First, Dombrowski talks about the pitchers they did not get.
"None of it's a surprise," said Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski, whose cell phone will be utilizing four-wheel drive at the four-day meetings. "I think it's one of those things. There were a couple of guys we had a shot at, and a couple from a financial perspective that we just weren't prepared to go where other clubs were going.
"We weren't prepared to go five years for a reliever (Ryan). We just didn't want to make that kind of a commitment, although Toronto decided it was worthwhile. In some cases, we haven't wanted to go a certain amount of years that other clubs were offering."
He still says getting a starter and a closer is his top priority.
Here is my non-committal GM favorite:
The Tigers will resume their safari in Dallas and believe they'll yet bag a closer and starter, realizing they have weeks, even months, to talk after the meetings close. The mission is no different than it was Oct. 3, when Dombrowski hired manager Jim Leyland and announced the Tigers' top offseason priority is to add pitching.
"Our needs and desires haven't changed," Dombrowski said Friday, all but repeating what Leyland said last month: that many of the Tigers' difficulties in 2005 stemmed from inexperience in the rotation and in the closer's role.
"We like a lot of our talent. But we'd like to get a veteran presence out there. And I think we'll end up getting somebody at some point."
Trevor Hoffman probably won't be a Tiger next year.
One free-agent reliever still available is Padres star Trevor Hoffman, who, despite his 38 years and strict reliance on a change-up, wants a three-year contract in the $27 million range. The Tigers won't be biting.AJ Burnett probably won't be either. Henning mentions Matt Morris, Javier Vazquez and Carl Pavano as a possibilies. Remember that Vazquez has the Tigers on his blacklist though.
The Tigers would love A.J. Burnett, a Dombrowski favorite since he traded for him while running the Marlins. But Burnett is looking for a grandiose five-year deal. He also doesn't appear to be entertaining thoughts of the Tigers, even if they are ready to splurge.Dombrowski expects to be active during the Winter Meetings.
Matt Morris, a longtime Cardinals right-hander, is possible -- if he doesn't move into the extended-year stratosphere that has come to define offers made during the opening weeks of free agency.
The Tigers might also shoot for a trade, perhaps for Javier Vazquez of the Diamondbacks or Carl Pavano of the Yankees. Trades are expected to be unusually plentiful this week, mostly because talented free agents have been few, and expensive.
I do anticipate it being an active time as far as a lot of conversations," Dombrowski said of the Dallas meetings. "There have already been some very active conversations we've had with other clubs. And I think it (the Dallas gathering) will be busy. I know there'll be a lot of agents there, and we'll have conversations with them, as well.The Pavano rumor re-visted
"Will anything happen? I don't know. But it will be active. And what doesn't happen next week will lead to activity later on."
The Hartford Courant reports that the Yankees and Tigers have discussed a possible deal for Carl Pavano. This is old news but the writer seems to think it is still a possibility.
The Yankees have engaged the Tigers about right fielder Craig Monroe, and also might be interested in Detroit's Curtis Granderson, a promising center fielder. The Tigers, who need starting pitching, have asked Cashman about Carl Pavano, who has three years and $30 million left on his contract. Cashman has said he does not want to trade Pavano, but there could be a fit with Detroit.I'm pretty sure there is no way the Tigers would trade Granderson in a deal for Carl Pavano. Sure, Granderson may never develop into anything special but he has too much potential to deal for an injury prone pitcher with a huge contract. I could see them trading Monroe but he's not a legitimate regular center fielder so I'd be surprised if the Yankees would want him fot that role. I actually think Nook Logan would be the best fit for the Yankees as they are one of the few teams that have enough offense in the rest of their line-up to carry a defensive specialist. I don't think the Yankees are looking for a defensive specialist though.