It's not easy to identify the Tigers needs at trade deadline, let alone the solutions
On the other, the Tigers remain obviously flawed.
Their bullpen is by far the biggest issue. Is closer Joe Nathan "fixed?" He is throwing better, but what if it turns out to be a mirage. Should the Tigers take a run at somebody like San Diego's Huston Street?
Can the Tigers really trust Phil Coke? He hasn't allowed a run in his last six outings, dropping is ERA more than a run in the process from 6.48 to 5.34. They have run several relievers up and down from the minor leagues. Can they expect anything from veteran Joel Hanrahan, who at last reports still had not started throwing from a mound following Tommy John surgery. Veteran relief help seems like a must, but to degree and at what cost?
It's not just the bullpen, but the outfield. The Tigers have a glut of outfielders, but only J.D Martinez has performing at a high level recently. There is virtually no left-handed presence. Lefty Andy Dirks, out since back surgery during spring training, has begun baseball-related activities, but recently had a setback. Even assuming Dirks will be healthy, will he be the Andy Dirks of 2012, who had an OPS of .857 and played such a key role for the Tigers down the stretch of a close division race, or the one who had an OPS of .686 last season and was a bench player in the postseason? Should the Tigers take a run at outfielder Seth Smith or Chase Headly of the Padres, both left-handed hitters? Headley is a third baseman, but has played 196 MLB games in LF and would be an ideal upgrade for Don Kelly.
Then again, who is going to be San Diego's general manager? The Padres recently fired Josh Byrnes and haven't named his replacement.
My column. Time hasn't been kind to '84 Tigers and it's difficult to understand why: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140629/time-hasnt-been-kind-to-1984-detroit-tigers-and-its-difficult-to-understand-why-pat-caputo-says
My column. Several more Detroit athletes are hall of fame worthy: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140628/several-more-detroit-athletes-are-hall-of-fame-worthy-pat-caputo-writes
My column on Red Wings free agency: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140625/needs-obvious-for-red-wings-but-not-easily-filled-in-nhl-free-agency-pat-caputo-says
On FOX Roundtable last night with Sean Baligian. Woody Woodriffe hosting http://www.myfoxdetroit.com" title="Fox 2 News Headlines">Fox 2 News Headlines