The Detroit Tigers have admitted to looking for an experienced closer to join the team down in Lakeland, Florida after a rough start to Spring Training for Bruce Rondon. The highly touted rookie has struggled with his command early this spring which has put some pressure on the front office to find a solution.
Much of the talk has been about trading for a veteran closer that has experience but that’s not the only option. The Tigers could find a solution from within or even a free agent but the most popular choice so far is a trade. The market isn’t exactly deep at the moment so there are only a handful of options, none of which will blow your mind.
The first option would be a trade with the Chicago Cubs for their closer Carlos Marmol. The 30-year-old right hander had his best season in 2010 where he ended with 38 saves and five blown saves which isn’t exactly anything to go crazy over although he has played with the horrendous Cubs for his whole career. In seven years of work he has a career ERA of 3.38 and considering the team he’s played for, that’s actually pretty good.
The deal breaker for me in this trade is that the Tigers would most likely have to include Rick Porcello in the trade to get Marmol and I don’t believe that he’s worth the talent of Porcello. At the very most trading for Marmol is a gamble, who knows if he can perform under the biggest spotlight in the sport. If I were the Tigers there is no chance I would pull the trigger on this trade.
The next option is Jonny Venters from the Atlanta Braves. He’s the set-up man for one of the best closers in the game today, that being Craig Kimbrel. Venters has the talent of a closer stuck in the position of set-up man due to a superstar in Kimbrel. Last year he had an ERA of 3.22 with a WHIP of 1.52 and that could be concerning for the Tigers. Although he did have a drastically better second half with a much lower 1.71 ERA giving up no home runs.
Out of the two options I believe that Venters would no doubt be the best option, but I don’t know if it’s a trade that needs to be made at the moment. I would like to see a free agent come in rather than getting rid of a player in a trade, since almost all signs point to Porcello being involved in any trade. Who knows if it will happen, but I sure hope Detroit thinks long and hard before dealing a key piece in their lineup.