The Tigers will know if the offseason will start today or tomorrow after the Twins and White Sox play their games today. Regardless of when it does, I wanted to provide some context to some of the procedural moves that will happen while the league's best (and the Dodgers) duke it out in the postseason.
Assuming Todd Jones is not taking up a roster spot, the Tigers currently have 39 players on the 40 man roster with three more on the 60-day DL. I believe they can wait until some of the eligible free agents file to activate them from the disabled list, so there may not be a rush to make moves.
Numerous players will be crossing the waiver wire in October. It is possible the Tigers could snag a player off waivers that somebody else is trying to pass through. Remember, though, that they need to have room on the roster to do so. Also, bear in mind that it may not be a wise move to claim every player out there off waivers because roster spots are at a premium. To make room for possible claims, some players may be removed early. Dane Sardinha and Gary Glover come to mind as candidates.
This is where outright free agents come into play. These are guys who could declare free agency before the rest of the minor league and major league free agents. Any player with more than three year's experience who is removed from the 40 man roster or a player who is removed for at least the second time can declare free agency through this route. Most of these players are eligible for minor league free agency, but they may get their names in the transactions log this route. So far, Francis Beltran and Francisco Cruceta are eligible to declare free agency. Most of the players who would get outrighted in October may also end up on this list.
Finally, we will likely see staff changes in October, probably immediately after the season. Aside from any rumored coaches, keep an eye on the trainer situation. Certainly if the bloggers have turned on Kevin Rand and his staff, there has to be some discussion of a change there. Rand, himself, was hired in October of 2002. If you want to see a change, don't get your hopes up. Rand is one of Dave Dombrowski's guys, working for the Marlins from 1993-2001 and the Tigers since 2003. As for the coaches, pitching coach Chuck Hernandez would certainly be near the top of any list of coaches in jeopardy.