MLB Rumors: Detroit Tigers seeking trade for bullpen help

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain have not exactly inspired confidence in the back of the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen so far this season. It would be make perfect sense, then, that the Tigers would be shopping for bullpen help at the trade deadline.

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That is exactly the case, though not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. In an interview on MLB Network Radio on Thursday, Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski acknowledged the team’s desire to trade for bullpen help. He does not seek that help in the back of the bullpen, however. As quoted on

"We may need a little bit of help in the bullpen,” Dombrowski told Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio’s Inside Pitch program, “maybe middle as we go forward, or someone that can help pitch later in the game. But we’re not looking for that closer and that gives you a very comfortable feeling. …“We feel comfortable with Joba [Chamberlain] the way he’s throwing later there. We have some young guys in our bullpen right now, so I think it’s more somebody that feels comfortable pitching a combination of the seventh and eighth innings for us at this time.”"

The Tigers also have free agent acquisition Joel Hanrahan on the way for reinforcements, though that may or may not make the situation any better. And with the Tigers supposedly in position to make a significant deal at the deadline, this might simply be a matter of Dombrowski refusing to tip his hand in a radio interview.

Middle of the bullpen help is fine, but I bet the Tigers wouldn’t mind improving at closer if the right deal came along.