Tigers won't pursue Washburn, Huff
Club expects to lose both midseason pickups to free agency
DETROIT -- The Tigers will watch free agency pick up later this week, when players can field offers from all teams. But as expected, they will not pursue re-signing Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff.
Washburn and Huff were both late-season trade acquisitions who struggled down the stretch, and neither was expected to be targeted. Washburn had told reporters after filing for free agency that he hadn't heard from the Tigers other than to check on his knee after surgery.
"We called both Jarrod and Aubrey this week and told them we will not be pursuing them," Dombrowski told Booth Newspapers. "We wished them well."
The Tigers acquired Washburn from Seattle at the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31, but knee problems hampered him in August and September until the Tigers shut him down for the final couple weeks. He posted a 1-3 record and 7.33 ERA in eight Tigers starts, compared with an 8-6 record and 2.64 ERA in 20 starts for the Mariners.
Huff batted .189 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 40 games for the Tigers after coming over from Baltimore in a mid-August trade. Detroit's plans to rotate players, including Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, essentially sealed Huff's departure.
The Tigers hold exclusive negotiating rights on their free agents until Friday. Other teams can talk to them now, and all four have drawn interest, but those teams can't make contract offers or officially talk contract terms until Friday.
By then, the Tigers should have a better idea about any trade talks, where they may lead, and what holes any deals could fill.
All four are expected to seek multi-year contracts, according to industry sources, but that's no surprise. The Tigers didn't sign any free agent or arbitration-eligible player to a multi-year contract last year, and aside from possibly Justin Verlander, it remains to be seen whether they would do so now.
Prospect Scott Sizemore has been deemed ready for the big leagues, while relievers Cody Satterwhite and Robbie Weinhardt could conceivably be ready within a year. Shortstop is a different situation, and barring a trade acquisition, there's expected to be mutual interest for Everett to return.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.