Despite reports which claim Detroit Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski is happy with his internal options when it comes to replacing injured shortstop Jose Iglesias, his actions say otherwise. Sources for FOX Sports Jon Paul Morosi are telling him the Tigers approached the Arizona Diamondbacks, asking about the availability of shortstop Chris Owings.
Morosi reports talks between the teams did not progress much past the inquiry stage, but the rumor does lend even more credence to the Tigers making a move to find a replacement starting shortstop before the the regular season begins.
This is the second rumor in the past 24-hours to surface about the Tigers' search for a shortstop to replace the injured Iglesias, who is expected to miss a significant portion of the season with stress fractures in both legs. Previous reports had the Tigers showing interest in Seattle Mariners infielder Nick Franklin.
But much like the rumor about Franklin, it's unlikely the Tigers have the ammunition to acquire Owings. He has only 20 games of major league experience, but is coming off a .330/.359/.482 season with 12 home runs and 81 RBIs in 125 games at Triple-A Reno in 2013. The 22-year-old Owings is on track to be a Rookie of the Year candidate, hitting .273 this spring, making him the favorite over Didi Gregorius to start at short in Arizona this season.
The Tigers appear to be exploring all their trade options rather than look toward the one shortstop on the open market who would not cost players to acquire, free-agent Stephen Drew. Though the loss of a first-round draft pick and a contract worth at least eight figures for the coming season to sign Drew is plenty costly enough.
As things currently stand, either Danny Worth, Eugenio Suarez or Hernan Perez will make the team out of spring training as a replacement for Iglesias. But with report after report claiming the Tigers are looking outside their system for a shortstop, it seems likely Iglesias' replacement is not on the spring training roster, regardless of Dombrowski's words to the contrary.