Found June 20, 2014 on
PLAYERS: Miguel Cabrera
TEAMS: Detroit Tigers
Don’t look now, but the Detroit Tigers are in second place. For a team with World Series hopes, second place in the lately-pitiful AL Central simply won’t cut it. Owner Mike Ilitch has opened up his wallet in recent years, and GM Dave Dombrowski is certainly always looking to wheel and deal. His track record thus far has been sterling: he’s lured players like Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer and Victor Martinez to Detroit. But Dombo now has to deal with a struggling team with several holes. The Tigers certainly won’t stand pat and hope the ship rights itself at the trade deadline. Dombrowski has been a deadline mastermind in recent years, including the (first) Doug Fister trade that vaulted the Tigers to the World Series. Don’t think for a second that double D doesn’t have something similar in mind for this year. So what do the Tigers really need? That’s not an easy answer. Detroit could use a relief pitcher, a left-handed outfielder, a lead pipe to beat the hell out of Justin Verlander with, and a shortstop. Which brings me to current Tampa Bay Ray Ben Zobrist. Zobrist has done it all in his nine-year career in Tampa. He can play outfield, second base AND shortstop, and has even seen a bit of time at the corner infield positions. As a switch hitter, Zobrist would fit both the left-handed outfielder void as well as the one at short. Zobrist has not had the most inspiring season, I know. As a Zobrist owner in fantasy baseball, I’m well aware of his struggles at the dish this year. Some may even argue that the Tigers are better off with youngster Eugenio Suarez patrolling the left side of the infield, but I disagree. Suarez is a talented youngster, no doubt. But I fear that things will get much harder for the 22-year-old. As Tigers fans saw with Nick Castellanos, teams learned his weaknesses and he slumped in the month of May. Castellanos has been able to improve and right the ship a bit, but Suarez is not the prospect that Castellanos is. He will have a harder time adjusting. Zobrist would be the perfect fit in Detroit. He could step into the middle of an already potent lineup and add to it immediately. Zobrist would be a great number two guy in the lineup as his career OBP of .352 suggests. The Tigers have struggled to find an everyday number two hitter: Ian Kinsler has been their best leadoff option, but has hit second for most of the season behind Rajai Davis. Davis has played well, but his .319 OBP is not good enough for a leadoff man. With Zobrist in the lineup, Brad Ausmus has some options. He can bat Kinsler leadoff, or slot Zobrist in the number one spot. The two both have career OBPs around .350, so either is a good option. This would allow Ausmus to move Davis down to the bottom of the order and would give Cabrera and Martinez more opportunities to drive in runs. I attribute some of Zobrist’s struggles this year to the Rays’ struggles as a whole. Baseball is a mental marathon and playing on a once contending team that is now in last place isn’t an easy pill to swallow. I feel that a change of scenery for Zobrist would do wonders. Just imagine this lineup: Kinsler and Zobrist would make for an exciting 1-2 punch 1. Kinsler, 2B 2. Zobrist, SS 3. Cabrera, 1B 4. V. Martinez, DH 5. Hunter, RF 6. Jackson, CF 7. Castellanos, 3B 8. Avila, C 9. Davis, LF [Tigers: Brad Ausmus's discouraging comments] And if Ausmus feels that the red-hot JD Martinez is a better option than Davis, he could make that swap. If Suarez is an upgrade over Davis, put Zobrist in left and insert Suarez at short. The flexibility would be a big advantage. How lucrative a package would the Tigers have to pony up for Zobrist’s services? Considering Tampa Bay’s situation, I’m not too sure it would be huge. Tampa is known to have a tight pocketbook, so they will want prospects as opposed to proven commodities. The Tigers don’t have a loaded farm system but they have a stellar core of pitching prospects down in single-A that the Rays may be interested in. Detroit also has infield prospect Hernan Perez that they could throw in to sweeten the deal. Zobrist’s contract expires after this year, and although the Rays have a $7.5 million option for the 2015 season, I’m sure they would welcome a deal that included a few prospects in exchange for Zobrist. At 33 years old, he isn’t the team’s future. The Royals have also been linked to Zobrist and if he goes to the Tigers’ division rival (and leader of the AL Central), things would start looking grim in Motown. But if the Tigers do nab Zobrist, a World Series ring would look more realistic than ever.   The post Detroit Tigers rumors: Ben Zobrist edition appeared first on isportsweb.
1 Comment:

Ausmus talks mixing Avila, Jackson in lineup

DETROIT -- During spring training, Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus mentioned how critically important it would be to have catcher Alex Avila and center fielder Austin Jackson contribute their fair share offensively. Both were coming of subpar hitting seasons, but had shown significant prowess with the bat earlier in their careers. Jackson, after hitting .307 through April, has...

Verlander, Tigers go for three-game win streak

Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus isn't about to call Justin Verlander's disastrous stretch the beginning of the end of his career. There's no mistaking, though, that the former AL Cy Young Award winner is looking completely overwhelmed. Verlander tries to put another terrible performance behind him as the visiting Tigers go for their first three-game win streak in a...

