The Blue Jays are in town for a four-game set and it will provide the Tigers with plenty of baseball to get a good look at some of the players they may wish to trade for before the trade deadline. According to Jon Morosi (who else?), the Tigers were also looking at the Toronto hitters and relievers while they were playing in Kansas City earlier this week.
With the Tigers catchers hitting for a combined .564 OPS (hint: that's not good), the Tigers have been rumored to be on the lookout for a productive catcher. Toronto's All-Star catcher, John Buck, might be an option. Buck is having a career season with a .285 average (.833 OPS), 14 HR and 47 RBI (he hit a 2-run homer today off of Justin Verlander). The problem is that he's a career .241 hitter (meaning he could fall off in the 2nd half) and does not throw out runners at the rate Laird and Avila do. The Blue Jays will undoubtedly be looking for more than what Buck is actually worth before he becomes a free agent at season's end. Breaking up the current Tigers battery mates' comradery for that might not be worth it.
The recent injury to 3B Brandon Inge led the Tigers to inquire about Blue Jays' power hitting 3B Jose Bautista. It's important to note that Inge is not out for the season and Bautista is eligible for arbitration in 2011. Bautista has a career high 26 HR this season and could wind up making big dollars as a result. The Tigers would have to decide if the career .238 hitter (Bautista, not Inge) are in their future plans.
Whether the Tigers acquire one of the Blue Jays hitters is to be seen, but considering they're also looking at several of their relievers, the Blue Jays seem to be a more likely trading partner for the Tigers as the deadline approaches. This weekend series will be a great help in swaying the Tigers one way or another.