Add another name to the list of pitchers the Detroit Tigers might be interested in as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
Less than 24 hours after general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed to the media that the team would pursue a starting pitcher. FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that Baltimore Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie may also be on the Tigers’ radar.
Guthrie has a 3-13 record and 4.45 ERA this season, which might make him a tough sell to fans looking for someone to shore up the Tigers’ starting rotation. But it’s worth taking into consideration that Guthrie pitches in the AL East, having to face some of the toughest lineups in baseball, and also has to do so in one of the more hitter-friendly ballparks in Camden Yards.
The Indians and White Sox provide formidable lineups too, but pitching in a bigger Comerica Park might help Guthrie out a bit. Especially as he’s become a bit more of a fly ball pitcher over the last couple of seasons.
Guthrie is not a strikeout pitcher, averaging 5.54 per nine innings over his career. He’s right around that this season, averaging 5.84. That would definitely be one concern, as the Tigers might prefer someone who misses more bats. But those types of pitchers don’t seem to be readily available, either.
Money would be another issue, though not nearly as much as with, say, Derek Lowe. Guthrie is being paid $5.5 million this season, and while that might not impact the rest of this year so much, he has one more arbitration year remaining. And he’ll be looking for a raise.
Perhaps the best thing about Guthrie is that he racks up a lot of innings. He’s pitched over 200 innings during the last two seasons. And before that, he accumulated 190. According to Morosi, that might be a reason the Orioles want to keep him. With a relatively young staff, having a guy who can pitch deeper into ballgames and give the bullpen a break is useful.
The Orioles are seeking pitching in return, and they had scouts in Toledo last night, which may explain why Charlie Furbush made a relief appearance. (Curious, since he may be the Tigers’ starter on Wednesday. But the Toledo Blade’s John Wagner said the work amounted to a bullpen side session for Furbush.) Morosi also speculates that first baseman Ryan Strieby could be a player of interest.