The Detroit Tigers need a closer. There really isn’t any need to sugarcoat it. If the organization serious about another championship run, they will go after Jonathan Papelbon.
The Tigers know what they have on offense with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. They know what they have in starting pitching with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. All those players are good, but what is the point of having them if they don’t have pitching at the end of games to seal the deal?
At the end of the day, the Tigers will repeat what they went through last season, and that is falling short of a championship.
Papelbon has 18 saves with a 1.82 ERA this season, and the veteran has been rumored to be shopped. The Phillies are expected to be major sellers at the trade deadline, but it remains to be seen what the Philadelphia wants in return, and just how hungry the Tigers are for such a trade. Trading for Papelbon makes sense from an on-field perspective, but if you look at the contract, you can see why the Tigers may be hesitant to make such a move.
From 2013 through 2016, Papelbon is due $13 million in each of those years, with an option to be a free agent in 2016. The Tigers are currently 48-39 in the AL Central, a record that can easily go south if the team does not find a resolution at closer soon.
Will the Tigers be willing to take on the contract? Either way, anything short of championship for the organization will be disappointment.