Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
It's easy to find points of concern in the midst of a losing skid, just like it's easy to mask those same concerns in a winning streak. Right now, some Tigers fans feel as if this whole team needs an overhaul. Not only is that unrealistic, but it's unnecessary. But what this team does need, in a very bad way, is a strong, middle-of-the-order bat. The Tigers have three productive big league hitters right now - Curtis Granderson, Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge. You can live with lacking power from your catcher and your shortstop, and there is still plenty of hope Placido Polanco will turn it around in the second half (and even if he doesn't, Scott Sizemore is knocking on the door in Toledo), but the Tigers in my opinion will not be able to make it down the stretch with such little production from its corner outfielders. Upgrades are available now, and that will likely continue as we get closer to the trade deadline and more and more teams decide they're not going to contend. Names already out there include Adam Dunn and Alex Rios. More names will continue to pop up. And the more names that do, the lower the price tag goes. And by adding that productive player, the Tigers can ease the pain of releasing Magglio Ordonez, replacing the production you expected to get out of him, all for a substantially less cost. In 2006, I lobbied hard for the Tigers to add a bat down the stretch. Who knows if another bat to replace someone like Craig Monroe would have made the difference, but here's the scary thing right now - the Tigers would love to get Craig Monroe-like production out of a corner outfield spot. The time to make a move has come.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
As someone who focuses their time on the minor leagues, I would not advocate bringing in an outside bat at this current juncture. I would simply advocate bringing up someone from the minor leagues to help the roster, and I believe that help should be in the bullpen. While the offense has surged and sputtered at various times, and the rotation has shown some flashes of excellence, the bullpen could almost always use an additional arm. The Tigers are fortunate in that they have a load of relief prospects with big arms, strong attitudes, and they are nearing big league readiness. The Tigers don't presently need a high leverage guy, but rather someone who can come up and shut down a 6th or 7th inning when someone like Galarraga, Porcello, or presently French fades earlier in the game than you would like. I think that guy could be someone of the Cody Satterwhite or Casey Fien ilk. While neither player is truly ready for the big leagues at this point, they both have the raw ability to succeed in lower leverage situations right now, while possibly growing into a trusted arm over the next two months as we head to the stretch.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
If there was one player I would add, I would take a player that the Tigers passed on all three times he was eligible for the draft in San Francisco's Tim Lincecum. Pitchers with ace stuff don't grow on trees, and when you couple that with his youth and cost control, that makes it even better. It makes you wonder how good the Tigers' rotation would look with Justin Verlander, Lincecum, Edwin Jackson and Rick Porcello in it, although I don't think their would've been any way that Miguel Cabrera is a Tiger without dealing Lincecum. Porcello couldn't be dealt at the time of the trade, and the Marlins likely wouldn't have wanted Verlander simply because he was getting close to being expensive through arbitration. Had they drafted and signed Lincecum, and not traded for Cabrera, that is still a rotation that is going to be very tough over the duration of the season. It does make you wonder what might've been.
Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!