Tigers Keep Plugging Away at Winter Meetings

With Day 3 coming to a close, some may consider the Tigers efforts unsuccessful in Anaheim after a number of players the organization was pursuing ended up different uniforms. Despite the lack of success, Dave Dombrowski remains optimistic, as they focus on a new group of targets.

After a start to the offseason which was marked with the quick signing of star closer Troy Percival, the Tigers have yet to make more noise.

The team actively pursued Percival's teammate, 3B Troy Glaus. But Glaus elected to stay out west, signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The team had targeted Starting Pitcher Carl Pavano as its top starter – but unfortunately, while the offer was competitive, Pavano elected to sign with the richest club in baseball, the New York Yankees.

The team also expressed interest in Centerfielder Steve Finley – but their 2-year, $16 million offer wasn't enough to pull him from the west coast, as Anaheim got the aging yet still productive Finley.

So goes the life of Dave Dombrowski, who despite seeing his team make a 29-game improvement, still remains in charge of a club who finished 18-games below .500.

Dombrowski, who has also had manager Alan Trammell and Hall-of-Famer and special assistant Al Kaline recruiting for him as well, is not one to dwell on the past though, as it is clear that team owner Mike Ilitch has given Dombrowski the green light to be aggressive and spend money on worthy free agents.

Dombrowski is now moving on to the next group of targets – believed to center around Outfielder J.D. Drew and Starting Pitcher Derek Lowe. The team also has interest in a pair of Third Basemen – Corey Koskie and Adrian Beltre. Koskie however is leaning towards signing with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Coincidentally (or is it?), three of the four (Drew, Lowe and Beltre) are all represented by super agent Scott Boras. Boras isn't always well regarded within baseball circles, but has consistently gotten the best deals for his players.

Boras has also built a solid relationship with Ilitch, after the negotiation of the ‘Pudge' Rodriguez signing last winter.

Numbers have been hard to confirm, but it's believed that the Tigers have competitive (if not the best offer) out to Drew and Lowe , while many teams still wait to see where the market sets on Beltre.

The team looks to be in good position with both Drew and Lowe – as they appear to be the only serious suitors for the pair (rumored to have offered Drew a 4-year, $36 million deal, and Lowe a 3-year, $25 million deal).

Competition in the Third Base market remains high – although that appears to be thinning, as the Dodgers appear close to dropping out of the race for their star Third Baseman Beltre, while the Tigers and Mariners have emerged as the only two teams at the moment willing to meet his salary demands. But as always in the free agent market, things can change quickly.

And so it goes for the Tigers as they wrap up the Winter Meetings in Anaheim. The Tigers may conclude the weekend without a major signing (although Boras has hinted that at least one - if not more - of his clients will sign Monday), but that certainly doesn't mean the Tigers won't see one materialize. And for the Tigers, right now, all they want is a chance. Because you never know when the next ‘Pudge' will fall into your lap.


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