Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
After acquiring Edgar Renteria and Jacque Jones, and resigning Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones, much of the heavy offseason lifting is done even before the Winter Meetings get under way. However, with Joel Zumaya shelved for at least the first half of the season, the Tigers are still in need of some bullpen help. Francisco Cruceta has a nice arm, but has not established himself, and while he could be a good one, the Tigers can't be bank their season on him (or any of their other young and unproven arms). Whether that be making a move on the free agent market or reaching out via trade once again, the Tigers need to add a proven late-inning reliever to the pitching staff. Dave Dombrowski has put together quite a team, and he'd be foolish to then leave the late innings up to an unproven group of youngsters in many key situations.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
As has become the norm with Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers have moved quickly to fill most of their off-season needs. They have improved over Sean Casey by moving Carlos Guillen to first and acquring Edgar Renteria. They have solidified the fourth spot in the rotation with Kenny Rogers, and have a plethora of capable arms to fill out the back end. All that is left at this juncture is to square away the bullpen in the wake of the devestating injury to flame-thrower Joel Zumaya. The are plenty of candidates for the bullpen, ranging from the return of Bobby Seay and Tim Byrdak, to the acquisition of someone new to fill the 6th, 7th, and 8th inning roles. In my view, the Tigers must -- absolutely must -- bring in at least one quality relief option from outside the organization to solidify this 'pen. It doesn't have to be a flashy name, or someone that throws smoke like Zumaya, but they have to bring in a reliable arm. There is value in relying on youngsters like Eulogio De La Cruz, Jordan Tata, Zach Miner, Clay Rapada, Jose Capellan, or others, but there is even greater value in providing the bullpen -- and the team -- with the confidence that comes from an additional veteran, reliable bullpen arm.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
After trading for Edgar Renteria and Jacque Jones to fill holes at shortstop and left field, the Tigers need to turn their attention to the pitching staff with a focus on the bullpen. With the injury to Joel Zumaya, the Tigers are thin in front of recently re-signed closer Todd Jones. The rumor mill has the Tigers after right-hander Octavio Dotel, who they reportedly had a deal in place with Kansas City at the trade deadline, but the Royals elected to trade with the Braves for Kyle Davies. This would certainly be a nice step in that direction, although Dotel has had trouble staying healthy. I'd like to see the Tigers ink two relievers, and if Zumaya comes back healthy, it makes the bullpen deeper. The Tigers could also add a starting pitcher if they Andrew Miller isn't ready to assume a full-time starting role, but the bullpen should be the top priority.
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