Olney: Tigers have most pressure to make a deal

Jim Russ
The Detroit News
Mike Leake throws during the first inning against the  Cardinals on Tuesday.

The Tigers are under more pressure than any other team to make a deal before Friday's 4 p.m. deadline, ESPN's Buster Olney says.

The strongest American League teams have gotten stronger with deals in recent days, Olney says, so "the time has come for general managers to declare their true intentions."

"(The Tigers are) 4.5 games behind the Twins in the race for the second wild-card spot, and after Tuesday's loss to the Rays, they are four games below .500 and have eight losses in their past 11 games," Olney says. "They need to vigorously pursue one of two paths: either move David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, or add a starting pitcher."

Reds right-hander Mike Leake (9-5, 3.56 ERA) has been most closely linked to the Tigers in trade rumors.

Leake, 27, shut out the Cardinals on Tuesday, giving up just four hits over eight innings in a 4-0 Cincinnati win.

"I've constantly been checking the updates and seeing what's happening," Leake said after the game about the trade rumors. "Now I'll go back to doing that, now that I'm not pitching."

Olney says Tigers GM David Dombrowski "has a long history of trade discussions with Reds GM Walt Jocketty, and the two of them worked out a trade of Alfredo Simon in the winter. At this time of year, that sort of working relationship can mean everything, especially when the principals are on the clock."

In order, Olney's other teams under the gun to get a deal done: 2. Phillies, 3. Dodgers, 4. Padres, 5. Blue Jays, 6. Cubs, 7. Reds, 8. White Sox, 9. Marlins, 10. Braves.

Go here to see Olney's full analysis on all 10 teams (pay site).