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Tigers continue to search market for bullpen help

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

The Tigers have been happy with Joaquin Benoit since he took over as closer, and reasonably happy with a back end of the bullpen that now includes Drew Smyly and Bruce Rondon, as well.

They're not so happy that they've stopped looking for bullpen help on the trade market.

Finding another reliever or two remains the Tigers' main focus as the July 31 non-waiver deadline approaches. The Tigers have scouts watching the Marlins, Brewers, Padres, Mariners and Astros this weekend. The one thing all those teams have in common is that they have relievers they would almost certainly be willing to trade.

It's not clear that any true closers will be on the market. The Tigers would likely be interested in Steve Cishek, but the Marlins are telling teams that as of now, they don't intend to move him. The Tigers may not view anyone they could trade for as a legitimate option to take over for Benoit as closer.

Benoit told the Tigers this spring that he didn't want to close, but Tigers people said he seemed to embrace the role after Jose Valverde was designated for assignment in late June. Benoit has allowed just one run in 8 1/3 innings since then, with 15 strikeouts and just three walks.

The Tigers aren't the only team looking for bullpen help. The Red Sox have already made one trade (for Matt Thornton), but after first losing Andrew Miller to a long-term injury, they've now lost Andrew Bailey to a shoulder problem that could require surgery. Finding more bullpen help remains their top priority this month, although they think internal options like Brandon Workman and Drake Britton may be able to do the job.

One pitcher who doesn't interest the Tigers is Joba Chamberlain, who the Yankees are willing to move.

 
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