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The Tigers aren’t taking the bait yet on Rafael Soriano

Dec 8, 2012, 4:15 PM EDT

Rafael Soriano Getty Getty Images

Despite Scott Boras’ best efforts, the Tigers still aren’t taking the bait on free agent closer Rafael Soriano. According to Chris Iott of, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said this week that he’s pretty satisfied with the guys in his bullpen and isn’t going to add anyone unless it’s the right fit.

“It would have to be the right guy, the right situation, all those types of things,” Dombrowski said. “We’re not just out to sign somebody to fill a hole. We’ve got enough arms.”

As of now, the Tigers will likely carry seven relief pitchers on their Opening Day roster, including five right-handers and two left-handers. Phil Coke is a lock from the left side while the Tigers plan to have a competition for the other spot. Meanwhile, Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel are locks from the right side while Dombrowski believes Al Alburquerque and Bryan Villarreal deserve to be on the roster. This leaves one final spot, and by all accounts, prospect right-hander Bruce Rondon will get a chance at the closer role.

I don’t doubt that Rondon could eventually close for the Tigers, as he throws hard and put up some impressive strikeout totals this past season, but it would be a pretty big gamble for a team with designs on the World Series to trust someone who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues. This could drag on for a while, but with no other obvious fit for Soriano, I suspect they’ll eventually be a match.

  1. bjbroderick - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    it would be a pretty big gamble for a team with designs on the World Series to trust someone who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues…

    You guys must really want to believe that, since you keep saying it over and over again.

  2. tigers182 - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    …day 37…. still nothing new to report …

  3. legacybroken - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Dave Dombrowski should expect a nasty article about how cheap he is from Jon Heyman any day now.

  4. verlandersrightarm - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    If he’s still there a week before opening day and at least half price, then sure.

  5. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    FRom tge AROD playboook – say Boras bulllied him into turning down the Yanks and he’d gladly work things out with them.

    • lazlosother - Dec 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      I’m afraid Hank is trussed up like Hannibal Lecter, and rotting in some closet somewhere. Soriano will have to deal with another team as the Yanks have decided they can’t afford anyone.

  6. djpostl - Dec 8, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Dave Dombrowski has spent a lifetime bailing Boras out and making him look good.

    I have a feeling they’ll eventually come up with some kind of deal.

  7. beelza - Dec 8, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Hardcaore Red Wings fans know that Ilitch will not stand pat. At least one big move will be made by the Tigers, b/c it’s the way Ilitch thinks and works. 2002 the Red Wings had a virtual All-Star team, except one key position – a goalie. So Ilitch signed Hasek. Ilitch will sign either Sanchez or Soriano. I think Ilitch views a closer the way he views a goalie; the position is too important to trifle with. Sanchez and his agent have been very, very quiet. That tells me Anibal really wants to come back to Detroit and win. Whenever Ilitch front offices are this quiet, big moves always follow. I think it’s even possible they sign both. I can hear Ilitch telling Boras, I bailed you out with the Prince deal, so work on that BS price for Soriano. Sign Anibal, sans no trade clause and move him in three years.

  8. joerymi - Dec 8, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    To me, overpaying for Annibal Sanchez makes much more sense.

  9. monkeyjuice313 - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Soriano opted out of a player option $14 million, I think. Leads me to believe he didn’t want to work to earn a contact for another year. Maybe prefer to get his large contract and become mediocre? Not sure I’d sign him to anything. Especially what he’s asking for. May have dropped the ball on this one, Boras.

    • jwbiii - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      With Rivera going back to the Yankees, Soriano didn’t want to hit the market after 2013 as a set up man. He thinks he’s earned the right to be paid like an elite closer. We may disagree on whether he is an elite closer and on what an elite closer should be paid, but those are other subjects.

      Soriano got a $1.5M buyout, so it was “only” $12.5M.

  10. hotdogfinger - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Please don’t sign him DD. no need.

  11. dracko19 - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    A. There are cheaper options avail and possibly better ones through trade
    B. That draft pick is waaaay more valuable than people think and GMs are not willing to give those up unless its a slam dunk.
    C. Soriano priced himself out of the market. Boras is in trouble.

  12. sparty0n - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    @dracko19 lets hope ur right

  13. sportsnut101 - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    just save the money tigers cuz closer role didnt lose u world series it was cold hitting n justin verlander the best ever to pitch so says espn lmao what a joke they are i told espn he was beatable n he got rocked

  14. Old Gator - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    If what you’re fishing with ain’t working, Scott, change the bait. I recommend worms.

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