The Tigers have had interest rumored in starting pitchers and shortstops the last several days, but manager Jim Leyland laid a subtle hint what his team’s most pressing need might be.
“I guess if you could make a wish, you might wish Santa would drop another good reliever,” Leyland told reporters Tuesday afernoon. “It might happen and it might not happen. I’d like to deepen it a little bit. We’ve actually survived decent, but you don’t know if it can continue.
“With the loss of [Bobby] Seay and [Zach] Miner, that was a big loss to start with. Now [Joel] Zumaya is out again. That’s three guys that you counted on. We’ve actually survived it pretty good. Whether we can continue or not, it remains to be seen. I’d just like to deepen it with maybe a little more experience or something. That’s easier said than done.”
Indeed, with so many teams looking for relief help, it’s a tall order. And as Leyland has said repeatedly, he doesn’t have much say on the trade front. Still, if you want to know what the Tigers really need, that just might be it.
Leyland’s comments came a day after his post-Zumaya bullpen mix seemed to take shape. Once the Tigers took a lead into the seventh inning Monday, Ryan Perry pitched an inning, followed by Phil Coke and closer Jose Valverde.
Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse posted Tuesday on Twitter that the Tigers had a scout at Monday’s Mariners-Royals game, supposedly to watch potential bullpen help. The Mariners were in Detroit for three games over the weekend, but they never saw Seattle closer David Aardsma and only saw Brandon League and Sean White once. The Royals bullpen has been in flux all season, though it has settled down lately. It’s unlikely the Tigers would welcome back Kyle Farnsworth, whose last stint in Detroit two years ago went horribly wrong for both the Tigers and Farnsworth.
– Jason Beck