The reigning American League champions have a win-now approach, a few places to upgrade, an owner with the resources to do it and a general manager with ways to pull it off. Now, as club officials file into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel for this year's Winter Meetings, the Tigers have a chance to put that formula to work.
They could end up filling their needs quietly and efficiently -- or they could end up with the kind of big trade that marked past meetings. The last time the Winter Meetings were in Nashville, the Tigers left town with Miguel Cabrera on their roster.
They don't seem to be looking for anything near that big this week. But if they can get an answer on free-agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez (whom they're trying to keep), figure out their shortstop situation, and fill needs like a right-handed hitter for left field and an extra catcher, they'd be pretty happy. If they can find a match on a bigger, unexpected deal that bolsters their chances in 2013, they'd be happier. If an opportunity to add a closing option falls into their laps -- even as they give rookie Bruce Rondon a chance to win the job -- they'd at least consider it.
Suffice it to say, it's a week worth following the Tigers -- and MLB.com will be tracking them each day from the Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Breaking news can happen at any time, and it'll be covered here. Daily roundups will cover the latest buzz circulating around the hotel lobby and the daily quotes from team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, and chronicle not just what's going on this week, but how the moves and non-moves impact the team for next season and beyond.
The latter will be reinforced on Wednesday afternoon, when Tigers manager Jim Leyland talks with the media. He'll translate how all the moves off the field will impact his on-field strategy, and how he sees the pieces coming together heading into Spring Training -- which seems just a little closer on days like this.
What will the Tigers do this week? What should they do? Feel free to comment, and stay tuned.