Interesting note from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com earlier this afternoon:
No word on who the Tigers could be targeting, but they were rumored to be in talks with the Cubs for right-hander Matt Garza during the offseason.
Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello already have rotation spots locked up, but the Tigers enter exhibition play with their fifth starter situation pretty unsettled. Jacob Turner, Andy Oliver, Drew Smyly, Duane Below, Adam Wilk and Casey Crosby are among the possibilities.
Citing “excellent baseball sources,” David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs and Tigers are “down the road in discussions” of a deal that would send right-hander Matt Garza to Detroit for a package of prospects.
No word of the prospects being discussed, but Kaplan mentions right-hander Jacob Turner, third baseman Nick Castellanos and left-hander Casey Crosby as some “interesting names” to consider. For what it’s worth, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said last week that he has no intention to deal Turner. But hey, why would he say otherwise?
Garza earned $5.95 million last season while posting a 3.32 ERA and a career-high 197 strikeouts over 198 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander is under team control for two more seasons. The Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Marlins are among the other clubs who have reportedly expressed interest.
6:10 p.m. EDT: Susan Slusser is back with a report that the Blue Jays are trying to acquire Gio Gonzalez. Add them to the list that includes the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Reds and maybe still the Tigers and Yankees.
12:25 p.m. EDT: CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the Tigers weren’t prepared to pay the price for Gonzalez, which started with top pitching prospect Jacob Turner and had to include more.
Along with the Phillies’ interest, it’s also known that the Diamondbacks are making an effort to land Gonzalez, which is interesting, since the A’s are probably looking for the same kind of return they got when they sent Dan Haren to Arizona (Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, Chris Carter and more).
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal adds that the Nationals and Reds are also in the mix.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser has heard from three different sources that the Tigers have engaged the A’s in talks for left-hander Gio Gonzalez.
The price will surely be high for the left-hander, who is a full four years away from free agency. The word earlier in the day was that the A’s wanted Jesus Montero and either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances from the Yankees for Gonzalez.
The Tigers aren’t capable of providing that kind of haul. Any trade would almost surely start with their top pitching prospect, right-hander Jacob Turner, and could also include third baseman Nick Castellanos or left-hander Casey Crosby. The A’s might also have some interest in outfielders Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks. Dirks is more their kind of player, but while Jackson is on-base challenged, his ability to run down balls in center is still pretty attractive.