Deadline prices remain prohibitive for Tigers

Club likely to rely more on internal upgrades; lefty Ramos signed to Minors deal

Deadline prices remain prohibitive for Tigers

DETROIT -- While Tigers officials and special assistants continued their meetings at Comerica Park leading up to Monday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, manager Brad Ausmus confirmed what has already been widely reported: Pitching is expensive, and sweeping the Red Sox in Boston this week doesn't make it any cheaper.

"I think [general manager] Al [Avila] is looking at all the pieces," Ausmus said Friday afternoon. "It's just the asking price is the bigger concern. Certainly having the road trip we had doesn't hurt, but I don't think it changes the philosophy. If we can get better within reason, we'll try to get better. But I think right now asking prices, because there are so many teams asking for the same thing, are extremely high."

With that in mind, the Tigers' focus is still leaning toward counting on internal upgrades with players getting healthy.

The Rays had a scout in attendance Thursday night at Double-A Erie, where Daniel Norris made his third rehab start and Tigers No. 5 prospect Joe Jimenez recorded his 12th save for the Seawolves.

Top Prospects: Jimenez, DET

The Rays are known to be looking into trading away pitching talent at the Deadline, potentially including ace Chris Archer and youngsters Drew Smyly and Jake Odorizzi. However, the Tigers are counting on Norris as a boost to their rotation in the next week or so, and Jimenez was promoted to Triple-A Toledo after the game, potentially setting him up for a late-season call to the big leagues.

Unless something big happens, both have a better chance of helping out the Tigers down the stretch than a trade acquisition does.

At the same time, the potential fit for Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to land in Detroit ended about as quickly as it began with rumors Wednesday. While the Tigers took a look at Lucroy over the past week, the offers he's expected to attract from other clubs with deeper farm systems always left it a deal unlikely to happen.

Could Tigers have pieces to trade for Lucroy?

Detroit did make a minor addition Friday, signing lefty reliever Cesar Ramos to a Minor League contract and assigning him to Triple-A Toledo. The 32-year-old southpaw went 3-3 with a 6.04 ERA for the Rangers this season, allowing 60 hits over 47 2/3 innings, before Texas released him on Monday.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.