According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi (I wonder if they have a desk in which they sit across from each other), the Tigers and M's have been exchanging some names back and forth. However, the talks are reportedly "not all that serious."
But there have been discussions. And within them, Dave Dombrowski is looking for "minimum salary pitching," according to the source for the story. Two of the names suggested by Rosenthal and Morosi are Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley.
When healthy, Morrow has a great arm. But staying healthy has been a problem for him. This season, he pitched in only 26 games for Seattle, sitting down with forearm and shoulder injuries. The Mariners have also tried to figure out what role best suits Morrow. He throws hard enough (98 m.p.h.) to be an excellent late-inning option, and looks like closer material. Yet he might not have an arm suited for pitching multiple games in a row.
So Morrow might be better as a starting pitcher. Yet he might not have the stamina nor pitching repertoire for that role, either. Morrow is mostly a fastball-slider guy, and is trying to add a curveball and/or change-up to his arsenal.
Kelley is solely a reliever, also sporting the same fastball-slider combo, though he doesn't throw as hard as Morrow. But he also fought injury problems this season, missing approximately 50 games with a strained oblique muscle.
But this scenario once again raises the question of how exactly this would make the Tigers better. While Detroit might lack an established closer, bullpen depth is not a weakness in the organization. The Tigers have several young relievers, some of whom might be ready to make meaningful contributions next season. Trading Jackson would leave a hole in their starting rotation that this suggested trade wouldn't fill. Yet if the goal is primarily to reduce payroll (which is the premise fueling all of these rumors), then that would be accomplished.
Rosenthal and Morosi also write that the Mariners are interested in Curtis Granderson, though it wasn't clear whether Seattle had the resources to make that kind of deal happen. The M's already have Franklin Gutierrez in centerfield, however, and a handful of young outfielders who can play in left, so this may just have been an inquiry into what the Tigers are looking for.
That's a question I think we'd all like to know the answer to right now.