The Tigers’ bullpen has been serviceable as of late with Joaquin Benoit taking over the closers role while Drew Smyly has been murdering left handed hitters while taking on the 7th and 8th innings. The jury is still out on Bruce Rondon and whether or not he’ll eventually come around but despite things being somewhat quiet for the Tigers in terms of the bullpen there’s still an overwhelming feeling that it still needs to be addressed as the non-waiver trade deadline nears.
As far as guys who the Tigers could target guys like Jonathan Papelbon and Jesse Crain have been mentioned however FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi has thrown a new name into the mix and that guy is San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum, who essentially lost his spot in the rotation once the postseason came around actually pitched very well out of the pen allowing just one run in 13 relief innings. And since returning to the Giants rotation this year, the two-time Cy Young Award winner and impending free agent come the offseason has performed well posting a 9.71 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 over 19 starts including a no-hitter against the Padres this past week.
The prospective though of the Tigers actually going out and trading for Lincecum seem tough. The Giants more than likely would want a nice return for a guy who is now being used as a starter and perhaps displaying that his 2012 campaign was nothing more than just a bad fluke. Mark Polishuk of MLBTradeRumors.com suggests that San Francisco may ask for solid starting pitching in return which certainly seems plausible. Dombrowski may have to get creative in this juncture since trading away a Porcello/Smyly and a mid-tier prospect would still leave the Tigers in the same position they are right now. Either looking for more bullpen help or a fifth starter. A Jose Alvarez and Danny Worth for Lincecum deal probably wouldn’t work even considering his (Lincecum’s) struggles last season.