CHICAGO -- Tigers general manager Al Avila is fine with looking ahead to the Trade Deadline, mainly for one reason: He doesn't plan for it to be too eventful in Detroit."I don't want people to make too big a deal of the Trade Deadline," Avila said. "You have to realize,
CHICAGO -- Tigers general manager Al Avila is fine with looking ahead to the Trade Deadline, mainly for one reason: He doesn't plan for it to be too eventful in Detroit.
"I don't want people to make too big a deal of the Trade Deadline," Avila said. "You have to realize, this team, we have a high, high payroll. One of the highest in all of baseball. We have a team that's pretty well set, position by position."
With the Tigers entering Wednesday only two games out of first place in an American League Central race that remains wide open, Avila maintained confidence in the nucleus of this Tigers team and the organization's crop of young talent.
The Tigers are stable at every position, and Avila said he doesn't want to trade prospects.
"This team is built to win today, but we're also at the same time planning for our future, and we know our future is coming soon," Avila said.
The Tigers' roster has changed significantly since Opening Day, but it's been more of an evolution than a transformation. The latest example is former starting pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Shane Greene finding success in the bullpen.
Avila said Detroit could be in search of another reliever, but the team is hoping Mark Lowe can find his footing.
"If Mark Lowe can come back and regain his form, then all of a sudden everything is great," Avila said. "Then you have Mark Lowe and you have Greene and you have [Justin] Wilson and you have K-Rod [Francisco Rodriguez]. So that's pretty good."
The most unexpected component has been right-hander Michael Fulmer, who is 7-1 with a 2.52 ERA in his first nine Major League starts.
"The stuff was there, and we knew he had a big future, but honest to say, we didn't expect it to be this quick," Avila said.
Like Fulmer's emergence, it's likely other changes will come from within. The Tigers have reinforcements for their starting rotation, such as left-hander Daniel Norris, who Avila said could be back in the Majors soon.
So though the Tigers' roster will continue its evolution, Avila gave the impression he thinks the players needed to make a playoff run are already part of the club.
"This is a team we're counting on to win," Avila said. "If we have to make a minor move here or there, we'll look into it at that point."
Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.