Tigers Trade Rumors – Are They For Real?
The Tigers’ season has been over for just over a month now, but with all the Tigers-related news going around you’d think it was the middle of July.
Trade rumors have been flying around the Tigers’ blogosphere for the last couple weeks. Nearly everyone on the Tigers’ roster has been implicated in some way, but the popular names are Edwin Jackson, Brandon Inge, and Curtis Granderson.
The Daily Fungo shares my exact thoughts on a possible Granderson trade:
Trading Granderson, arguably the face of the team, would be the fastest way to alienate one of the most loyal fanbases in baseball. It’s one thing to trade a born-to-play-in-the-CoPa All-Star centerfielder entering the prime of his career. It’s even worse when that player has the impact in the community that Granderson does. If there’s a more likeable player in baseball, I’d like to hear about him. Yes, there are concerns with his dwindling batting average (especially against lefties) but there would be more issues for the Tigers (like who would play CF) if he was traded. There is no way the Tigers would get equal value for Granderson. They would either get more help for the short term (in the form of an aging veteran), or prospects that wouldn’t be MLB-ready for a year or two.
Many of the same issues in trading Granderson are also present when talking about trading Inge. He is also one of the most popular players on the Tigers’ roster. He’s a throwback: the guy that gives 110% everyday, even if his knees are more busted than the fat chick alone in the corner of the bar. His work with the children at Mott Children’s Hospital is well-publicized. He paid his dues with the Tigers through the lean years in the early 2000s and is finally reaping the rewards. The guy deserves to be a Tiger for life.
Bless You Boys has a more objective take.
Sure, he brings a glove, one of the best in the league at third base. And since the Tigers don’t seem to have anyone who could replace him at that position, Inge might be more valuable to Detroit than to any team they could trade him to.
Yet he swings a bat that’s hit under .240 for three straight seasons (and under .260 for four). And as this rumor is being floated out there, Inge is sitting in two straight-legged casts, unable to put weight on his feet after having surgeries on both of his knees.
Ian doesn’t give an opinion in the piece, instead taking more of the “reporter” standpoint. Take a look at the comments though, you’d think they tried to change the uniforms to these. Simply put, Granderson and Inge cannot be traded.
I’m not sure which way to lean on the Jackson trade rumors. On one hand, we all saw the type of pitcher he can be last season. His numbers were off the charts, especially early in the year when his ERA was close to Greinke’s. However, he really tailed off toward the end of the year. Billfer has an excellent post on all the different reasons why the Tigers would look at moving Jackson. Of all his ideas, the “sell-high” theory seems most reasonable.
Jackson is coming off legitimately the best season of his career. His 3.62 ERA was stellar, but he pitched into some luck without a remarkable strike out rate. His FIP ERA was 4.28. Definitely above average, but not eye-popping. Jackson faded down the stretch – badly. Perhaps the Tigers think Jackson hit his ceiling and they don’t think he can replicate or build upon his 2009 season. They know that Jim Leyland rode him pretty hard and they’re worried about his health or stamina going forward.
Though Jackson was lucky with some of his stats, he hardly had any run support from the Tigers’ offense early in the year, so I don’t think any “bad karma” is in store for Jackson next season. I think that Jackson will regress a bit next year, but not to the point that he won’t be a solid #2 or #3 starter for the Tigers. He was the #1b to Justin Verlander’s #1a last year, with Rick Porcello turning into a #1c by the end of the year. Unless a great opportunity were to come along, I’d like to see Jackson back in the Tigers’ rotation next season.
If those rumors aren’t enough to make your Tiger-striped blood boil, here’s another [via BYB]. Ken Rosenthal, in whatever alternate universe he’s living in, thinks that a Miguel Cabrera for Mike Lowell, Jonathan Papelbon, and a random prospect trade makes “financial sense.” However, Rosenthal fails to point out that the trade he spits out leaves the Tigers with a larger payroll next year. Mike Lowell is older than dirt and would probably have a Renteria-like year in Detroit. Papelbon is a great closer, but Fernando Rodney blew fewer saves than Paps last season.
I’ve never been a fan of paying top-dollar for a guy that gives you less than 100 innings a year. Call me old-school, but what happened to “closers” giving you two or three innings a night? If the Tigers get anyone from the Sox, it would have to be a young starter (Jon Lester comes to mind) along with another young star, of which they don’t have (Dustin Pedroia? yeah right…). Thankfully, Dave Dombrowski has already spoken his mind about trading the Tigers superstar.
Hopefully this will be a quiet off-season for the Tigers. I’d like to see some of their free agents (Lyon, Everett, Polanco) re-signed, but leave the blockbuster moves to everyone else.