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Buyers or Sellers
The Tigers are certainly buyers at the trade deadline. They had completely stocked up over the last two seasons to make a World Series run. They acquired and then retained Anibal Sanchez. They added Torii Hunter this offseason. After missing all of 2012, Victor Martinez is back in the middle of their lineup. Their top four starters (Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Sanchez) are the envy of the rest of the league. Most believed that the Tigers would run away with the AL Central, but at the All Star break, they have just a 1.5 game lead over Cleveland.
What they Need
The Tigers have spent to win in the very short term. They have a powerful lineup, a tremendous starting rotation and a Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly have been terrific in the bullpen. However, the back end of the Tigers bullpen has caused a lot of issues. Bruce Rondon showed that despite a 100-mph fastball, he wasn’t ready. Things got so bad that they brought back veteran Jose Valverde only to soon be reminded why they didn’t bring him back originally. Phil Coke, Al Albuquerque, Darin Downs and Jose Alvarez all have ERAs over five. Octavio Dotel is on the Disabled List. The Tigers can use bullpen help. The only other thing the Tigers may need would be another utility infielder who would play very little.
What Might Work
Jamey Carroll’s playing time has been limited enough in the first half that he will become a free agent after the season. Although his numbers this season are well down, his inconsistent playing time may play a role in that.
If there is a team where Glen Perkins makes a lot of sense, it is the Detroit Tigers. If the Tigers were in any other division, it might make even more sense. Perkins has a terrific contract that any team would be happy to take on. Both teams would be leery about dealing with each other. Obviously, the Tigers want to win now, but they won’t want to see a top prospect star for the Twins against them for the next four to six years. The Twins won’t want to see Glen Perkins coming in to ninth innings against them. So, it would be interesting to see if the two teams can make a major trade. Minor trades are one thing, but blockbusters rarely occur within a division.
Dixon Machado - 21 - SS – High A
Two years ago, I saw Dixon Machado playing in Beloit for West Michigan. I recall thinking that I may not have ever seen such a smooth defender at shortstop. He is 6-0, and he is rail thin, almost Alexei Ramirez like. However, he doesn’t hit like Ramirez. In 2012 in the Florida State League, he hit just .195 with a .535 OPS. This year, repeating the level, he is hitting .231 with a .558 OPS. He’s not going to hit, but his glove makes him a potential utility infielder.
Jose Ortega - RHP- AAA
Ortega is probably in the middle ground of prospects that make him not a likely candidate to come to the Twins. The hard-throwing right-hander has an impressive 1.47 ERA in AAA right now and has had time with the Tigers. In 30.2 innings this year, he has 33 strikouts… to go with 19 walks. Sound familiar? To me, he sounds a lot like another hard-throwing reliever that the Twins acquired from the Tigers, Lester Oliveros.
Nick Castellanos was a supplemental first round pick in 2010 out of high school. The Tigers gave him $3.45 million (about $2 million over slot) to sign. Recently, the Tigers have said that Castellanos could be available in a trade for a top closer. Perkins would certainly fit into that category. Drafted as a third baseman, the 6-4 potential power hitter was moved to outfield a year ago when Miguel Cabrera moved to third base. Because he’s 6-4, he could be a first base option as well if the Twins have enough outfielders. With AAA Toledo, he is hitting .281/.353/.455 with 29 doubles and 12 home runs this year.
Outfielder Avisail Garcia, who played well for the Tigers in the playoffs last year, is also said to be available. Bruce Rondon throws 100 mph but often without great control. He would also be worth inquiring about. If he’s available, that’s a great arm to consider replacing Glen Perkins with, if that’s the direction the Twins went.
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