By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers acquired starting pitcher Shane Greene in a three-team trade Friday, and with that move made, starting pitching now ranks low on the team's priority list, general manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the Tigers have received significant interest in starting pitchers David Price and Rick Porcello, both of whom will enter free agency after the 2015 season. Dombrowski said the addition of Greene, a move that bolsters the rotation, does not make the trading away of Price or Porcello any more likely.
"Could we make a move? We'll listen to anything that ends up happening, but we like having five real good, five solid starting pitchers to throw out there," Dombrowski said. "I think now, at this point, we sit there and we're content with our rotation ... We'll just keep looking at different things and see, 'Okay, what makes us better at this point?' Again, would I anticipate trading a starter for a corner outfielder? I don't think so. Could it happen? I guess anything can happen, but that's not what our goal is."
With starting pitcher Max Scherzer still on the market, speculation has swirled that perhaps he could return to the Tigers. He declined a reported six-year, $144 million offer from Detroit in March, and Dombrowski would not say whether that deal is still on the table. He displayed little interest, however, in getting Scherzer back.
"We said last spring training we really made a significant move to try to sign him, didn't work at the time, their prerogative," Dombrowski said. "He did a very good job for us. We like him. Did great things for our organization, one of the better pitchers in the game. But we went out and we traded for David Price, and now we're in a situation where we're not waiting for any type of scenarios. We haven't had any ongoing conversations taking place. Really, right now, starting pitcher's not our priority at this point. We'll just see what happens.
"Sometimes you've got to be realistic in situations," Dombrowski continued. "You never close the door to anything because you never know what happens in this game, but we said last year that our best time to sign him was spring training. We were the only club that could negotiate with him at that time. Now there's 29 others. That does not increase your odds of signing him, and so we're happy with the guys that we have in our rotation at this point."
The latest addition to that rotation, Greene, recorded a 3.78 ERA over 14 starts and one relief appearance in 2014. Dombrowski explained why the Tigers traded away starting pitcher Robbie Ray and infield prospect Domingo Leyba to get Greene.
"We had quite a few people actually see him," Dombrowski said. "We saw him ourselves, so all of us had a feel of it, but in addition to that ... we had Jeff Wetherby see him quite a bit ... Scott Pleis, Scott Bream, Jim Leyland. We had some of our guys that were doing some of our advance scouting see him also, and we saw consistently above-average stuff. We like him. He has an above-average fastball, of course he's got good sink on his fastball, he keeps the ball in the bottom of the zone, but it's above-average velocity-wise, too. He's got a solid slider, his change-up is good, watched a lot of video over him also.
"We look at him as a guy that's ready to step in and be a very solid major league starter at this time," Dombrowski added. "Shane Greene's a little farther along as far as ready at the major league level, and we feel he's ready to pitch in the rotation for sure this year where we weren't quite sure who would win that battle [among Ray and other minor league starters]. As I told Robbie Ray when I spoke to him, it's not like we can pen him in the rotation to start the rotation ... He's a guy we like a lot, but Shane is a little further along."
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