After shuffling the roster to add Cespedes, Wilson, and Speier for Porcello, the Tigers immediately filled Porcello’s spot with Alfredo Simon from the Reds. And that’s not a very encouraging move.
Here’s what we can say about Simon. If you’re a fan of runs allowed based numbers, he had a good 2014. If you’re not, he’s not very good at all. And even if you’re a runs allowed person, Simon only has one successful year as a starter under his belt. He had some solid seasons in relief with the Reds and a whole lot of nothing in his time with the Orioles. And he’s 33, so it’s not like he’s getting better.
If you like this add, you’re basing it on 196 innings of BABIP on a team with Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, and Billy Hamilton. He’s probably a little better than replacement level, but he’s a step down from Porcello and probably not much better than someone you could pull off the scrap heap like Justin Masterson.
He won’t cost much in his final year of arbitration, but that’s because he’s not that good. And they gave up Eugenio Suarez and Jonathan Crawford to get him too.
You’d be happy if it was Mike Leake coming back or pumped if it was Johnny Cueto. But Simon just isn’t much of an MLB starter, so the upgrade you get with Cespedes gets cancelled out by the drop off in the rotation, give or take. For a little extra cash, the Tigers will wind up being a pretty equal team compared to yesterday’s version.
And that’s before we get to Simon’s off the field issues, which include a manslaughter charge (for which he was acquitted) and a pretty gruesome sexual assault lawsuit which appears to still be pending (although I haven’t confirmed that). That doesn’t mean Simon’s a lesser player, but it certainly doesn’t make you feel any better.
The Tigers probably didn’t get better, they gave up a useful player in Suarez and one of their best young arms in Crawford, and the guy they did add might be a rapist.
This isn’t as bad as the Fister deal from a baseball perspective, but man does it look ugly.