Asked Sunday about the direction that the Tigers will take at this year’s trade deadline, GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including Chris Iott of MLive.com, “We’re trying to win this year.” Dombrowski acknowledged that both Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene have struggled greatly in the rotation of late, though he stressed that the organization still likes both starters and feels they can be viable cogs to a winning rotation. Dombrowski did seem to concede that a poor start to the second half could alter the organization’s thinking. “I don’t know how many games we have,” said the GM. “Let’s say (after) the All-Star break, we’ve got 10, 11 games. Well, if you win 10 or 11 games or you lose 10 or 11 games, well that can change the way you are a great deal.”
Here’s more from the game’s Central divisions…
- Iott writes in a second piece that Tigers fans need to remember that the decision on whether to buy or sell will not come from Dombrowski, but from club ownership. Dombrowski will execute any trades that are made, but he alone is not solely responsible for the direction the organization takes, Iott writes. All that said, Iott feels that the Tigers’ best chance for a World Series win and a sustainable model of success is to trade this year. The team, which is without Miguel Cabrera for six weeks (Iott feels it’s just as likely that Cabrera is out eight weeks), is playing .440 ball since an 11-2 start and has a pair of gaping holes, Iott notes. With six pending free agents — including David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, who would be highly desirable trade chips — the Tigers can rebuild their system without parting with controllable talent like Jose Iglesias and J.D. Martinez.
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports adds to the recent glut of Jay Bruce trade rumors, noting that he, too, hears the Reds have made the right fielder available. At this time, according to Heyman, the Reds aren’t willing to take on any of the remaining salary on Bruce’s deal. The 28-year-old Bruce struggled to open the season but is batting .308/.386/.549 over his past 50 games. Bruce, who is owed about $19.5MM through 2016, has a $13MM club option for 2017 on his contract as well. He underwent knee surgery early last season but rushed back in less than a month, which some believe to be a significant factor in his diminished play in 2014 and early 2015. Bruce can reportedly block trades to the D-Backs, Red Sox, Marlins, Twins, Yankees, A’s, Rays and Blue Jays.
- Corner infielder Josh Satin has an opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Reds that he could exercise on Wednesday, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Should Satin exercise the clause, the Reds would be required to either add Satin to their 25-man roster or let all 29 other clubs know that he is available to be added to their 25-man roster within 48 hours. (Cincinnati would choose Satin’s destination if multiple teams expressed interest.) Satin, 30, is batting .263/.368/.387 in 225 Triple-A plate appearances this season. He’s a career .243/.346/.351 hitter in the Majors and has been much more effective against left-handed pitching (.793 OPS) than right-handed pitching (.613 OPS). All of Satin’s big league experience has come with the Mets.
- The Cardinals have a number of players on the verge of returning from the DL, and GM John Mozeliak told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday that, “Part of having an understanding of when players will come back is really driving how our trading deadline strategy will look.” Mozeliak said he hopes to have two to three players back with the team and producing between now and July 31. Specifically, Hummel writes, Matt Holliday, Jaime Garcia and Jordan Walden could all return within the next 18 days. Matt Belisle, Jon Jay and Mitch Harris are also possibilities to join the team, though Hummel paints a less certain picture regarding their timelines. Marco Gonzales, too, is working back from a shoulder injury in the minors and could be a sixth starter for St. Louis in the second half, Mozeliak said.