"They may be the most improved team in the game," agent Scott Boras raved. "I think (owner) Mike Ilitch has made it clear he wants to take that team to the top. Pudge was just the start. I expect them to be aggressive."
That they have been. Detroit has a standing four-year offer on the table to highly coveted righthander Carl Pavano, who is mulling deals from the five interested American League clubs that he visited in recent weeks.
While Baltimore plastered Pavano's image on their scoreboard and the Red Sox opened up Curt Schilling's house to help woo Pavano, the Tigers made their best pitch by trotting out Hall of Famer Al Kaline and manager Alan Trammell.
"He was thrilled at Al's taking the time to sit down with him," Pavano's agent, Scott Shapiro, said Friday. "And Carl and Tram hit it off."
Meanwhile, the Tigers haven't wasted time in tracking down other possibilities for improvement. Detroit is making a pitch to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, most recently of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and also has been reported to have interest in former Minnesota Twins third sacker Corey Koskie.
The Tigers have also been in the mix with two of the premier players that have already signed this week. Infielder Troy Glaus and outfielder Steve Finley both considered Comerica Park as a possible destination before deciding on the Arizona Diamondbacks and Anaheim Angels, respectively.
"I had it down to three teams, with Detroit and San Francisco," Finley said Friday. "It was a coin toss."
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