TigsTown Roundtable: Bullpen Set?

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: With the Jose Mesa signing, is the Tiger bullpen now set, or will they still look to add a left-hander or possibly swing a trade?

Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
As of now, I'd expect the Tigers to head into spring training with the current group that they have; while there had been some murmurs of a trade, it doesn't appear as if anything is in the works. With that said, the Tigers could very well look to add a left-hander after reporting day, especially if Jim Leyland and the rest of the staff doesn't appear satisfied with the team's options as far as left-handers are concerned. I believe a lot depends on how a handful of pitchers perform this spring (especially Rule 5 selection Edward Campusano and Wil Ledezma).

Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
I think we can essentially consider the bullpen set. You have to figure Todd Jones, Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, and Jose Mesa are all guaranteed slots in the bullpen, with the loser of the Mike Maroth/Wil Ledezma battle for the final rotation spot also getting a slot. That's five spots in what is likely to be a seven man bullpen, given Leyland's penchant for that extra reliever. There are currently plenty of candidates for the final two slots in the pen, including Corey Hamman, Vic Darensbourg, Tim Byrdak, Edward Campusano, Zach Miner, Roman Colon, Jason Grilli, Jordan Tata, and likely several other pitchers. With all of those players currently vying for spots on the roster, it's difficult to believe the organization is going to be looking to add anything significant to the mix, between now and spring training.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I don't think they're done. Signing Mesa on the surface would seem like an unnecessary move, unless the Tigers don't plan on bringing back Jason Grilli to fill their middle relief spot. Looking at Mesa's splits from 2006, the batting average against is almost identical from both sides (.271, .270), so he certainly isn't a specialist. Perhaps by signing Mesa, do the Tigers have a bigger trade brewing involving either Fernando Rodney or Todd Jones (there was some talk of it at the Winter Meetings)? We'll have to wait and see, but this move is a head scratcher for the time being.

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