Just got done meeting again with the Tigers brass in their 14th-floor suite here at the Hilton Anatole.
And for a second straight day, it was hard not to walk away with the impression that little is brewing on the acquisition front.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed today, ”We’re not looking to make a big splash.” At least, not in Dallas. We all know their big splash could come later in the offseason, when sensational Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes becomes a free agent. But that is down the road. Here’s a few things we know now.
* The Tigers spoke today to the agents for third baseman Brandon Inge, who was involved in a multi-car crash this morning in Washtenaw County. They didn’t speak directly to Inge, but they’ve been assured he wasn’t hurt.
“He’s fine, from all indications,” Dombrowski said.
* Free-agent (and oft-injured) reliever Joel Zumaya is welcome to come to spring training as a non-roster invitee, but Dombrowski said the Tigers aren’t prepared to commit a major league contract. With several teams expected to be on hand to watch Zumaya throw next week — the Tigers won’t be, since they feel they know enough — it’s likely one could take a chance. So you’ve gotta believe the Zumaya era in Detroit is about to end.
* Tigers manager Jim Leyland on third-base coach (and good friend) Gene Lamont coming up short in his bid to be Red Sox manager: “Disappointed. Wish we didn’t have him anymore, but I’m glad that we do, if that makes any sense. … I was certainly pulling for him.” Leyland was at least happy Lamont got an interview, and hopes hitting coach Lloyd McClendon gets another opportunity down the road, too.
* The Tigers met Monday with the agent for reliever Ryan Perry, who has regressed since his fine rookie season in 2009. The word the ballclub got back: “Ryan was frustrated with his own season last year, thinks he can do better and is prepared to do that,” Dombrowski said. A key to success for Perry, who might enter spring camp fighting for a major league roster spot: trusting the change-up more, especially against left-handed hitters.
* Dombrowski on whether the weak free-agent market — particularly at third base and second base — has him looking more at trades: “I’m always open to be creative, we’ve had creative conversations, that’s nothing unusual. … You explore anything.”
* No surprise: The Tigers have no plans to pursue Japanese pitching sensastion Yu Darvish. A huge posting fee surely will be required, followed by an equally massive salary. And the Tigers aren’t prepared to go there.
Be sure to check back with Covering the Bases, as Tony Paul blogs throughout the day Monday-Wednesday from the winter meetings.