Detroit Tigers’ possible trade targets

Could the Tigers be targeting White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija?

Mike Dinovo

The Detroit Tigers haven’t lived up to expectations through the first half of the season, as they sit at 44-44 for third place in the AL Central.

How the Tigers perform right out of the All-Star break will determine whether they’re sellers or buyers at this year’s trade deadline.

If Detroit looks to bolster their team to help them get back into contention, here are some players they could target, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

Jeff Samardzija, SP, Chicago White Sox

Samardzija was considered the team’s big free agent acquisition this offseason, but has been extremely average for the Sox so far this year. He’s 6-4 with 102 strikeouts, a 4.02 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through 125 1/3 innings pitched, but could provide the innings and the K’s the Tigers are looking for.

Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Cueto would be a half-season rental, as he will become a free agent after this season and will likely be one of the most expensive players on the open market. With an ERA of 2.73, 113 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.90, Cueto would be a great complement to the Tigers’ current starting staff.

Scott Kazmir, SP, Oakland A’s

Kazmir isn’t having the type of season he did in 2014, however, he would still be an upgrade to Detroit’s back-end of the rotation. Kazmir is 5-5 with a 2.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 96 strikeouts in 101 1/3 innings pitched, making him a solid No. 4 or 5 starter.

Mike Leake, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Leake would be a much cheaper option than Cueto or Samardzija, but nowhere near as reliable. With a 4.08 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 114 2/3 innings pitched, Leake might be somewhat of a risky move, unless he comes at the right price.

Other possible targets:

– Aaron Harang, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

– Ben Zobrist, IF/OF, Oakland A’s

– Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers

(h/t CBS Sports)