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10 bullpen options for the Tigers as the trade deadline looms

by Colin Windecker

We are less than a week away from the non-waivers trade deadline and as the Tigers are desperately looking for some help in the bullpen, here are 10 options Dave Dombrowski could be looking at as July 31st deadline approaches. (List is in no particular order) 

Jonathon Papelbon, Phillies: His hefty salary and the amount of prospects it would cost the Tigers (a package most likely including Nick Castellanos) make it unlikely the Tigers would deal for one of the best/most consistent closers in baseball over the last eight years. Papelbon has blown five saves in the last month which could lower his price but not by much. Dombrowski has made huge splashes the last two trade deadlines, so the possibility of acquiring Papelbon is not out of this world impossible, but doubtful.

Huston Street, Padres: His ERA is more than double of what it was in 2012, while his Ks/9 is nearly half of last year. Rumors swirled during Spring Training that the Tigers were looking to trade Rick Porcello for Street but nothing materialized. Street is under contract for $7 million in 2014 if the Tigers are looking for more than a three-month rental.

Luke Gregerson, Padres: Tigers have inquired about Gregerson as well from the Padres who are currently 9 games out of first place in the NL West and will most likely be sellers come trade deadline time. Gregerson allowed just two earned runs over 23.2 innings in April and May but has been hit hard of late, posting an ERA of 5.40 in June and July. He still strikes out more than a batter per inning and doesn’t walk many. Mostly an eighth inning guy but has also closed some games this year. Is arbitration eligible in 2014.

John Axford, Brewers: Francisco Rodriquez would have been perfect for the Tigers but he was traded to Baltimore on Tuesday, but the Brewers have other options they are looking to move. Axford lost the closing job to Rodriquez but has found a nice niche as the set-up man for the Brew-crew. Since May 3rd Axford has allowed just three earned runs over the last 31.1 innings.

Steve Cishek, Marlins: The price tag on Cishek will be really high, as he is still four years away from free agency. Stats would be much better if he played for anyone either than Miami.

Tom Wilhelmsen, Mariners: Seattle will be a seller at the deadline and Wilhelmsen is on numerous teams wish list. Was spectacular during April and May but really fell off in June and has been OK in July. Still has 23 saves and was really good in 2012.

Joba Chamberlin, Yankees: His name has been mentioned in rumors and might just need a change of scenery. Since 2010 he has a 5+ ERA at Yankee Stadium and 3.31 elsewhere. Free agent at the end of the year that isn't expected to be back with the Yankees in 2014.

Scott Downs, Angels: Left handed specialist the Tigers really need, especially with Phil Coke struggling and Darin Downs on the DL. Downs is holding lefties to a .200 batting average against. 

Kevin Gregg, Cubs: Gregg has Todd Jones 2.0 written all over him. Allows a lot of hitters to reach base, but has been able to limit the damage afterwards. His ERA is slightly under 3 this year in his first year back in the NL since 2009.

Jesse Crain, White Sox: One of the most sought after relievers on the market right now but is currently on the DL. Crain could return as early as this weekend. If so the White Sox will showcase him in hopes of finding a trade partner before Wednesday. Question is, would the White Sox trade within the division?