What's the latest on the trade front? Well, I'm glad you asked!
According to Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi, there's quite a bit going on...rumor-wise.
On Thursday (scroll down to 1:45 am), Morosi once again confirmed Tigers are hot on the trail of the Diamondbacks' top of the rotation starter Dan Haren. But it all may be moot, thanks to pesky contractual issues like no-trade clauses.
Here's what Morosi is saying today about Haren to Detroit:
For two of those clubs, acquiring Haren won’t just be a matter of surrendering the necessary prospects and affording the remaining money on his contract. They will need to get his permission, too.
Major league sources told FOXSports.com on Friday that the Tigers and Twins are among the teams on Haren’s 12-team no-trade list.
So not only would the Tigers have to give up a king's ransom, they'd actually have to sweeten the pot for Haren to even consider coming to Detroit. By sweetening the pot, I mean forking over a Brink's truck full of greenbacks with a contract extension sitting on top of the money pile. Even then, do you really want to trade for a player who would rather be elsewhere?
As for what it would take get the D-backs' interest, ESPN's Buster Olney says (it's an Insider link) any deal starts with uber-prospect Jacob Turner.
Heard this: The Tigers are one of the teams involved in the Dan Haren trade talks, and some rival evaluators think that it would be very tough for Detroit to structure a suitable offer for Haren without including highly touted prospect Jacob Turner.
Trading Turner doesn't faze me in the least. In the vast majority of trades involving prospects for an established major leaguer, the team getting the veteran wins the trade. Trust me, Austin Jackson is the exception to the rule. Just ask the Marlins about Dallas Trahern, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio de la Cruz, Cameron Maybin, and Andrew Miller.
UPDATE: Hit tip goes to BYB'er rcpratt, who points out in the comments one of the latest tweets by SI's Jon Heyman, which prominently mentions the Tigers and Haren.
#tigers, #phillies, #yankees, #cardinals said to be in on haren. he is now expected to move. tigers could be favorite.
Bold is my emphasis.
The odds of acquiring Haren remain long. It really comes down to what prospects the Tigers are willing to give up, and then convincing the D-Backs' ace drop his no-trade clause. Either way, Jacob Turner fans may be in for a bumpy ride over the next week...
If Haren is a longshot at best to shore up the Tigers' rotation, who else is there? Why the Cubbies' Ted Lilly, of course!
The Cubs are seriously thinking of blowing up their roster, meaning Lilly is on the block, and can be had at a more reasonable price than Haren. ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Tigers are definitely in on Lilly.
At least a half-dozen teams are still in on him -- a group headed by the Tigers, Mets and Dodgers. And the Cubs are officially in nearly-everything-must-go mode. So not only are they confident they can trade this guy, but they Cubs are also telling teams they don't have to pay any of the approximately $5.5 million he has left on his deal this year.
Stark also quotes a scout on where Lilly would be the best fit.
One scout said of him: "His velocity is down and he has to go to a club with a big park, a fly-ball park. He can't pitch in a small park anymore."
Lilly needs a big park to be effective? I can think of at least one stadium with a ginormous outfield that fits the bill...
There's also one caveat. Lilly has a limited no-trade clause in his deal. No word which teams are on it, though.
UPDATE: Morosi says the Tigers are NOT one of the teams listed in Lilly's no-trade clause. (scroll down to 2:35 pm.)
But two teams with interest in Lilly — the Mets and Tigers — are not on the list. So, they could acquire him without his permission.
And the trade fires are stoked that much more...
As for the other starting pitcher thrown about in trade rumors, the A's Ben Sheets? He's apparently going nowhere, according to the A's MLB beat writer, Jane Lee.
The deal with Sheets is that there likely won't be a deal. That seems to be the general assessment for several reasons, the main one being that Sheets -- because of his inconsistent velocity and overall lack of potential difference-maker presence for a contending club -- isn't going to bring the A's the type of star-power prospects they'd like in return.
What about the bullpen Jim Leyland wants bolstered with a veteran arm? Yahoo's Jeff Passan tweets the Tigers are checking out the availability of a a left-handed reliever and Yale grad considered the "smartest man in baseball".
#Yankees, #RedSox, #Tigers looking at the smartest man in baseball, #A's LHR Craig Breslow. Better vs. RHH (.576 OPS) than LHH (.678 OPS).
Breslow is having a very good year with the A's, and would fit Leyland's definition of a quality bullpen veteran. But he's the sort of arm who is going to get the interest of other contenders, as seen by interest shown by the Red Sox and Yankees. There's no need to get in a bidding war over a bullpen arm.
If you haven't noticed, there's a large hole in the left side of the infield. With Brandon Inge out for 4-6 weeks, the Tigers are investigating options other than playing Scott Sizemore out of position or going with a platoon of futility, with Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn showing why they are bench players.
Rob Bradford of Boston's WEEI tweeted the Tigers scouted the Red Sox's rehabbing Mike Lowell last night.
Scouts at #PawSox/Mike Lowell rehab game tonight: #BlueJays, #Orioles, #Tigers (2), #Royals. They were playing Detroit's affiliate. #redsox
The 36 year old Lowell is having a down season, recovering from a hip injury, and is talking retirement after the season. But as a short-term stopgap, the Tigers could do worse. But the scouting of Lowell feels more like the Tigers just doing their due diligence than than anything else.
As for the rumors of the Tigers' interest in the Blue Jays' and MLB's home run leader Jose Bautista, there's been no change since Passan tweeted on Wednesday the Tigers' have shown interest. I'm not exactly on board trading for a career journeyman having a career season. It's a "buy high" kind of move, which is a risk. But Bautista is versatile (he's played 3B, 1B, CF, RF and DH this season, and has experience at 2B and LF), has hit 36 homers since September of last year, and would fill an glaring offensive need.
As for finding a catcher who is more than just a glorified backstop, the name of the Jays' All-Star John Buck continues to pop up as being on the Tigers' radar.
The 29-year old is hitting .275 this season with 14 home runs. While he's been good at the plate, Buck has also been solid behind it, throwing out 24% of potential base stealers.
It was reported in the Toronto Sun that the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox are teams that have recently scouted Buck.
Buck would be a definite upgrade, but he's also a free agent to be. He's likely a three month rental. Considering the paucity of catching on the market, I'd expect Buck to be a hot commodity this coming off season. Buck is going to be massively overpaid by a team desperate for a catcher.
It really does sound like the Tigers will be buyers at the trade deadline. It's just a matter as to how deep they plan on wading into the trade waters.