With more than just a handful of impact pitchers available on the trade market this year, the Detroit Tigers are scrambling to evaluate as many quality arms as possible before the July 31st trade deadline. Linked to some of the biggest names available already, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi is reporting that Detroit scouts were in attendance in Pittsburgh on Sunday to watch Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez:
#Tigers and #RedSox have interest in Anibal Sanchez and are scouting him in Pittsburgh today. He is pitching well, too. @MLBONFOX #Marlins— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 22, 2012
Sanchez ended up tossing seven innings of three-run ball with eight strikeouts on Sunday to drop his 2012 earned-run average down to 3.94. A 28-year-old hurler with an elite arsenal on the mound, Sanchez has been one of the better strikeout artists in the National league over the last two and a half seasons, and could be a huge upgrade to the Tigers' rotation for the right price.
Also on Detroit's radar throughout the weekend was well-known Tampa Bay Rays starter James Shields, who fanned 10 batters in a brilliant start on Friday with Tigers scouts watching on. Shields has been rumored to be on the block for a number of seasons now despite posting strong numbers across the board, and is drawing interest from a number of clubs including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants.
Although Shields would command a slightly higher price tag than Sanchez, aside from the fact that the Rays don't appear to be shopping him, the 30-year-old righty is on the verge of winning 11 games for the sixth consecutive season and could be a serious star in Detroit behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. With groundball pitchers like Doug Fister and Rick Porcello around to fill out the bottom of the rotation at the very least, the Tigers could be tempted to keep their stable of young arms in the minors and add a proven talent like Shields with a big splash.
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