Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson, and Huston Street. Those are the names of prominent right handed relievers employed by the San Diego Padres, and those names are circulating through the rumor mills as teams, including the Detroit Tigers, send scouts to watch the Padres play.
Detroit has been rumored to have interest in both Gregerson and Street going back to Spring Training, when they were said to have been offering starting pitcher Rick Porcello as bait for one or the other. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski refuted the specifics of that rumor, but did not refute interest in the late-inning hurlers from San Diego.
With Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly teamining up to re-shape the back of the Detroit ‘pen, the spotlight doesn’t shine as brightly on what many have assumed to be the Tigers most glaring weakness down the stretch. Still, adding a reliable back-end arm could only help shorten games and keep youngsters like Bruce Rondon and Al Alburquerque from pitching in too many high-leverage situations. Tigers starters average better than six innings per start, so if they can get a lead into the late innings, they’d like to have someone with experience to help bridge the gap to Benoit.