On Thursday, we learned the Tigers inquired about free agent starter Justin Masterson. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press speculates that Masterson could be open to a one-year contract to re-establish his value. Given his history of past success – including an All-Star appearance as recently as 2013 – he could provide affordable value. In my opinion, Detroit makes a lot of sense for Masterson if he wants to sign a pillow contract. It’s a high profile ball club with a good chance to make the postseason and a neutral stadium.
- GM Dave Dombrowski is happy with the current rotation options, according to Fenech. Internal candidates for the fifth spot include Kyle Lobstein, Robbie Ray, Kyle Ryan, Buck Farmer, and Drew VerHagen. The team could also pursue a free agent like Masterson. Dombrowski played coy when asked about former club ace Max Scherzer, saying “we’ll just wait and we’ll see.”
- A left-handed reliever could be the club’s top priority, reports Fenech in a separate article. He believes Detroit will allow the market to settle down before exploring veteran options. That probably means waiting for Andrew Miller to pick a new home. Craig Breslow, Neal Cotts, Joe Thatcher, and Joe Beimel are mentioned as notable veteran left-handers. To me, none of those look particularly inspiring. A trade candidate like the Phillies’ Antonio Bastardo may be a more interesting target. The club is reportedly ready to move on from Phil Coke.