Tigers’ Season Hanging In The Balance

The Tigers open up a four-game set with a doubleheader against the division-leading White Sox today.  The series represents a crucial chance to gain ground, but a White Sox sweep would close the door on Detroit's season.  One AL exec told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick the Tigers "would have to be pretty far back for something to happen" in terms of GM Dave Dombrowski trading veterans, but ten-plus games out might qualify, in my opinion.

On Wednesday, the Tigers gave up a pitching prospect to acquire Jhonny Peralta, with the Indians paying most of the infielder's salary.  Detroit's only deadline day move was to ship Wilkin Ramirez to the Braves.

Should Dombrowski decide to sell off his impending free agents, he can shop Johnny Damon, Brandon Inge, Jeremy Bonderman, Gerald Laird, and Peralta.  Carlos Guillen, signed through next year, may also be expendable.  Ryan Raburn is another trade candidate, though perhaps such a deal is better suited for the offseason.  Magglio Ordonez should clear waivers, but it's hard to imagine a team acquiring him as he recovers from a broken ankle.

Damon should draw interest if he's made available.  He sports a .281/.373/.432 line, and he raked in July.  He's been battling back spasms, but is in today's lineup.  About $2.7MM remains on his $8MM contract, and he has no-trade protection.

Brandon Inge is ahead of schedule in returning from a broken left hand.  For teams looking for a solid glove at the hot corner, Inge could fit.  Bonderman might be able to fill a fourth starter role, especially in the National League. The $4.2MM owed to him would obviously be prohibitive; the Tigers would have to assume much of it.

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