It's been almost a week since the Tigers found out that Victor Martinez would likely be lost for the season with a knee injury, and the team still doesn't have a replacement.
What's taking so long?
Actually, it won't be a surprise if the Tigers' search for a Martinez replacement goes on quite a while longer, perhaps even into the 2012 season.
While the Tigers seem to have some interest in Raul Ibanez, Hideki Matsui and Vladimir Guerrero, and less in Johnny Damon, none of the possible Martinez replacements would provide the Tigers with exactly what Martinez gave them -- a quality switch hitter who gives Miguel Cabrera protection in the batting order.
The other option would be for the Tigers to stick with the players they already have, and to figure out as the year goes along whether they need to spend their resources on a designated hitter to replace Martinez or on filling other needs.
As of now, the Tigers are also without a definite fifth starter. They tried to deal for Gio Gonzalez, but lost out when they wouldn't include both Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos in the same deal. They showed interest in free-agent Roy Oswalt (even having Justin Verlander put in a recruiting call), but were told that he was not interested in them (and seems headed for either the Red Sox or Cardinals). The Tigers have been linked by some to Matt Garza of the Cubs, but a Garza deal seems a real longshot.
While the Tigers haven't ruled out adding a veteran starter later in the winter, they now seem willing to go to spring training and pick a fifth starter there (with Turner one of the candidates).
Even without Martinez, and without a clear fifth starter, the Tigers should enter spring as the clear favorite in the American League Central. Barring further injuries, they should at the very least be able to remain in contention for the first half of the season, then look to make another midseason deal like last year's trade for Doug Fister.