Tigers Looking For Left-Handed Relief Help

The Tigers made a huge move to fortify their bullpen last night by acquiring Joakim Soria from the Rangers, but they’re not done looking for bullpen help, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Detroit is on the hunt for a left-handed relief upgrade, though they’re not ruling out another right-handed option either, he adds.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that Phillies southpaw Antonio Bastardo is a target for GM Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers, which lines up with yesterday’s reports that Detroit was among the teams to scout Bastardo.

Ian Krol and Phil Coke have served as Detroit’s primary left-handed relievers this season, but each has an ERA north of 4.50,¬†and sabermetric ERA estimators such as FIP and xFIP don’t paint a much more optimistic projection. Both have been serviceable, albeit unspectacular against lefties, as Coke has yielded a .254/.306/.388 batting line to same-handed hitters, while Krol has been a bit worse at .241/.313/.397. Both have been dreadful against right-handed hitters, however, with Coke surrendering a .927 OPS and Krol surrendering an even more unsightly 1.114 OPS.

In addition to Bastardo, the trade market features Wesley Wright and James Russell of the Cubs, Tony Sipp of the Astros, Neal Cotts of the Rangers and perhaps Brian Duensing of the Twins (though that last name is my own speculation, as he’s yet to surface in trade rumors).


41 Responses to Tigers Looking For Left-Handed Relief Help Leave a Reply

  1. wyldstallyns 11 months ago

    I wonder if they’d take Choate for a PTBNL.

  2. Jeff Miller 11 months ago

    Bastardo for Willy Adames and either VerHagen or Farmer. Yes/No?

    • cgriffith 11 months ago

      I don’t think Farmer or VerHagen will be traded. Plus the Phillies need more than just pitching.

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Would your goal be to move Adames over to 2B then? Also, I’d prefer Farmer, but that’s just me. And I’m not sure the Tigers do that deal (although, with the way the relief market has gone so far, who knows).

      • Jeff Miller 11 months ago

        Yeah, that would be my goal to move Adames and pair him with Crawford through the system. Bump him up to A+ for the rest of the year and hopefully he’s ready for AA early in 2015 while Crawford should be there to start next year, possibly for the last week or so this year. Crawford adjusted quickly to A+ and has hit almost .300 since the first couple games. I’d be fine with either Farmer or VerHagen.

        The price teams pay for relievers always surprises me.

    • A good, young SS for a RP whose xFIP is worse than Phil Coke’s? No thanks.

      • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

        I love stats. They can be used to manipulate whatever point you want to make. xFIP for a reliever is just silly. The only thing xFIP does differently than FIP is “normalize” HR/FB rate. And it doesn’t do it for a pitcher specific to his career. It does it to the league average. A guy like Bastardo has given up 22 HR in 240 innings (allowing 300 flyballs). That’s a 7.3% rate. xFIP boosts that to 10.5% (an increase of 3.2 % – almost 50% higher than his career total). Not to mention that he’s allowed fewer than the “average” in 4 of his 5 seasons as a reliever (including 3 years under 5%). For his xFIP to “level out” for the season (to translate to real numbers), he’d have to give up about 8 HR in 40 flyballs the rest of the season. Based on his past performances, that seems highly unlikely.

        • Should I simplify it even more for you and say I don’t want to trade a good, young SS for a guy walking over 4 batters per 9 innings?

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            That makes more sense than not wanting a guy because his “xFIP is worse than Phil Coke’s”.

          • I’d say that it also makes more sense than expecting a prospect like Willy Adames for a 7th inning lefty, but Dombrowski did what he did last night so I can’t say that.

  3. Vivid_Reality 11 months ago

    I could see Russell or Wright for Joe Jimenez but knowing Theo and Co they’ll try and push for Devon Travis. Our system is really lacking in middle infield prospects right now.

  4. cgriffith 11 months ago

    If DD wants Bastardo expect him to get him;

  5. Frittoman626 11 months ago

    Andrew Miller from BOS makes sense.

    • Fangaffes 11 months ago

      That would cost you. Everyone wants Miller. Craig Breslow would be a lot cheaper. Sometimes very good. Sometimes not so much. Of course, there’s always the possibility of a package deal with Drew, who is finally starting to hit.

      • TigerDoc 11 months ago

        Miller is a FA at the end of the season, so he can’t cost too much or Boston won’t get anything for him. He’d be worth a prospect, two if they are not top level, nothing more. Someone like Bastardo can command more because he is not eligible for free agency until 2016, which also increases his value to your team, not just a rental. Breslow also a free agent in 2015 so he and Miller should be of comparable value even though Miller’s numbers are better this year he has had better numbers over his career than Miller.

        • Barry2 11 months ago

          A Miller is my favorite and the way he is pitching he could close.

