their relievers - though Jim Bowden has been an unrealistic trade partner over the past couple of seasons - Jon Rauch could be a possibility. In 42 appearances this season, Rauch has 16 saves (in 21 chances) with 39 strikeouts and six walks in 42 1/3 innings.