Earlier today I went to the butcher to get my teeth cleaned. Technically it was a dentist but with how brutal the dental assistant was with my mouth and by the amount of blood my bib was soaked in afterwards the difference between the two is nominal. Most people I know actually enjoy going to the dentist which by their accounts is rather pain-free, pleasant and modern. However my dentist has a collection of saws and drills hanging on his walls that is more reminiscent of one of those torture rooms in "Hostel" than of a 21st century dentist office. Also I wonder where my dentist finds his assistants who tend to be normal looking women who also happen to have an icy detached persona with a dash of bloodlust. I bet if you dug through these assistants applications under influences you would find Josef Mengele and Dr. Giggles. Anyways in an effort to distract myself from the pain incurred from the dental assistant need to floss all the way to my jawbone and to sustain consciousness I started thinking of all the potential Tiger trades. For the first time I can ever remember the Tigers will be buyers at the trading deadline with the potential to acquire a bat that would fortify their lineup coming down the stretch and heading into the playoffs. Anyways here's a list of players that are rumored to be available before or at the trade deadline and my take on their potential to help/join the Tigers before the trade deadline this coming Monday.
1: Alfonso Soriano: I don't know why the Tigers are so adamant about adding Carlton Banks to their outfield mix.......what? OH......I'm thinking of Alfonso Ribeiro, moving on. Everyone knows the Tigers need a lefthanded bat who will help out against tough righthanders. Soriano doesn't satisfy this requirement but WHO CARES! He would add power and speed, (which this team is sorely lacking, it's so bad Carlos Guillen is leading the team in steals and you know Leyland would love to turn someone like Soriano loose on the basepaths) and he would make an already dangerous Tigers lineup damn near unstoppable, and if (when) the Tigers made the playoffs Soriano has the most potential for a Carlos Beltran-esque post-season run where he ups his free agent value $20-$30 million dollars as a team like the Mets or Yankees go crazy over him. So what's the problem here? Apparently Nats GM Jim Bowden emboldened by actually being praised for making a trade (see: Kearns/Lopez for 2 middle relievers) is asking for the sun and the moon from the Tigers wanted Toledo ace Humberto Sanchez (who Im not opposed to dealing), some Double A guy whose name I'm not even going to pretend to know how to pronounce (Jair Jurrgens?) and Cameron Maybin (No F-ing way!) No way the Tigers give up Maybin who has the potential to be a Soriano type outfielder for the Tigers for the next 10 years, at least no way they give him up for a two month rental. So unless the price comes down big time (NO MAYBIN!), I don't see the Tigers making this deal. With Maybin 0%, without Maybin 30%
2: Carlos Lee: Apparently the Tigers had an interest in acquiring Lee when he became available on the market after the Brewers decided they didn't believe they had a chance to contend this season. He seemed like a logical choice to join the Tigers considering he would provide as much power as Soriano and probably come at a cheaper price. However this is a moot point now because during the time that I fell asleep last night and woke up this morning the Brewers made their decision and enacted upon it trading him almost immediately to the Texas Rangers. Whatever. Chances 0%
3. Bobby Abreu: Finally a left handed bat on this list. However Abreu comes with a bit of a caveat because he doesnt hit righties particularly well. He's also on the hook for about $150 million dollars over the next year and a half as well as potentially controlling his destination/holding out for an extension because of his no trade clause. Although he showed during last years Homerun Derby that the confines of Comerica Park wouldnt be a problem, as long as hes hitting BP fastballs, hes probably entering the downside of his career with a lot of cash still owed to him if he got his extension. Chances 5%.
4. Raul Ibanez: Ibanez reminds me of Lou Diamond Phillips and thats a bad thing. I've never liked Lou Diamond Phillips because I hated the Young Guns movies and my friend Nick and I sat through over 90 minutes worth of his awful 1994 movie Dangerous Touch because HBO warned us of Strong Sexual Content and Nudity that never came, but I digress. I do like Ibanez though, he crushes right handed pitching and plays a solid leftfield, plus he's locked into a reasonable 2 year $10 million dollar deal which allows some flexibility not to mention he put together a solid RBI run for my fantasy team. Problem with Ibanez is he probably won't be available because the A.L. West is pathetic and even though the Mariners have a losing record they are only 4 games out of the playoffs. Chances 1.8 %.
5. Shawn Green/Luis Gonzalez. Neither of these guys provide much pop anymore and they are a combined 147 years old. However they both hit righthanders at a .300 plus clip. Shawn Green would easily be the greatest Jewish player to wear a Tigers uniform since Hank Greenberg supplanting Al Levine and.........uh......Charlie Maxwell (?). Also Luis Gonzalez could probably be had for next to nothing, given his advanced age and the numerous young prospects the D-Backs have namely Carlos Quentin. The Tigers might be able to get Gonzalez for the ghost of Karim Garcia and 2 years worth of HGH........oh right they got rid of Grimsley.
6. Jeromy Burnitz. No. Next.
7. Dave Delucci/Tom Gordon. Personally I think Delucci would be the perfect fit. He absolutely destroys right handed pitching, hitting over .330 with an OPS of over 1.000 and he's not a big enough star to bitch about playing in a limited/platoon role at DH or the outfield. He reminds me of a more consistent better hitting John Vander Wal, which is a good thing.......I think. The other Phillie that might be available if they decide to start dumping salary and going young is Tom Gordon. I know the Tigers bullpen has been one of their many strengths this season but adding another power arm like Gordons would make them nearly unhittable. I can't imagine being able to pick from Gordon, Zumaya, Rodney, Walker, and Jones. The starters would theoretically only have to be good for 2 innings a night and we would be almost guaranteed a victory. You can never have to much bullpen help as exemplified by the 2003 Marlins who made a deadline deal to acquire closer/arsonist/maniac Ugie Urbina. Gordon would also give us a more reliable option in case Jones decides to have another 2 week meltdown in late September/October. Chances Delucci 25% Gordon 3.7%
8: The Tigers do nothing. This is the most likely scenario. Most people will argue that you don't want to mess with a team thats winning at a .670 clip. That Dmitri Young will be the left handed bat we need and he'll go back to being the old Meat Hook now that he's joined the Women's Christian Temperance Union (although I don't fully trust him yet I think he's a couple of weeks away from hooking an IV of Natural Light to his veins). That our starting pitching won't falter and will only improve with a fresh Mike Maroth rejoining the rotation in August. That our bullpen will continue to shut down opposing offenses and protect close/late leads, and that its not worth mortgaging the long term future of the franchise for one shot at glory. To these people I say............your probably right. Chances Tigers stand pat: 85%