No one expected the Detroit Tigers to be where they are at this point during the 2012 season. They are 28-33, six games back in the AL Central and struggling to maintain any consistency in any facet of the game.
It is safe to say that the Tigers need some help.
In order to put a spark in this otherwise stagnant team and turn things around, the Tigers must look to the trade market.
While there are not many big names being mentioned in the same breath as Detroit, there are some names that could definitely help rejuvenate the Tigers and bring hope back to Motown.
Here are five moves that the Tigers must look at in order to claw their way back to the top of the AL Central.
While most Tigers fans would like to see Matt Garza wearing the Old English D very soon, it is very likely that Chicago will keep Garza around as a centerpiece for its rebuilding effort.
Dempster is enjoying his best year as a professional, even though his wins and losses do not illustrate that very clearly. He is 2-3 with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.
There is no reason for Detroit to simply jump at the chance to take Dempster just because of the year he is currently having. However, he has enjoyed similar success in past years, which may give teams like Detroit hope that he could continue his current impressive run.
It would not be considered a long shot for Detroit to go after Dempster, so do not be surprised if this happens in the near future.
Many Detroit fans remember this name from the summer of 2011, as Wandy Rodriguez came up very often in reference to the Tigers' pitching needs.
This may be the time that the Tigers pull the trigger on this consistent left-hander.
If there is anything the Tigers need at this point, it is consistency. Wandy Rodriguez has been a model of consistency for much of his professional career.
Rodriguez currently has a 3.27 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP, which is a definite upgrade over Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello at this point.
During the offseason, the Tigers made it clear that they would not pursue a starting pitcher. However, it is safe to assume that they did not believe the Tigers' starting rotation would rank 22nd in the entire league with a 4.38 ERA and a .272 opposing batting average.
Something needs to be done, and Rodriguez is a name to keep in mind as July rolls around.
If there is one move that Detroit could make in an effort to turn this season around, it is bringing back a first-class infielder in Placido Polanco. Detroit made a mistake in letting him walk away a few years ago, and they could make up for that mistake by bringing him back to the Motor City.
In 51 games, Polanco is hitting .289 and is still playing the field at a very high level.
While he has been playing the hot corner during his time in Philadelphia, there is no doubt that Polanco would be an enormous upgrade at second base for the Tigers.
Not only this, but his presence in the clubhouse could also be a catalyst to spark this team into playing like everyone in the nation knows they should be.
This is one move that the Tigers must look into in order to climb back to the top of the AL Central.
There is no doubt that Placido Polanco would provide a huge boost for this Tigers team, but if he is not available, Marco Scutaro is the next likely candidate to be on his way to Detroit.
It is impossible to believe that the Tigers' brass does not know how big of a hole they have at second base, even though they recently stated that they would not make a move for an infielder.
Therefore, the Tigers have to be looking at second baseman Marco Scutaro, who is currently playing for Colorado. Scutaro is hitting .268 and playing second base very efficiently.
It is impossible to deny that if the Tigers want to get to the playoffs this season, a platoon of Worth and Santiago cannot get it done.
For the right price, there is no doubt that Scutaro could be in Detroit by the end of July.
In order to generate more offense, Carlos Lee could be the answer that Detroit is looking for.
The Tigers need to generate more offense from the DH position if they want to win this season, and while Delmon Young is slowly progressing at the plate, there is no guarantee he will even hit .260 during 2012.
Therefore, imagine a three-four-five of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Carlos Lee. That would be a very powerful and potent middle three of the Tigers' batting order.
Lee is hitting .297 in 49 games, but he is currently on the shelf with a hamstring strain.
There is no doubt that Lee would have to come to Detroit understanding that he is the full-time DH. Since Martinez may come back some time around late September, Lee would be able to get some reps in the outfield if he is showcasing a hot bat upon his return.
Lee's contract is up at the end of this season, and he needs to show teams he still has the ability to put the ball in play. Coming back to the American League with the Tigers may be just the thing he needs.