Stark On Tigers, Shapiro, Buehrle, Oswalt, Rays

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told’s Jayson Stark that the current version of the Tigers is significantly different than the team that started the season with a 12-17 mark. Rival executives agree that the Tigers, winners of ten straight, wouldn’t be fun to face in a playoff series at this point. Here’s Stark’s latest: 

  • People close to Indians president Mark Shapiro tell Stark that the longtime GM would be “intrigued” by the Cubs’ GM job. Shapiro’s associates say he’s happy in Cleveland, but suggest he’d listen if Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts came calling. Shapiro declined comment and there’s no indication that the Cubs have spoken to him.
  • A friend of Mark Buehrle's doesn’t believe the left-hander would retire after the season, when he is set to hit free agency. Buehrle would have been open to pitching for the Cardinals, but they have a full rotation set up for 2012, assuming they exercise Adam Wainwright’s options.
  • White Sox officials have been saying they need to cut payroll, according to Stark. Like the Cardinals, they have five starters under team control for 2012 even without Buehrle.
  • The Phillies aren’t likely to exercise Roy Oswalt’s $16MM option, but other than that the right-hander’s future remains unclear. He is another pitcher who has expressed interest in St. Louis, but it’s not a likely fit given the Cardinals’ depth. Oswalt doesn’t want to pitch in the American League or for a non-contender, according to Stark. 
  • The Marlins won’t be able to obtain manager Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox unless they’re willing to part with a “big-time player.”
  • It appears that the Rays are open to the idea of bringing Johnny Damon back for another season.
  • Aaron Rowand wants to play in 2012, though he isn’t likely to return this season. He’ll be looking for the opportunity to pick up regular at bats next year, according to Stark.

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