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Detroit Tigers rumors: James Shields update

CBS Sports' writer -- and formerly of the Tigers beat on MLive -- Danny Knobler reports the Tigers will have two scouts at Tropicana Field tonight to watch starting pitcher James Shields as he faces the Yankees.

This whole scouting thing is a bit weird in this day and age. Is there not enough video and statistics to be found on him already? Do the Tigers really need to send not one, but two scouts to watch him pitch to make up their minds whether to make an offer? But I digress.

Knobler writes:

They'll no doubt want to see him pitch well -- but perhaps not too well.

If Shields beats the Yankees Thursday, the Rays would be just 5 1/2 games behind New York in the American League wild-card standings, with their next 20 games against teams that began Thursday with records no better than .500. If the Rays lose, they'd be 7 1/2 games back, making their chances of catching either the Yankees or Red Sox look slim.

Of course, the Tigers aren't the only team interested. The Reds and Cardinals are too. And it's not certain if the Rays actually would trade him or not. They don't really need to. And if they did, it's not certain the Tigers could really match the price.

But it's trade season. Enjoy.