It appears one name can be taken off the list of candidates for the Tigers' vacant shortstop job. The Padres had been actively shopping Khalil Greene this winter, but San Diego general manager Kevin Towers told SI.com that is no longer the case, given the shortstop saturation in the market. "I don't anticipate anything happening with Khalil anytime soon," Towers told SI.com.
The Tigers, then, are likely placing their focus elsewhere. They have reportedly discussed Julio Lugo of the Red Sox and Jack Wilson of the Pirates in trade talks, and they have reportedly shown an interest in free agent Orlando Cabrera, late of the White Sox. Wilson makes sense for the Tigers, from a contractual standpoint, because he could be a short-term solution until the Tigers are ready to hand the shortstop reins over to a prospect class headed by Cale Iorg. Wilson is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $7.25 million in '09 with an $8.4 million club option for 2010 or a $600,000 buyout. Lugo is due to make $9 million in 2009, $9 million in 2010 and has a vesting option worth $9 million for 2011. But he is unlikely to reach the vesting option, which is based on plate appearances, because of the time he missed with a torn left quadriceps this year. For the Tigers to make room for Lugo, it has been reported that they would send either Dontrelle Willis or Nate Robertson to Boston. Willis will make $22 million over the next two years, and Robertson will make $17 million. As far as free agency is concerned, the Tigers have not been linked to Rafael Furcal, the top shortstop on the market, because of the likely contract length and dollars he'll command.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.