The Detroit Tigers are starting to feel the heat in the American League Central. In the last two weeks the Kansas Royals have caught fire, pulling to within just a half game of Detroit. Furthermore, the Tigers’ bullpen continues to be a glaring issue, one that might yet be addressed with a blockbuster trade.
Could that pressure lead them to go so bold as to trade for Philadelphia Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon and his gargantuan salary? It certainly seems possible given the continued uncertainty around Joe Nathan and the recent injury to Joakim Soria. With a 1.64 ERA and 27 saves this season, Papelbon would certainly be an upgrade, albeit an expensive one.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly raises the question of a possible trade between the Tigers and the Phillies:
Jonathan Papelbon might solve some problems for the Tigers.
Papelbon reportedly cleared waivers, so he could be dealt.
The Tigers scouted the Phillies heavily in July. It is believed they were actually more interested in Antonio Bastardo than Papelbon, who carries a big price tag — the remainder of $13 million for this year, $13 million for next year and a vesting option for 2016.
Could the Tigers and Phillies still be trade partners?
A deal at this time of year for Bastardo won’t be an option. This situation becomes a matter of Detroit’s urgency and whether it switches to desperation. Will the pressure being applied in the division race persuade them to pursue this kind of move and the amount of money it would entail? Would it be enough?
Intriguing questions abound for a Tigers’ team that looked to be all set when they added David Price at the July 31st deadline.