Tigers Nearing Deal For Gerald Laird

10:34am: The Tigers are on the verge of signing Gerald Laird, according to Morosi and Rosenthal on Twitter.

10:23am: The Tigers aren't close to a deal with Shoppach, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (on Twitter).

10:04am: The Tigers are close to signing a catcher, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Free agent Kelly Shoppach is one of the team's targets and Morosi reported earlier in the week that the Tigers are considering Jose Molina, Matt Treanor, Ramon Castro and former Tiger Gerald Laird as possible backups.

Alex Avila will start for the Tigers, who want Victor Martinez's bat in the lineup every day. GM Dave Dombrowski has said the Tigers view Martinez as the team's regular DH and third catcher, which means the team is on the hunt for someone who can spell Avila regularly.