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Detroit Tigers Rumors: Koji Uehara

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reported today the Baltimore Orioles might be interested in trading reliever Koji Uehara, and the Tigers are among the teams who have shown interest.

The 36-year-old righthander has a 1.80 ERA in 41 appearances. He leads the AL with an amazing 7.38 strikeouts to walks ratio: (59 strikeouts, 8 walks, 1 intentional, in 45 innings). That's 35.5% of plate appearances ending in strikeouts and 4.8% in walks, per Fangraphs.

Zrebiec notes:

(H)is career strikeout-to-walk ratio is now 6.48. That's the best career ratio for pitchers who have logged a minimum of 150 innings since 1890.


Since May 8, Uehara has allowed just four earned runs in 33 1/3 innings. He has strung together 11 straight scoreless appearances, during which he has surrendered just three hits and two walks while striking out 20 in 13 innings.

Uehara has a vesting option at $4 million for 2012 if he reaches 55 games, which seems likely.

Along with the Tigers, the Rangers, Pirates and Twins have also expressed interest. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said earlier in the month the Tigers didn't need relief help. As long as Al Alburquerque is healthy, that may be true. But a little extra bullpen help is always good, and even better if it keeps him out of the dirty grasping hands of the Twins, right? At the right price, this kind of move would definitely help the Tigers down the stretch.