Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/9/13
With the bullpen a major mission ahead of 2014, the Tigers are expected to discuss two high-profile relievers, Javier Lopez and Joe Smith, each of whom is represented by Barry Meister. Meister heads Meister Sports Management, in Deerfield, Ill., and has had his share of dealings through the years with Tigers front-office chief Dave Dombrowski, as well as John Westhoff, the team’s legal counsel and vice president who negotiates Tigers contracts. “From the outside looking in, it makes sense, as well,” Meister said during a Friday phone conversation, speaking of Lopez and Smith and their job qualifications as the Tigers attempt to remodel their back-end relief corps. “We have a really nice relationship with Dave and with John, and I’m sure we’re going to discuss them. Nothing’s imminent, and it’s still a little early for things to happen. But I’ll certainly reach out to the Tigers. “I know they’ve been busy on managerial and coaching decisions. But one of the things I think is a fact is that everyone knows this team has a great clubhouse vibe. It’s a great place to play. And both of the guys mentioned (Lopez and Smith) are high-makeup guys who thrive in that kind of atmosphere.” Lopez, 36, and a left-handed artist, was almost certainly a Tigers trade target during Dombrowski’s summer safari for bullpen help. He pitched the past four seasons for the Giants and had a splendid 2013: 1.83 earned-run average in 69 games, with a sparkling 1.08 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning).
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