Phils and Tigers Could Be Trade Partners

Last season, the Tigers and Phillies linked up on a deal that sent Placido Polanco to Detroit and brought Ugueth Urbina to Philadelphia. This spring, the pieces could be in place for another deal between the two teams.

The Detroit Tigers could use a left-hander in their bullpen. As things stand now, Jamie Walker is the Tigers only left-handed reliever. While Walker has pitched well for the Tigers over the last four seasons, he could use a little help in the pen, which might allow him to pitch in situations as something other than a left-handed specialist.

The Phillies, with the acquisition of Arthur Rhodes and the 2005 emergence of Aaron Fultz, could move Rheal Cormier elsewhere. The Phillies also have need for a fifth outfielder and the Tigers have a pretty good wealth of outfielders.

While the Phillies ideal fifth outfielder would be a left-handed hitter, they could settle for a right-handed bat. The Tigers are making Marcus Thames available and the Phillies could be interested. Thames, would give the Phillies a little power off the bench - he's hit 19 major league homeruns in 358 at bats - which is something their bench could definitely use.

Another, but less likely option, could be Nook Logan. The 25 year old played in 125 games for Detroit last season, hitting .258, but he has little to no power. Instead, he brings some speed, which the Phillies could also use off their bench.

One catch is money. Cormier is owed at least $3.0 million for this season and a buyout of his $3.0 million contract for 2007. Thames, who has just over two years experience, will be making somewhere in the neighborhood of $350,000 this season and won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2006 season. It's unlikely that the Tigers would simply swallow that amount of money just to get Cormier.

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