Guillen might be done, so Tigers start shopping

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When the Tigers placed Carlos Guillen on the disabled list last month
with a sore right shoulder manager Jim Leyland expected a quick return,
saying: “Two weeks should do it.”

Three weeks later Guillen admitted that he’d yet to even test the
injured shoulder, the following week he underwent an MRI exam that
reportedly revealed no structural damage, and two weeks after that
Leyland explained that it was “going to be a while” before he was back
in the lineup.

And now Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com–and formerly the Tigers beat writer for the Detroit Free Pressreports
that “Guillen’s season will be in jeopardy if his right shoulder
doesn’t improve soon.” Agent Peter Greenberg told Morosi that Guillen
will likely opt for season-ending surgery if it doesn’t look like he’s
close to returning by some time next month and may need to go under the
knife during the offseason either way.

“He’s trying to do everything he can to avoid surgery, especially
since it’s his throwing shoulder,” Greenberg said. In the second year
of a four-year, $48 million contract extension, Guillen is making $12
million this season and is owed another $13 million for each of the
next two seasons.

When healthy Guillen has been one of the more underrated hitters in
baseball, batting .304/.373/.484 in six seasons with Detroit after a
modest start to his career in Seattle. Of course, he’s also bounced all
over the diamond defensively while missing one-fourth of the Tigers’
games. Still, Detroit is finding it difficult to replace his bat, as
Tigers left fielders rank second-to-last in the league with a .681 OPS.

By making a decision on surgery by the middle of next month Guillen
would give the Tigers enough time to pursue a replacement bat prior to
the July 31 trading deadline and owner Mike Ilitch said yesterday
that he’s willing to increase the team’s payroll if necessary. In other
words, Guillen or not don’t count on seeing Josh Anderson and Ryan
Raburn patrolling left field down the stretch.

Cardinals place Dexter Fowler on the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.

It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.

Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.