(Around The Way No. 2)
Thus far, it has been an offseason filled with rumors for the Detroit Tigers. New rumors have been released every day and most have pointed toward the Tigers not going after a big name free agent. But, hold on one minute, don't speak too quickly...
Willis, Robertson on the block
A main trade rumor for Detroit this offseason has been the idea of swapping either Dontrelle Willis or Nate Robertson for Boston's Julio Lugo. Lugo didn't see much action last season in Boston, as rookie Jed Lowrie took over. The money aspect matches up very evenly, but does GM Dave Dombrowski want a less agile and all-around inferior player then he had last season at shortstop? I hope not.
Detroit interested in Japanese player
For the first time while Dave Dombrowski has been the GM, the Tigers are actively pursuing a Japanese player. The pitcher, Junichi Tazawa, is a young flame thrower who has hit 97 mph on the gun. The Tigers won't have to pay to talk with Tazawa since he is not a professional in Japan yet. However, many other teams are also interested, including the Braves, Mariners and Indians.
ATTENTION ALL LEFTIES!!!
The Tigers need bullpen help and they are very closely looking for lefties right now. For a while now, Joe Beimel's name has been thrown around; Darren Oliver has been talked about; as well as Trevor Hoffman. Beimel had a 2.02 ERA last season in 71 appearances, while posting a 5-1 record. Hoffman wasn't resigned by the only team he has known, San Diego, and is looking for a new home, while Darren Oliver had a 7-1 record last season in 54 games.
Tigers looking at shortstops
Maybe the biggest question right now for Detroit is the situation at shortstop. As I indicated above, the Tigers have inquired about Julio Logo. The Tigers have also asked about Khalil Greene, Jack Wilson and Adam Everett. Lugo had less range then Detroit's last shortstop, Edgar Renteria, but is still somehow being considered.
Khalil Greene may be a short-term answer until 2010 when either Danny Worth or Cale Iorg is ready from Detroit's system. Wilson and Everett have never been consistent in their major league careers and I believe that the Tigers need a solid, everyday shortstop to help defensively and offensively.
There you have it, a few short stories on what the Tigers are doing this offseason. Look for more of the "Around The Way" articles in the weeks to come. GO TIGERS!