"Quite frankly, I had some doubts that I would be able to trade Martin at the end, too," Avila said Tuesday, "because it did go down to later [in the] morning. The interest I would say was mild in a couple other guys. It was a lot of work and we were able to make one deal, which we're happy with. But at the end of the day, the market was really flooded with a lot of good players in particular.
"We had some good players, but if you see the list of players that were available, I think it's a record number. So I was trying to be optimistic, but at the same time I knew it was going to be a tough year to make multiple trades."
Though sources said a trade of Mike Fiers seemed to be close at one point Tuesday afternoon, with the Athletics and Brewers both involved, Avila downplayed the level of discussions. At no point, Avila said, was a deal close enough to fall apart.
"I did receive basically two inquiries of what I would call mild interest, one from Oakland and one from Milwaukee," Avila confirmed. "The interest was mild, so it really didn't get very far. So nothing really developed. We were hopeful, but at the end of the day it just didn't work out."
Fiers has about $2 million remaining on the one-year, $6 million contract he signed with the Tigers last December. He isn't eligible for free agency until after next season, so he essentially comes with a club option for next season. A team can either go through the arbitration process with him next offseason, or nontender him as the Astros did last fall.
The contract, Avila said, was not an impediment to a deal.
"Money was not an issue," Avila said. "Really for us, what we're trying to do is accumulate the best players and the best talent possible, so money was never an issue."
Whether it's an issue for other teams could determine whether Fiers can be dealt in August, when players must pass through waivers in order to be traded. Any team, contender or otherwise, can put in a claim, at which point a player can only be traded to the team that claims him. If multiple teams claim the player, the team with the worst record will be awarded the claim. If a player clears waivers unclaimed, he can be traded anywhere.
The same question could come up with Francisco Liriano, who's slated to start Sunday for the first time in nearly two weeks after an allergic reaction scratched him from the last turn through Detroit's rotation.
"With Liriano, he's been a hurt a little bit. He's sad some rough outings," Avila said. "You know, hey, there's always August. You never know. For Liriano, I'm glad to have him. We're gonna need pitching the rest of the way, so we're hoping to get him right back on track and get him going again."
Other Tigers players available attracted limited to no interest. Avila said there was "no traction" with other clubs in discussions for shortstop Jose Iglesias, who's eligible for free agency at season's end. Reliever Shane Greene, who went on the 10-day DL a month ago with a shoulder strain but returned by the All-Star break, remains a Tiger, as does right fielder Nicholas Castellanos.
The more likely trading season, Avila said, might be the offseason, when teams are more flexible in terms of payroll and window of contention.
"I just think that in our situation, we're not in a hurry to make a bad deal," Avila said. "We don't have any mandate to dump any salary. Quite frankly, we don't really have any salary to dump right now at this point. We're in a situation that's pretty good, where we don't have to worry about payroll so much, as far as any guys like that. We're not in a situation where I have to make a trade. If there's something there that makes sense for us, we'll look at it and move forward. If not, we'll wait for the next time around."
• Speaking of Liriano, tests conducted after his allergic reaction last week indicated the cause was likely a chemical that was used to treat a resodded lawn next to where he lives.
"So, believe it or not, he's allergic to grass," manager Ron Gardenhire joked. "Bad sport to be in."
• Right-hander Michael Fulmer, who also was mentioned in trade rumors earlier this summer before an oblique strain landed him on the 10-day DL, threw off flat ground Wednesday for the first time since the injury. Team medical staff have told him he's ahead of schedule, though they'll remain cautious in his throwing progression.
"They've tentatively written a program for me," Fulmer said, "and I've already tried to battle it."