  6. cubs7691 11 months ago

    Barney and Wright from the Cubs for a decent (with upside) prospect

    • Barney got DFA’d this week.

      • cubs7691 11 months ago

        DFA options:

        1. Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period)
        2. Trade the player
        3. Release the player
        4. Outright the player from the 40-man roster into the Minor Leagues

        • I understand that, but nobody’s going to trade a prospect with upside for a player who A) isn’t very good and B) you could maybe get at no cost if you’re patient.

          • cubs7691 11 months ago

            Barney is an add on. If you remember old articles the Tigers were interested in him. They want a left handed relief pitcher. Cubs have 2 of them. The Tigers can get a 2 for 1 essentially.

          • cgriffith 11 months ago

            I’ll take James Russell I don’t want Wright

          • cubs7691 11 months ago

            Either one is available. If I was you guys I would take Russell as well.

  7. Ben-Dessa Anderton 11 months ago

    They could have asked for Cotts in the Soria deal.

    • cgriffith 11 months ago

      I think they might have and the Rangers added another prospect Dombrowski didn’t want to relinquish

      • Ben-Dessa Anderton 11 months ago

        considering the two they got for Soria, you may be dead on correct. And perhaps they may want something a little more trust worthy than Cotts whom has just rediscovered himself over the last 2 seasons. At this point, I would just love the Rangers to grab any prospect they can get. The system is still solid but much of the talent is still a good ways off from contribution.

  8. griffey9988 11 months ago

    Got to hand it to the Tigers. They don’t play around, they just go out and get whatever they think they need for the playoff push.

  9. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    Several teams are in on Cubs Wright and/or Russell………line up boys and take a number, Theo is taking your call for the best deal.

  10. Jeremiah Jackson 11 months ago

    Antonio Bastardo,Kyle Kendrick and AJ Burnett to BAL for Jimenez Schoop

    and Christian Walker if they discussed releasing Howard at the end of the season

    Walker could play 1st base because Davis isn’t going nowhere and to me Jimenez does best in the N.L.

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Ugh…please god no. Has nothing to do with your prospects – I just don’t want to be anywhere near Ubaldo. The closest I want him to the Phillies is pitching to us.

  11. kungfucampby 11 months ago

    First please reexamine the thought process that concluded Krol and Coke were suitable options for a World Series contender.

  12. Rob Campbell 11 months ago

    Andrew Miller is better than all of these jamokes. Way better. He’ll be pricier and is a FA at seasons’ end but why would they not be interested in him?

  13. bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

    MLB Network Radio discussion from this morning…. Tigers should consider promoting LH Starter Robbie Ray as temporary relief pitcher.

    Lots of benefits:
    1. Would reduce his innings (important for young pitcher building up his arm)
    2. Might make him sharper and less nervous when he eventually becomes a full time starter.
    3. Gives him experience in MLB without eating up innings.
    4. Does not cost Tigers anything.
    5. Could push Krol and Coke to be better with another LH pitcher over their shoulder.
    6. Could be lightening in a bottle… what if he could get 3 outs with his stuff consistently and is able to pitch in the playoffs? Smyly did it… why not him?

    • tigersfan33 11 months ago

      I like that idea, but I would still feel better with someone who is known to be reliable at the MLB level.

    • East Coast Bias 11 months ago

      More teams should go this route than give up prospects for a rental reliever. I don’t understand why they don’t.

    • Kirk Edward Gerwin 11 months ago

      Think I’d rather put Smyly back in the Pen and promote Ray up to be the 5th starter.

  14. TigerDoc 11 months ago

    Cotts a FA in 2015, the rest will be FA’s in 2016. Given our deal with the Rangers, Doubt we go after Cotts, we would have make it a two player trade. Bastardo is the most likely to get picked up by the Tigers. Question is what the Phils want?

  15. tune-in for baseball 11 months ago

    When giving up high end prospects for a lefty relief DD will only deal for guys with some team control still left or a 95-99% chance of signing up on a new contract. Bastardo, Russell,and Wright are controlled and Miller could fall into that 95-99% area. Now Detroit also needs a left handed bat that can platoon in the outfield or at short as well as PH. My #1 choice would be get Bastardo and Revere from the Phillies. If they want too much maybe Rollins as the bat but he should be able to hit his 2016 option so the cost should be low or $$$$ involved. If we go shortstop Miller/Drew could be cheaper both $$$ and prospects since Drew still is lagging at the bat. My suprise sleeper #1a choice is Alex Torres and Seth Smith from the Padres.

  16. cgriffith 11 months ago

    Sure and in return we will take Yu Darvish & Elvis Andrus (Texas needs to pay 95% of both players remaining salaries) we will through a bag of balls in also.

  17. cgriffith 11 months ago

    Sure and in return we will take Yu Darvish & Elvis Andrus (Texas needs to pay 95% of both players remaining salaries) we will through a bag of balls in also.

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