One of the worst kept secrets as we approach the trade deadline is the desire on the part of the Detroit Tigers to add a reliever to the back of their bullpen. The team’s already been linked to multiple potential options – including Francisco Rodriguez of the Milwaukee Brewers and even Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants in recent days. FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi is now reporting that the team has reached out to the San Diego Padres about their potentially available options, including both Huston Street and Luke Gregerson.
It’s unclear if San Diego is willing to discuss moving one (or both) of these players in a deal with Detroit and it’s unknown what they’d want in return.
Street’s appeal lays mostly in his experience and his contract. He’s occupied the closer’s role ever since making his MLB Debut at age 21 and as he’s approaching his 30th birthday he’s already amassed 217 saves. He’s had some injury concerns throughout his career, but when healthy he’s been a productive option in the late innings. Street’s posted a 3.07 ERA, 1.048 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 over the course of his career. He’s earning $7 Million this season and will receive the same next. There is also a team option in place for 2015, again for $7 Million.
As for Gregerson, he’s been less heralded but has posted similar peripheral numbers. Primarily a setup man – first for Heath Bell and later for Street – he’s never truly gotten the credit that he’s deserved. With a 2.92 ERA, 1.101 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, and 2.7 BB/9 the right-hander has been mostly consistent and reliable in high leverage situations over his career. He’s earning $3.2 Million this season and will be arbitration eligible for the third time this winter.
The fact that both Street and Gregerson would be under team control beyond this season is certainly an added bonus for any team that could look to acquire them, but it will also boost the cost in all likelihood. There also is the consideration of whether San Diego really wants to move one of their bullpen arms. The Padres are 8 games out in the NL West, trailing a pair of teams (the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers) who’ve been playing very good baseball of late and who have stronger and deeper rosters to work with as the season progresses. The Padres might be wise to move some of their assets to continue re-building their roster for the future, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be willing to do so.
As for Detroit, it seems clear that they will acquire a reliever before the deadline but who that will be remains up in the air. They’ve been linked to a number of arms already and will likely be linked to more in the next ten days. Detroit sits comfortably atop the AL Central but another piece to add to the bullpen just might be what they need in order to remain there.