Fantasy Baseball: What to do with Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander won both the American League Cy Young and MVP award in 2011 but has struggled this season Just a few years ago, Justin Verlander was one of the best pitchers in baseball. The former Cy Young award and Most Valuable Player award winner, Verlander absolutely dominated hitters. After the end of the 2012 season, Verlander had a career record of 124-65 and a 3.40 ERA...

Tigers Rumors: Detroit focusing on trading for bullpen help

The Detroit Tigers have one of the worst bullpens in the major leagues. Many feel that the bullpen is their one area for improvement during the trade deadline season, something that could be key down the stretch and into the postseason. As we know, good bullpens can take a team far, while poor relief corps can really hurt a team's stock.Bullpen help is the Tigers' number...

Tigers head to Cleveland, where slump began mid-May

The Detroit Tigers were 15 games over .500 and riding a six-game winning streak when they traveled to face the Cleveland Indians in mid-May. Little did they know that trip would be the beginning of a dismal stretch they're still trying to overcome. Fresh off ending another losing streak, Detroit heads to Cleveland on Friday night to begin a three-game series with the surging...

Detroit Manager Ausmus Makes Horrible Comment

Posted to Things Other Than Sports But Are Still Funny, and A Little Bit Of SportsWhen Detroit Tigers manager, Brad Ausmus, was asked how he dealt with losing games, he responded “by beating my wife.” Ausmus has since apologized for his comments. Looks like Brad will be sleeping on the couch for awhile. 18 total views, 18 views today The post Detroit Manager Ausmus Makes...

Newspaper blames Justin Verlander's pitching woes on dating Kate Upton

Justin Verlander's performance has been steadily declining since posting historic numbers in 2011 en route to winning both the American League Cy Young and MVP Awards. Part of the blame for this has been cast on Verlander's increasing age (31). Others point to his drop of velocity and blame the amazing amount of pitches he's thrown over the last decade. And then some...

Dugout Digest – the power of the Martinez

Everyone knows how good Victor Martinez is. He’s homered 18 times this year, and struck out just 21 times. He’s actually having a better season with the stick than Miguel Cabrera. But did you know that there’s another Martinez that is playing well for the Tigers? Former Astro J.D. Martinez has filled in admirably in the outfield this year, hitting .317/.348/.615 with seven...

Indians land on short side of home run parade, Tigers top Tribe, 6-4

CLEVELAND (AP) -- J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer, Victor Martinez added a two-run shot and the Detroit Tigers held on for a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. Rick Porcello (9-4) pitched six scoreless innings for the Tigers and Joe Nathan worked the ninth for his 15th save. Victor Martinez homered off Corey Kluber (6-5) in the fourth inning. J.D. Martinez...

Martinez combo powers Tigers over Indians, 6-4

CLEVELAND—Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Victor Martinez was once a friend of the Tribe, now he’s their most feared enemy. Having played with the Indians for more than eight seasons from 2002-2009, Martinez led the offensive charge for the Tigers Friday night, as Detroit hung onto defeat Cleveland, 6-4. Scoreless through the first three innings, the Tigers...

Tigers Manager Make Horrible Joke

Posted to Things Other Than Sports But Are Still Funny, and A Little Bit Of SportsWhen Tigers manager, Brad Ausmus, was asked how he dealt with losing games he responded “by going home and beating my wife.” Ausmus has since issued a apology for his comment. Stupid, Stupid, Brad. C’mon guy. That joke is extremely old and stopped being funny a long time ago. Looks like someone...

Tigers end Royals' 10-game run with 2-1 victory

DETROIT (AP) -- Anibal Sanchez pitched seven sharp innings, and the Detroit Tigers ended Kansas City's 10-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory over the Royals on Thursday. J.D. Martinez hit a tiebreaking homer in the fourth for the Tigers, who avoided a four-game sweep and pulled within a half-game of the AL Central-leading Royals. Sanchez (4-2) allowed five hits and a walk...

Second Thoughts Game #74: Tigers 6, Indians 4

What can you say?  Don’t pitch to guys named Martinez.  Former Indian Victor Martinez continued to torture his former team, hitting a first pitch two-run shot to right in the fourth inning of Friday night’s 6-4 loss to the Tigers.  As bad as it was to give up that homer, the three-run home run that John Axford gave up to J.D. Martinez in the eighth was the big one....

Tribe can’t withstand Two-Martinez launch: Tigers 6, Indians 4

The Indians’ bats woke up in the bottom of the eighth inning, but the offensive display was too little, too late as the Tigers held on for a 6-4 win Friday night in the opener of a three-game set at Progressive Field. The Tribe offense had been held in check by Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who pitched six innings of shutout ball for the win, but the Detroit bullpen proved shaky...

DTW Meetup: Anyone coming to Texas?

The Tigers are in for a three game set vs. the Rangers next Tues/Wed/Thurs. I’ve got tix already for Thurs (taking my daughter to her first game), and am free on Tues night if anyone plans to make it.
Tigers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.