Lynn Henning of The Detroit News discusses some of the Tigers' possible options this off-season. His mention of Jarrod Saltalamacchia is of interest to Braves fans:
Q . Will the Tigers trade Jeremy Bonderman?
A . A personal feeling is yes. I suspect the Tigers will receive an offer too good to refuse. This team has more needs than some folks appreciate. The Tigers need a first baseman with power, they need a catcher they can groom to succeed Pudge Rodriguez, and they need an upper-tier infield prospect as Carlos Guillen -- and even Brandon Inge -- prepare for possible free agency. A 24-year-old pitcher of Bonderman's 200-innings, 200-strikeouts status is going to command multiple players, all of which the Tigers will need if they expect to be a long-term contender.
Q . Isn't it suicidal to trade a pitcher of Bonderman's skills and youth?
A . A team that builds its organization around pitching will pay a price in hitters and position players. You compensate by trading one of those successful pitchers for multiple offensive players. There is risk involved, but these are the deals you must make, particularly when the Tigers could have 10 or more legitimate starters in camp when everyone reports in February.
Q . Whom will the Tigers trade for?
A . I like their chances to make a deal for Mark Teixeira of Texas. A young catcher in the Braves' system, Jarrad Saltalamacchia, is the kind of future starter they could be expected to grab in a separate trade for a pitcher, say, for someone like Jordan Tata.
Jordan Tata is an exceptional talent who was rushed somewhat this year by making the jump from high-A in 2005 to triple-A and the Majors in 2006. What would concern me about him is his age, he will be 25 next season, and may still need another year of triple-A before he is ready to be a Major League starter. Jeremy Bonderman on the other hand will be only 24 next year and while he was rushed to the Majors from high-A in 2003, he's had several years to develop and his ERA has improved by almost half a run each of the last three seasons. He is definitely someone who would warrant trading Salty for.
In Marcus Giles destination news, we could see some activity shortly as the Padres have traded their second baseman, Josh Barfield, to the Cleveland Indians. San Diego already has a good relationship with one Giles brother, and they may be able to resign Marcus if they acquired him for a hometown discount.