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Tigers Trade Rumors: James Shields, Ryan Dempster, Justin Upton

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James Shields -- available?
James Shields -- available?

The July 31 trading deadline is a little more than two weeks away. Do you know where your Tigers GM is?

CBS Sports' Danny Knobler says whether the Rays or buyers or sellers may not matter. James Shields may be up for auction, and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is said to be in on it.

Standard declarations here: The Tigers are often linked to many players. Dombrowski often says that there were nothing to these rumors. We often have absolutely no way to sort through the rumors or have any clue how much truth there was to any of them. Usually the Tigers do something that wasn't mentioned anywhere, anyway.

Quoting Knobler:

The Tigers, who seem to have determined that starting pitching is their biggest need, are one team that could be interested in Shields. The Rays, who have searched for years for a catcher, could look to build a deal around Rob Brantly, who is catching for the Tigers' Triple-A Toledo team.

But that's not the only starting pitcher they've been linked to in recent rumors.

Everyone is interested in Ryan Dempster.

OK not everyone. But according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago, the Tigers are among 10 teams that have shown the most interest in the Cubs right-hander. At the time of his report, the Indians, Yankees and White Sox were also among AL teams showing the most drive. The Cubs are said to be scouting the lower levels of opposing team's farm clubs. They are said to be interested in pitching. Levine adds that third base is of interest, too. But before you get too concerned, Nick Castellanos has too much value in order for the Tigers to make that exchange, and both organizations undoubtedly know it.

Justin Upton does not have the Tigers on his no trade clause.

Upton can block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Indians. (One of these things is not like the other. OK, two actually.) So says Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com.

It doesn't really sound like the Tigers are interested, which means exactly nothing at all. But thought we'd update our ledger.

Other rumors (via the Freep):