This is usually the time when the Tigers make their move, the few days leading into Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. This year, they got their big move out of the way with a week to spare, but that doesn't mean they'll necessarily be quiet as the Deadline approaches.
The Tigers filled their two pressing needs last Monday, when they traded with the Marlins, acquiring Omar Infante to fill second base and Anibal Sanchez to fill their rotation. Their rotation is set, and their primary lineup is believed to be, too. Unless something unexpected pops up, or somebody gets hurt, any deal they pull between now and Tuesday will be for the kind of complementary player who completes a roster rather than gives it a makeover.
The Tigers are looking for offensive help from the right side, trying to stack their lineup against left-handed pitching. Though they have the right-handed bats for it, they haven't been nearly as productive against lefties. Ryan Raburn, for instance, went from a .295 average and .929 OPS against lefties in 2010 to .163/.471 this season. Jhonny Peralta, too, is hitting .236 off lefties.
The additional right-handed bat was one bonus of reacquiring Infante, whose .309 average and .852 OPS off lefties would rank near the top among Tigers outside the core duo of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
The Tigers shouldn't have to search far to find a righty bat, given the abundance of role players on good and bad teams alike. The question is whether what's out there is worth the expenditure, and better than what they have. Raburn's history off lefties before this season had always been strong, but his offense in general has proven impossible to spark so far.
The Tigers might be able to pull off a deal after Tuesday, when players have to clear waivers in order to be traded. Delmon Young, an August acquisition last summer, ended up becoming a key addition to the lineup once Brennan Boesch sustained a season-ending injury to his thumb a couple of weeks later.
Though reports earlier this summer suggested that the Tigers would be in the market for relief help, they're believed to be set on that. They're expected to get an acquisition on that end when Al Alburquerque returns from the disabled list, where he has spent the season working his way back from last offseason's elbow surgery.