The Tigers acquired lefty reliever Steve Colyer from the Los Angeles Dodgers along with a Player To Be Named Later. In return, the Tigers shipped out one of their top prospects; OF Cody Ross. Ross, who was the Tigers 2003 Minor League Player of the Year, was facing a crowded Outfield in Detroit with no playing time looking to become available in the near future. Ross was slated to start the year in AAA Toledo, but looked to be ready to get major league playing time.
It's unknown what type of player the Tigers will be getting later on (a known commodity or just a throw-in), but Colyer looks to have a good chance to make the Tigers immediately. The Dodgers liked Colyer, but have incredible depth in the pitching department and considered him expendable. In 2003, Colyer shuttled back in forth between the Dodgers and AAA Las Vegas, recording a 2.75 ERA in 14 appearances without factoring into a decision.
This is an interesting move for the Tigers – indicating they probably felt they were in need of 2 lefties in the bullpen. The question marks surrounding so many of the Tigers' relievers probably also contributed to their decision to make a move. However, it is very unfortunate that they had to give up Ross in the deal. He was a hard-nosed player who could very well turn out to be a very productive major leaguer. So unless the Tigers are receiving a highly regarded prospect as the PTBNL, the front office must have felt he was never going to become a regular in the Tigers everyday lineup.
Colyer looks to be a decent pitcher, and should help out the Tigers bullpen, but it's hard to see him becoming much more than a middle reliever or situational lefty. Colyer possesses a fastball that sits in the mid 90's (rare for a lefty), as well as a slider that continues to improve. Colyer's biggest question mark is his consistency, much like Franklyn German, he could come in and strike out the side, or walk the first two batters he faces.
Colyer shows some promise, but hopefully the Tigers are receiving another solid prospect at some point to complete the trade, otherwise the Dodgers might have just stolen one of the Tigers' top prospects.