At the dismay of Tigers fans, David Dombrowski is taking his time in filling immediate needs at second base and designated hitter. The Tigers DH position has batted .240 thus far in 2012 and posted an OPS of .623, 12th overall in the AL. Tigers second basemen rank dead last in all categories with a slash line of .202/.273./.271.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Tigers looked poised to snatch up Carlos Quentin to bring in power from the right side of the plate, but those talks have since faded.
More recent talks of bringing Jed Lowrie in and putting him at second base, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, have stalled for the time being, unless the pending Astros-Dodgers deal includes a mystery third team. Signing Prince Fielder showed owner Mike Ilitch is serious, but unless Dombrowski does something to fill immediate needs at 2B and/or DH, Fielder's signing will be all for naught.
According to Morosi, there is a possible fit in Detroit for right-handed starter Shaun Marcum. In 200 innings pitched last year, Marcum went 13-7 with an ERA of 3.54 and a WHIP of 1.15. With Rick Porcello and Doug Fister having questionable first halves of the 2012 season, Marcum could help shore up an unsure Detroit rotation. Justin Verlander has ostensibly been the only solid starter for the Tigers thus far, having gone 8-5 with an ERA of 2.69.
The question is not whether the Tigers need help but rather, where do they need the most help? A right-handed starter seems less important than the aforementioned needs at 2B and DH, but at this point, the Tigers will take anyone who can help them win the division.
At the end of June the Tigers are three games below the .500 mark and 4.5 out of first behind the Chicago White Sox. With the sixth-largest payroll in baseball, Detroit fans are starting to lose patience with Tigers management. With the offesason signing of Prince Fielder, David Dombroski and Mike Ilitch seemed willing to go that extra mile in order to make a return to the AL Championship Series. It goes without saying; the clock is ticking for the Tigers.
(H/t MLB Trade Rumors for transaction rumors.)