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MLB trade rumors: Tigers looking for potential closer?

General manager Dave Dombrowski and the Detroit Tigers are reportedly trying to pick up a top relief pitcher through trade this winter.

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Faced with uncertainty at the back of their bullpen, the Detroit Tigers are currently pursuing a number of possible closing options on the trade market, according to a report by Buster Olney of ESPN.com.

After the recent implosion of former closer Jose Valverde, a free agent whom the team has already said it will not bring back, the Tigers hope to avoid entering the 2013 season without an established ninth-inning option. The organization has already stated its intention to avoid going after top free agent closing option Rafael Soriano on the open market, leaving the distinct possibility that Detroit will look at a player with limited closing experience and a high upside at the position.

While the exact names that general manager Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers are considering remain elusive, the team may not necessarily need to hit a home run with a big-name addition in order to properly shore up the bullpen. Young flamethrower Bruce Rondon has already been rumored as a possible option to finish out games next year, and the trio of Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel brings a significant amount of experience if Leyland wants to play matchups every now and then. It would be absolutely ideal for the Tigers to land an All-Star-caliber closer in the coming weeks, but even a moderate splash in the form of a left-handed specialist would signify a much-needed addition.