With the on-going speculation that the San Diego Padres are about to commit to another fire sale, emptying their roster of high-priced veterans in exchange for valuable building blocks, comes more news regarding the Friar’s top-two relief pitchers. According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Detroit Tigers no longer are expressing interest in trading for Padres’ closer Huston Street.
This comes as somewhat of a surprise, because free agent acquisition Joe Nathan has been anything but automatic, causing the Tigers to once against dip their toe into the trading waters, in search of a solid back-end reliever. The question should be, if the Tigers are so sold on Joaquin Benoit as a reliever that doesn’t view himself as a “pure closer”, then why didn’t they resign him this past winter ALONG WITH Joe Nathan? It’s a rarity, but Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski dropped the ball on this one with Benoit.
The Tigers are kicking the tires on other options as well, including former Kansas City Royals’ closer Joakim Soria, but it appears the Tigers have their sites set on Benoit. As with previous discussions about both Benoit and Street, it doesn’t do a team like the Padres much good to have two solid end of the game relievers if they can’t hit worth a lick, and give them consistent leads to hold and to close out.
At this point, the Padres need to maximize their return from pieces they are dealing. If both Benoit and Street can provide some young bats to add to the minor league system who are just about big league ready, or players already at the big league level who can hit, the Padres’ rebuilding process will be well underway.