TigsTown MLN: Trade Deadline Heats Up

In a bit of a change of pace, today's notebook will focus in on the looming July 31st trade deadline, who the Tigers might be looking to add or move, and whether or not we can even expect an active role from the Tigers. Also, what's the status of the Tigers' second baseman?

Starting with Placido Polanco, after a solid workout on Tuesday afternoon before their game in Seattle, the Tigers are ready to activate Polanco from the 15-day disabled list. The problem now emerges though, whose place will he take?

There just doesn't appear to be a clear cut answer. The most logical response would be either one of the reserve infielders, looking to move one of the team's designated hitters, or simply taking out a middle reliever from the equation.

While two extra infielders seems excessive, the Tigers have demonstrated time and again that they prefer to carry two (especially with the lineup shuffling of Alan Trammell), which means both John McDonald and Omar Infante will remain on the active roster.

Possibly the most logical move from a roster standpoint would be to do something with one of the team's designated hitters, as carrying two players both with extremely limited ability in the field. But both can still swing the bat, so a trip to the disabled list for either would seem unnecessary, so unless a trade jumps at the team in the coming hours, that isn't an option either.

That leaves the team with moving down a reliever, probably either Craig Dingman or Vic Darensbourg. It'd be ideal to keep seven relievers in the coming days, especially with Kyle Farnsworth headed for a suspension, but the Tigers can deal with that at a later time.

Moving onto trade rumors, things are surprisingly starting to heat up when it comes to the Tigers. The team has shifted from buyers to sellers and now to somewhere in between, where the Tigers could be looking to add and subtract, not ruling anything out.

The team remains a dark horse in the A.J. Burnett sweepstakes, especially now with the Marlins backing down from their stance of having to include Mike Lowell in any deal. ESPN's Jayson Stark has reported that the Marlins would be interested in Mike Maroth and recently promoted outfielder Curtis Granderson, but the Tigers might be weary of moving their top position prospect, especially with him now looking to be ready for the major leagues for the long haul.

The Rondell White sweepstakes would have thought to have died down with White seemingly being unable to play in the field for the remainder of the season, but the Atlanta Braves still had scouts in attendance at the Tiger game with the Marlins, supposedly watching White (or maybe even Dmitri Young) at the plate. The possibility of either moving (White because of his injury, Young because of the amount of money he'll be owed over the coming years) though remains remote.

The trade deadline is always an exciting time, but unless something monumental happens in the coming days, or someone drops a sweetheart deal in Dave Dombrowski's lap, expect the Tigers to hang tight and see how they can play it out with the group they've got.

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