While it may take a big offer, trading for Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is just one of the many relief pitchers the Tigers could look into bringing to Detroit.
Now obviously there are guys out there like San Diego Padres pitchers Joaquin Benoit and Alex Torres who would be great prospects to bring in. Also, there have been talks about the Tigers making an attempt to get Texas Rangers’ closer Joakim Soria.
Yes, all of those moves are realistic into actually happening because if you don’t know by now, general manager Dave Dombrowski has stated how they are looking to trade for help in the bullpen. Even though the bullpen has been a little more under control, closer Joe Nathan still has not been consistent on being the shutdown closer we all know he is.
That’s why the acquisition of a closer such as Papelbon or Soria or even a pitcher such as Benoit who has experience closer is the best move the Tigers can make.
Now to talk about why bringing in Papelbon would be a move the Tigers should make.
After blowing seven saves in 2013 and finishing with an ERA of 2.92 in 61 appearances, the 33-year-old Papelbon has turned it around. This season, Papelbon has 23 saves and an ERA of 1.17 in 39 games this year and is having his best season since joining the Phillies in 2012.
With Papelbon being on top of his game and the Phillies sitting in last place in the National League East and looking pretty much done this season, the Phillies could get a lot of value in return for Papelbon. And even if Papelbon is shipped somewhere, the Phillies have a young fireball thrower in pitcher Ken Giles who is 23 years old and has been outstanding for the team and could be the future closer for the organization.
Now let’s focus on what this could mean for Detroit if this move was to happen.
The Tigers would be in a situation where they have two potential closers, three if you want to include pitcher Joba Chamberlain, who could come in and close out a game. Not many managers in the game could say they have that situation.
Even though Dombrowski and manager Brad Ausmus both have said they will stick with the up-and-down Nathan, the luxury of knowing you have a guy with the caliber such as Papelbon is comforting to know in case they decide to give up on the struggling closer.
With just about nine days left until the trade deadline, the Tigers’ move to acquire Papelbon is one that could happen.