Tigers GM Al Avila anticipates a quiet trade deadline in Detroit

CHICAGO -- Fans who were hoping that the Detroit Tigers may make a splash at the trade deadline are likely to be disappointed with what sounds like will be a quiet next week.

According to Tigers general manager Al Avila, the Tigers (51-46) are unlikely to make any major additions or unload any major pieces at the deadline. Avila expressed confidence in the way the roster is currently comprised and said standing pat makes the most sense for the team looking to the future, both from a long-term and payroll perspective.

"Right now, I'd say that's the most realistic option, sitting here today, which is probably what's best for this team and moving forward in the future," Avila said in his pre-game news briefing with reporters on Saturday. "It might not be the sexiest thing, but it is what it is."

Instead, Avila views the team's big acquisitions to be the eventual return of pitchers Jordan Zimmermann (neck) and Daniel Norris (oblique), both of whom will make rehab starts this weekend.

"Right now, what we're really focused on is getting the guys that are injured back and playing," Avila said. "Those are going to be our major acquisitions."

Avila also expects injured right fielder J.D. Martinez (elbow) to return around the beginning of August and anticipates the 2015 Silver Slugger to make a significant impact toward a potential playoff run.

The Tigers enter Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox 2.5 games back in the wild-card standings, but Avila believes they have a championship-caliber club when healthy.

"If our team gets rolling to their capabilities, it's one of the better lineups in baseball," Avila said. "Our pitching, same thing."

Though Avila said he doesn't envision making any major moves in advance of August 1, he has still fielded plenty of calls from teams looking to sell. But the asking price, particularly for starting pitchers, is understandably high. Avila said most conversations he has with other executives around the league center on their desire for talented young prospects such as Norris and rookie phenom Michael Fulmer, neither of whom the Tigers want to give up.

That will continue to be a non-starter for Detroit.

"We don't want to trade away our good young prospects for a two-month rental," Avila said.

Avila also addressed the job status of manager Brad Ausmus, who was retained last season despite multiple reports surfacing that the organization had decided to dismiss him.

Avila said the team has not had any discussions yet about a potential contract extension for Ausmus, who has a fourth option year in his contract, and that those discussions would be unlikely to commence until after the season.

"Not at this point. I would anticipate that would happen after the season is over," Avila said.

Avila praised the work Ausmus has done this season -- particularly with regards to his management of the bullpen -- and refuted the notion of a "lame duck manager."

"That doesn't exist in baseball," Avila said. "This isn't politics."