Down to the wire, per usual.
Last season, we didn’t hear many grumblings at all until Sean Casey, Craig Wilson, Kip Wells, Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez were dealt away on July 31. This year, the Pirates have made it known that they’re engaged in talks with at least one other team.
Says Dejan Kovacevic in the Post-Gazette:
According to two team sources, the Pirates are discussing a deal with the Detroit Tigers that would send their shortstop and highest-paid player, [Jack Wilson], to one of the American League’s elite teams by Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trading deadline at 4 p.m. today. …
The Pirates might receive better value if they include another player, and there, too, the teams’ needs dovetail: The Tigers are searching for bullpen help, and the Pirates’ only other players on the block are relievers Shawn Chacon, Salomon Torres and Damaso Marte.
Dejan lays out just why Detroit might have interest in Wilson and a reliever. Jack would provide middle infield depth this season, and could start again in 2008—pushing incumbent shortstop Carlos Guillen to first base. Chacon, Torres or Marte could strengthen a bullpen that’s been depleted by injuries to Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney.
When you consider that “before joining the Pirates, Littlefield served the Florida Marlins as Vice President and Assistant General Manager under Dave Dombrowski” (as referenced on MLB.com), it almost makes too much sense. Littlefield and Dombrowski, now the general manager of the Tigers, hooked up for a deadline deal last year, too, when the Pirates acquired Brian Rogers for Sean Casey.
I guess we’ll see what happens. Updates, of course, will be posted as soon as they’re known.
Until then, here’s a little food for thought:
- This thread at John Sickels’ Minor League Ball blog features reader discussion about what Tiger followers would do if they had Dombroski’s job tomorrow. The overwhelming sentiment seems to involve acquiring a reliever, and a fair number of respondents would like to see young depth in the infield.
- The Tigers’ system isn’t chock full of attainable talent. They wouldn’t move high-end guys like Andrew Miller or Cameron Maybin in a trade like this one. Maybe Tony Giarratano or Kody Kirkland would make sense. Brent Clevlen would be an interesting buy-low candidate.
- Detroit has a number of young arms with upside, too, and a rotation that’s fairly well set for the future. Maybe DL could pluck next year’s fourth or fifth starter. Virgil Vasquez or Jordan Tata could be fun, and both have pitched for the big club this season.