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Report: Jose Iglesias to miss significant time with shin injury, Tigers could pursue Stephen Drew

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias has been searching for answers to explain the pain in his shins basically since the beginning of spring training. Iglesias ended up visiting a foot-and-ankle specialist last week and received an adjustment in the orthotics he's been wearing under his feet. The adjustment initially gave Iglesias relief, but he's still unable to resume baseball activities without feeling discomfort.

That led the Tigers to admit earlier in the week that Iglesias may not be ready for the start of the season. Now we're hearing word from ESPN's Jim Bowden that suggests Iglesias' absence could extend well into the regular season.

Bowden felt confident enough in his source to go forward with the report, so there's likely something to it. Whether or not the extended time frame proves to be accurate will be determined as his recovery continues, but at this point it seems safe to rule out Iglesias for the start of the season.

That means the Tigers will be looking for a replacement for their defensive whiz, who they acquired from the Boston Red Sox last season. Could they revisit that avenue and sign Stephen Drew, essentially trading the Red Sox a draft pick? It's possible. Speculation had already been running wild earlier on Saturday suggesting Detroit was kicking the tires on Drew, and the rumor mill has only picked up in intensity following Bowden's report.

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Jose Iglesias and Stephen Drew together in Boston. (USA Today)

Drew could never replace Iglesias' defensive skills, which are basically what his game and his value is built around. However, Drew would give Detroit an immediate upgrade offensively and if/when Iglesias returned he would provide some flexibility if he agreed to move to third base. Despite the loss in compensation, that has to make Drew an appealing option for Detroit.

If they don't land Drew, which is possible based on Scott Boras' claims that Drew and Kendrys Morales are willing to hold out until June, shortstop would be left open for Eugenio Suarez and Herman Perez. Both are players the Tigers like, but it's a win now mentality, and neither fit into that mold as well as Drew.

The next 24-48 hours will be telling as it relates to Iglesias' status. If Detroit picks up the aggression on the telephones, it's a safe sign they're concerned and Bowden's report is on the money.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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