Tigers still focused on trading for starter

The Tigers made their first deal ahead of the July 31 trade deadline by trading for Wilson Betemit on Wednesday. If team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski can help it, it won’t be their last.

While Dombrowski talked about the Betemit trade as a goal accomplished, he made it clear he still wants to add a starting pitcher.

“Our attention is on pitching,” Dombrowski said before Wednesday’s game. “It hasn’t swayed from that whatsoever. We are still looking for a starting pitcher. Maybe Duane Below will throw a shutout and maybe he’ll be our answer. You can never tell. But we continue to look for a guy to put in our starting rotation.”

Below gave up three runs over five-plus innings in his Major League debut Wednesday night. The Tigers haven’t said anything about another start for him after this one. That could well depend on whether the Tigers can swing a deal in the next few days.

If they don’t, it won’t be for lack of effort. Between rumors reported and scouts sighted, the Tigers have been tied to more potential starting pitchers on the market than can be counted on one hand. They’ve no doubt taken a look at many more.

As of Wednesday, there was no sign anything was close.

“I’ve had numerous conversations already and will continue to have numerous conversations,” Dombrowski said. “That won’t stop.”

He did not want to predict whether one of those will result in a deal.

“I don’t know if anything will happen or not,” Dombrowski said. “We’re trying.”

– Jason Beck

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