I’m a little disappointed, and a tad confused, about the seemingly lack of any real effort to effectuate a closer. Originally, this was to be goal number one. It was mission critical to bring in a closer. Wasn’t it? Has that changed? A few good prospects, at least I thought they were, have been traded, and the door is shutting on the Tiger’s possible chances, as the list of candidates dwindle. Kerry Wood has been dealt to Cleveland. Francisco Rodriguez is a New York Met, although he was never seriously considered in the first place. Yet, we remain without a guy in the bullpen who can slam the door shut.
Zumaya is still working through his arm issues, and according to Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers are “guarded,” concerning his progress. Healthy, he would be the one. But there is too much uncertainty at this stage.
Fernando Rodney has control problems that are a greater concern, and he can probably serve as a part time closer, if that.
On the list of possibilities sits Joe Beimel, whom I spoke of in an earlier post. Along with Beimel are Eric Gagne, Trevor Hoffman, Juan Cruz, Dennys Reyes and Brandon Lyon, all who remain free agents.
The Tigers, understandably, don’t intend to spend a lot of money. So, maybe a guy like 41 year-old Trevor Hoffman could fit nicely into the financial, and on-field, plans in 2009.
Does he have a little something left in the tank? I think so. I suppose the bigger question here is whether he would accept a deal from a fiscally exhausted Tigers organization. Who knows?
In any case, I’d like to see a move, an acquisition, made before February 14, the day pitchers and catchers have to report to Lakeland. I think it’s important to have our guys out there, right from the get. This must be our number one priority, still.
Let’s not put the pieces together in April or May.