Detroit Tigers: Not Adding Depth at Deadline Would Be Risky

By David Fouty
Nick Castellanos Detroit Tigers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers cannot risk letting the trade deadline go by without adding bullpen help and a middle infielder. They have a few guys who have stepped up to the plate, but lack the necessary depth to have steady success if they lose someone to injury.

Every game, Tigers’ fans are forced to wonder what will happen when a starting pitcher is forced to leave a game. If Drew Smyly, Bruce Rondon or Joaquin Benoit is the option they feel confident, but if they are unavailable and they have to go another route, everyone trembles in fear that a lead may go to waste.

Recalling Jose Valverde from the Toledo Mud Hens doesn’t count as adding help either. He has proven time and time again he is unable to do what he used to and should never be allowed to don the Old English “D” ever again.

Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski is a master at eleventh-hour trades. He is notorious for waiting until the last minute for teams to get desperate to sell their talent at a low price, and usually doesn’t have to give up the team’s biggest assets.

Chances are, he will try to do the same this year, but if a mega-deal presents itself which includes multiple relievers and a solid position player to give the Tigers a little more bench depth, he may have to jump on it.

The Tigers have suffered a few injuries lately as well, which makes their need for infield help appear even greater. Omar Infante suffered a major setback Thursday in his attempt to return from an ankle injury, and they still don’t know for certain what will happen with Jhonny Peralta and his alleged connection with the Biogenesis Clinic. Should Peralta be suspended, the Tigers would have a glaring hole at shortstop both at the plate and on defense. Peralta is having a career year offensively and the Tigers’ may be the biggest loser in the scandal should he be forced to take time off.

The Tigers would be better off if they dealt their top prospect, Nick Castellanos, while his trade value is high. People around baseball seem to think he is a sure thing, but he has yet to register his first career major league at-bat. The Tigers would be wise to deal him before he gets a chance to diminish his trade value. They can afford to let him go as long as they don’t trade him within the division and get at the very least, a solid reliever and a utility infielder in return.

The Tigers are in first place in their division, and shouldn’t let the deadline go by without adding to their already star-studded roster. They need to make the most out of the opportunity they have now and do whatever it takes to win a championship before things start to change.

David Fouty is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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