DALLAS -- The Tigers know what Joel Zumaya can do when he's healthy, having seen it in stretches over the last six seasons. They know the work he has done to get back to his current health since elbow surgery earlier this year, because he did most of his rehab at the team's Spring Training facility before he became a free agent six weeks ago.
Thus, while Zumaya's public workout next week in Houston will attract plenty of clubs, the Tigers feel like they know all they need to know.
"I don't think we'll be down there, but when I say that, I don't think it's a necessity," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday from the Winter Meetings. "We know Joel Zumaya, and so, we don't need to see him throw. We've been through that process before. I would anticipate he'll throw the ball very well from all indications."
The Tigers have their offer on the table, a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, and they're not going to change it. They will not offer him a Major League deal with a guaranteed spot on the 40-man roster.
"If somebody gives him a guaranteed big league contract, I would think he'll probably take it," Dombrowski said. "That would be my guess. ... For us, we feel the prudent situation is to make that type of [Minor League] offer. Beyond that, we're just not prepared to go [further]."
If Zumaya accepts the Minor League deal from the Tigers, it won't stop their pursuit of middle-relief help. They've kept in touch with the agents for free-agent right-handers Octavio Dotel and Luis Ayala, with Dotel believed to be higher in the pecking order.
"In this situation, if you're really counting on [Zumaya], you're prepared to do more [in an offer]," Dombrowski said. "But in our situation, we're just not prepared to make that type of commitment, or feel that it's certain enough that we're over and done with that need."