The Tigers came into this season saying that they were set at closer and rookie flamethrower Bruce Rondon was going to be given every opportunity to win the closers job. Well 3.2 innings into spring training everything has changed according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
After letting options like Rafael Soriano and Joel Hanrahan go to the Nationals and Red Sox the Tigers are now left with little to no options. The only free agent options are Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Wilson and the former Tiger Jose Valverde. Most teams don’t have any interest in any of these guys whose production have all fallen off the map recently.
Via trade options include Andrew Bailey, Carlos Marmol and potentially Tyler Clippard or Drew Storen from the Nationals. With all of these teams now knowing how desperate the Tigers are, none of these players would be coming cheap.
Now my question is how could this possibly happen so quickly? The Tigers, even though no one in the organization would come out and say it, wanted Rondon to be the closer this season and beyond. Even if Rondon struggled this season, it was believed that someone in the bullpen would be able to handle the closer role for a period of time.
With a rash move like this it has to be coming from the very top in Mr. Ilitch. That is the only reason I can think of that would cause Dombrowski and company to completely try to rebuild the back of the bullpen four or five days into spring training.
So what does this mean for the Tigers? I see two options happening before the start of the season. One, they keep the roster as is and let the guys work through it together or two, they move Porcello for a closer and give up way to much in the process. I’d rather see option one and hold on to a trade chip like Porcello for a bigger prize. We will see which way the team goes, and if Mr. I will give the team time gel together.