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Detroit Tigers rumors: Jeremy Guthrie on radar

Fox Sports -- who else! -- is back with another Tigers rumor to track. Frankly I'm not sure what I'd do without them. There'd certainly be less to write about. Anyway, Fox Sports reports the Tigers are interested in Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. Why? he's a starting pitcher and has a pulse. That's really all it takes to get linked to the Tigers at this point.

The right-handed Guthrie on first glance is not exciting. A 3-13 record -- but we're all intelligent baseball fans here, we know that's not a big deal when your team isn't very good -- and 4.45 ERA. Of course, he does play in the AL East, which most definitely does not make life easy and helps explain both numbers.

Guthrie's ERA last year was 3.84, and it's been under 4 for three of the last four years. So there's some reason for hope. On the other side of things, he's not exactly a spring chicken either, as he's 32 years old.

Looking at his advanced stats: His strikeout rate this season isn't real impressive (5.84 K/9, 15.1%), but it's better than last season. His walk rates are worse than last season, however. His BABIP is a bit above his career norms. He's more of a flyball pitcher, which would take advantage of the fact Detroit plays its home games in a big park and its outfield defense ranks much better than its infield. In the end, you get a 4.35 FIP. ZiPS projects more of the same for the rest of the year. That's not the kind of trade that excites the fans, obviously.

Not the team's top choice either, it seems.

Jon Paul Morosi wrote:

The Tigers have interest in Guthrie, sources say, but he’s behind the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda on their wish list.

Good. They probably rank him where I do. Not the worst idea but not the best one either. I'd call it unexciting but serviceable I guess. To be clear: I'd rather they look elsewhere but if they can do no better it beats calling on a couple of rookies.

What about the cost?

In the contract sense, Guthrie is owed the remainder of his 2011 salary of $5.75 million. He's up for arbitration next year and a free agent following 2012. In a prospect sense, Morosi speculates they'd want pitching in return. The Orioles had a major-league scout watching the Mud Hens last night, and Morosi speculates that might explain the parade of left-handed pitchers that Toledo put on the mound.