6 Potential Targets for the Detroit Tigers at the MLB Trade Deadline
Sure, Justin Verlander put some life back in the clubhouse with his near no-hitter recently, but the team has to prove that they can ride that lightning.
The Tigers were forecasted to be major contenders before the season began, but inconsistent play has begun to put serious doubt in the team's faithful fans.
The season is far from over, but the front office must plan on making deals by the deadline in order to put the Tigers back on track.
While another superstar is likely out of the question, the Tigers need to acquire a few established veterans that will bring instant energy and experience to a stagnant clubhouse.
Honorable Mention: How Much Money Will the Tigers Spend at the Deadline?
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It's no secret that Tigers' owner Mike Ilitch wants a World Series ring as he proved it last offseason by paying king's ransom for Prince Fielder.
At 82 years old, Ilitch isn't getting any younger and 2012 needs to be the year for the Tigers.
With the team teetering around .500, he'll once again open his checkbook at the deadline.
Don't be surprised when the Tigers roll the dice on some high-priced pitching come mid-summer.
Ilitch is "all-in", which can only bring excitement to Tigers' fans.
Which Tigers Prospects Are Untouchable?
The Detroit Tigers have quietly built themselves a young army down on the farm.
This year, a few of their talented prospects will be involved in deadline deals that will bring established players to Detroit.
While pitchers Jacob Turner and Andy Oliver were once thought to be untouchable, they are now prime trade bait this season. Not to say that they will be traded, but their names are definitely on the table.
The players that won't be moved are up-and-coming superstars Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia. Yes, Castellanos plays third base, which will be occupied by Miguel Cabrera for the foreseeable future, but GM Dave Dombrowski will figure out where to put the 20-year-old stud.
As for Garcia, he'll be 21 years old in a few weeks and has the makeup of a prototypical slugging outfielder.
These kids are the destined to be stars in Detroit; Dombrowski will tell his fellow MLB GMs that they're off limits.
Orlando Hudson Could Have Easily Been a Member of the Tigers
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The Detroit Tigers could have used the energetic 34-year-old second baseman who's won four Gold Gloves in his career.
Now, the Tigers will have to play against Hudson and his new team. Whether the White Sox were in dire need of Hudson or it was a calculated move to block their AL Central foe from acquiring him, it was smart.
If Hudson creates the spark in Chicago that the Tigers need, fans will be disappointed at season's end.
Could Matt Garza End Up in Detroit?
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Current Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza could be a member of the Detroit Tigers come August, but the Tigers should be careful on what they would give in return for the 28-year-old righty.
There were talks this past winter between the two organizations about putting an Olde English D over Garza's heart, but talks fell through when the Cubs asked too steep of a price.
Garza's AL experience has to be attractive to the Tigers organization, but he only has a career record of 54-55. He's off to a strong start this season, though, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.58 ERA thus far.
The Cubs are currently 15-24 and will most likely be sellers at the deadline once again. Garza is slated to make $9.5 million this year and the Tigers would likely ask for the Cubs to eat much of his remaining salary.
This scenario is one to keep your eye on as the season progresses.
Emilio Bonifacio Would Bring Speed to the Tigers That They Desperately Need
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Emilio Bonifacio is a well-rounded ball player that the Detroit Tigers need. He can play just about anywhere on the diamond and currently leads the majors with 20 stolen bases.
While he may be hard to pry from the Miami Marlins' hands, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski must try.
Bonifacio's salary is only $2.2 million this season and he's set to go to arbitration in the offseason. Even though he's only batting .268 right now, he's worth every penny.
Bonifacio is only 27 years old and would be a perfect fit in Detroit. His ability to play multiple positions is right up Tigers manager Jim Leyland's alley, and adding speed to the Tigers lineup is a must.
Although this is a long shot, Bonifacio would be ideal for the Tigers.
Wilton Lopez Is an Arm the Tigers Bullpen Could Use
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Having a reliable bullpen is priceless in the game of baseball, and the Tigers could use a guy like Wilton Lopez from the Houston Astros.
Lopez has appeared in 21 games this season totaling 23.1 innings. He's struck out 17 batters while only allowing a single walk. His ERA is a measly 1.54 with a WHIP of just 0.69.
The fact that the 28-year-old is only making $515,000 has to be the most attractive stat of all. The Astros most likely won't be contenders this season, and they need to plan for their move to the tough AL West next season. Loading up on young prospects now would be a smart move.
The Tigers would be able to acquire Lopez for next to nothing and he would bring some stability to their up-and-down pen.
A Veteran Lefty Like Darren Oliver Could Mean a Ticket to the Playoffs
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Sure, Toronto Blue Jays hurler Darren Oliver may be 41 years old, but that doesn't mean he's not effective on the mound.
In 13 innings of relief this season, Oliver has a minuscule ERA of 1.38 and WHIP of 0.69.
The Blue Jays are currently in the thick of the AL East race, but they could be sellers by the time the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline rolls around.
Oliver and his 18-plus years of MLB experience would be great for the Tigers as they gear up for a playoff run. Because of his age, the Tigers would most likely be able to get him on the cheap.
Keep him in mind over the next few months.
Do the Tigers Pull the Trigger and Acquire the Magical Wandy Rodriguez?
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Over the past few MLB seasons, it seems that left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez's name has continuously come up in trade rumors.
This will likely occur this season, and the Houston Astros may finally chew on what other teams have to offer. The Tigers may be offering something juicy in regards to Rodriguez, but only time will tell.
The Tigers need a veteran left-handed starting pitcher and Rodriguez fits the bill. He's currently 3-4 on the season, despite an excellent 2.24 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
There are a few road blocks when it comes to Rodriguez—the Astros would want plenty in return and the 33-year-old is set to make $10 million this season and $13 million the next.
The price to pay is most likely too rich for the Tigers' blood, but Rodriguez will be one of the premier pitchers on the market and the Tigers are going for glory.
Placido Polanco Is Always Welcome in Detroit
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Tigers' fans are familiar with Placido Polanco, after all he was a member of the team from 2005-09.
Some say the organization should have never of let him go and now they should do almost anything to get him back.
It's true that the three-time Gold Glove winner is 36 years old, but he's still effective in the field and at the plate. He's set to make $6.25 million this season, but the Tigers would be happy to pay somewhere around $3 million for his services.
He could instantly become the starter at second base and would instantly inject confidence into the clubhouse.
While the Philadelphia Phillies may not want to part ways with Polanco, he is a free agent at the end of the season and the Tigers may offer too sweet of a deal for the Phillies to turn down.
The Tigers would immediately find their swagger with Polanco as teammates and fans would welcome him back with open arms.