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Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2008-10-30


Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2008-10-30
The pitching staff was in a general state of disarray at the end of the season following an April breakdown of the rotation and an August/September collapse of the back end of the bullpen. This is an aging team of star position players that really didn't mesh in 2008, mostly because it was betrayed by its pitching staff, but it may be in need of just a tweaking to squeeze out one more year before the introduction of younger, faster players begins. Shedding one of the DH types will be a quiet winter priority.

BIGGEST NEEDS: GM Dave Dombrowski said the team will be looking outside the organization for a closer, although it does have shaky RHP Fernando Rodney to fall back on. The rotation had just two sure members (RHPs Justin Verlander and Armando Galarraga) entering the offseason and at least one member must be imported. Additional late-inning relief help is also a must. Veteran catching help must be found for rookie C Dusty Ryan now that Brandon Inge has been returned to third base.

FREE AGENTS: RHP Freddy Garcia, SS Edgar Renteria, LHP Kenny Rogers, RHP Todd Jones, RHP Kyle Farnsworth, LHP Casey Fossum, C Vance Wilson

Garcia wants to return, and the Tigers want him, but a contract must be worked out. Renteria was informed on the last day of the season he was being bought out of his 2009 option -- but to stick by the phone because he still could be signed for less money. Rogers is not likely to be asked back unless he'll pitch for peanuts. Jones has announced his retirement. Farnsworth won't be offered arbitration or a contract. Fossum is borderline to return, as an arbitration offer is unlikely and even minor league deals are iffy. Wilson has missed two years due to Tommy John surgery and would return on a minor league contract with a chance to make the roster.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: RHP Justin Verlander, LHP Bobby Seay, INF Ramon Santiago, OF Marcus Thames, RHP Joel Zumaya, RHP Aquilino Lopez, RHP Gary Glover, RHP Fernando Rodney

Every player but Glover is probable to at least be offered arbitration. Detroit will explore offering Verlander a longer-term contract but may go with a one-year deal to see how he rebounds off his poor 2008 campaign.

IN LIMBO: LHP Nate Robertson, LHP Dontrelle Willis, OF Marcus Thames, UT Ryan Raburn.

Even though Robertson and Willis have guaranteed contracts, Detroit can't afford to keep both unless both are in the rotation. Thames and Raburn have limited market value.

MEDICAL WATCH:

RHP Joel Zumaya (right shoulder soreness due to scar tissue breakup) will keep building up his shoulder and begin throwing in December.

RHP Jeremy Bonderman (right rib removal, blood clot surgery in June 2008) will resume throwing as soon as he regains full range of motion in his arm, expected perhaps by November.

C Vance Wilson (Tommy John surgeries in June 2007 and June 2008) has missed the past two seasons. His return will be well after spring training.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 30, 2008

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