The 2013 MLB trade deadline is fast approaching and the Detroit Tigers are sending scouts everywhere mainly scouting relievers. The Tigers have been linked to the likes of Fransisco Rodriguez, Houston Street, Jesse Crain and of course Jonathan Papelbon, but do the Tigers really need that late inning guy?
My opinion is that the back end of the Tigers bullpen is set with the emergence of left handed reliever Drew Smyly and newly appointed closer Joaquin Benoit. Benoit has taken the closers role and ran with it and has been perfect in save situations since the Tigers released maligned closer Jose Valverde. Drew Smyly has been outstanding this entire season and has been consistent out of the Tigers bullpen. Smyly gives the Tigers something that they have been craving for years; a left handed reliever. The one thing that sets Smyly apart from other lefties is that he can get both lefties and righties out whereas most lefties just get other lefties out. The Tigers can get by with the bullpen that’s in place at this moment.
Andy Dirks has not had a good offensive season. Matt Tuiasosopo is not the everyday left fielder that the Tigers need. A name that will more than likely be tossed around is Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, but his contract is something the Tigers shouldn’t and won’t take on. Giancarlo Stanton is another name that could possibly be tossed around before the deadline but it would cost an arm and multiple legs to pry him away from the Marlins. At this moment, the Angels are 10 games out of first place and more than likely won’t that up and the Angels may be looking to move some pieces. This would be my hypothetical trade proposal to the Angels: Send Avisail Garcia, Andy Dirks, and Hernan Perez to the Angels in exchange for Mark Trumbo. Realistic? No, but the lineup with Mark Trumbo in it would be scary good.
The Detroit Tigers will probably focus on the bullpen in the coming weeks, but the most realistic upgrade the Tigers can do is promote Avisail Garcia from AAA and let him play every single day in left field. Garcia has a great throwing arm, and has the speed to track down long fly balls. While Garcia doesn’t have the best plate discipline, he doesn’t shy away from taking the lousy single to right field. Any way you look at it, I think that this is the best option for the Tigers going forward and I think Garcia will be starting in left field on opening day next season regardless.