How close did Tigers get to Reed Johnson deal?

The Tigers were among the teams with interest in Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson, one of the many right-handed role hitting outfielders on the market heading into the Trade Deadline. He ended up going to Atlanta in the Paul Maholm trade Monday night. The question is how close the Tigers came.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reported that four teams, including the Tigers, made their “best offer” on Monday. However, Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters Monday afternoon that he wasn’t expecting them to make any additional deals before Tuesday’s deadline. Then again, it was noted that Tigers minor league pitcher Thomas Collier left his start for Class A West Michigan after just three innings Monday night, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale pointed out.

By trading both Johnson and Maholm to Atlanta, the Cubs were able to obtain two quality prospects, something the Tigers would’ve most likely been unwilling to do for the outfielder alone.

Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski deferred questions on trade matters to Tuesday afternoon once the non-waiver deadline passes. By then, the Tigers will most likely have given at least one more try at a right-handed hitting outfielder in hopes of bettering their lineup against left-handed pitching.

– Jason Beck

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