Matt Palmer and John Keim of the Washington Examiner write that the Nationals and Tigers discussed Chad Cordero this spring. Their source believes the Tigers' interest will heighten if their bullpen struggles early on. The article doesn't cover suggest it, but the Tigers could also consider relievers Jon Rauch or Luis Ayala. A look at the three:
- Cordero, 26, earns $6.8MM in '08. He'll be a free agent after the '09 season. Cordero hasn't pitched yet this season due to shoulder tendinitis, and he wasn't at his typical velocity in spring. His control was off in '07 and he was more hittable than ever. Jim Bowden won't get full value if he trades Cordero soon.
- Rauch, 29, earns $1.2MM in '08, $2MM in '09, and has a $2.9MM club option for '10. He showed the best control of his career in '07, and he's second in line for saves in Washington. He has more trade value than Cordero - he's completely healthy and signed cheaply.
- Ayala, 30, earns $1.7MM in '08 and then reaches free agency. He may not be a fit for Detroit - he pitches to contact, and their bullpen already has those types. Ayala had Tommy John surgery in March of '06.
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