The Tigers bullpen was depleted by the injuries to Bobby Seay, Joel Zumaya, and Zach Miner this season, and even though Phil Coke and Ryan Perry have stepped up and gotten big outs for manager Jim Leyland, they're still going to look for relievers this winter according to MLB.com's Jason Beck. He notes that Detroit's bullpen seemed to lack "big-game experience," something they're sure to find on the open market.
"The free-agent market, we're going to look for some relievers," said Leyland. "We need help, and that's where we're going to get it, we think. We're hoping to get it through maybe some free agency."
Leyland did qualify his statement however, saying that signing some bullpen help was not a certainty. Clearly though, the bullpen is high on his list of priorities, and you can be sure GM Dave Dombrowski will oblige.
The free agent market offers plenty of relief help, none better than Rafael Soriano. Of course Detroit is set at closer with Jose Valverde, so chances are the club will pass on the Rays' ace reliever. J.J. Putz, Jesse Crain, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit, and Matt Guerrier represent the best of the setup arms while Scott Downs and Arthur Rhodes highlight the lefthanded group.
The Tigers have a boatload of cash coming off the books after the season, more than $50MM from the expiring contracts of Magglio Ordonez, Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis, and Nate Robertson alone. If they want to make a big time free agent splash or two to help the bullpen, they'll certainly have the means to do it.