Late Tuesday night, reports came down that Avi Garcia was pulled from his game in Toledo. This time of year that meant he was in the middle of a big trade rumor and it looks like that came true around 11pm as multiple reporters confirmed that the Tigers got involved in a three team deal that sent Garcia to the White Sox, Jake Peavy to the Red Sox, and Jose Iglesias to the Tigers. Additionally, the Tigers will send Brayan Villarreal to Boston and the Sox will send low level prospects to Chicago.
On the surface, it works for everyone. The White Sox get a high ceiling prospect in Garcia, the Red Sox get the starting pitcher they needed, and the Tigers get a SS to fill in for Jhonny Peralta who is, at this point, sure to be suspended this week. The Tigers gave up a young, cheap player from a position of strength for a young, cheap player at a position of weakness. The Red Sox gave up a young, cheap player from a position of strength for much needed pitcher. The White Sox traded a starter who won’t be a part of their future for an OF who could be.
This seems like a deal that works for everyone. I’m a Tigers writer, so I’m going to focus on the deal from their perspective. Jose Iglesias is an elite defender at SS and makes the Tigers starting pitchers, particularly their two elite level ground ball starters Porcello and Fister, much better. At New English D we judge pitchers on only what they can control, but it is also important to realize that run prevention wins games, not expected run prevention. The Tigers as a whole got much better at preventing runs with the addition of Iglesias, even if it doesn’t actually change anything about the pitchers themselves.
Porcello and Fister are very good pitchers, but their ERA’s will be helped a great deal by a player like Iglesias who will swallow up baseballs that Peralta couldn’t. Peralta isn’t a bad defender, but he’s not on Iglesias’ level either. And Peralta is getting suspended. Porcello and Fister are 2nd and 3rd in MLB in Ground Ball Percentage and the team just added someone who can get to ground balls with the best of them. Not only will Iglesias get to more balls than Peralta, but he can also get to a few ground balls in Cabrera’s zone as well that Peralta has been unable to help on.
The Tigers traded an OF who isn’t expected to be a player on the 2013 club and doesn’t really have a place on the team for 2014. With Jackson locked in center, Hunter under contract for 2014, and Castellanos twiddling his thumbs in AAA, there isn’t really a place for Garcia right now especially with absolutely no way to find ABs at DH until at least 2015. Garcia may prove to be a better player than Iglesias, but the immediate value Iglesias can bring to plug the whole at SS with excellent defense during a championship run is worth the cost. Iglesias profiles as a guy who could hit, but might not. He started hot this season but has cooled off this month. As long as he can provide something more than Worth or Santiago at the plate, it isn’t even worth talking about and Brayan Villarreal barely registers as a cost to the team.
Iglesias is a great defender at shortstop who won’t be a free agent for five more years. He’s 23. Garcia has a higher ceiling, but has plenty of risk too. This is the move you make. It’s the most Dave Dombrowski move since he traded for Fister. I like it a lot.
Iglesias can pick up some slack for Peralta at the dish, but he’s going to make up the lost value on the other side of the ball. He’s Brendan Ryan but with a reasonably decent bat. And he’s younger. And under team control. Dave rarely rents players. He finds opportunities to exploit an evolving market.
He heard the Red Sox wanted Peavy and he saw an opening to grab the SS he wanted. The Sox have Drew this year and top prospect Bogaerts coming. It was a chance to get a player that can help the Tigers now and in the future.
He went for it.
Now Iglesias doesn’t have enough big league time for me to do an in depth statistical breakdown, but everything I know about him says the value will be there on defense. Given the alternative, this is a smart move that could be a great move. Defense plays up in October and the Tigers were going to need a SS next year anyway. Dombrowski said he was probably done dealing at his press conference Tuesday afternoon, but we all knew that wasn’t true.
Dave doesn’t stop, he lurks. He waits. On Tuesday he grabbed a SS who makes the team better without paying too much. That’s a tough thing to do in a sport devoid of shortstops.
Maybe Garcia becomes and All-Star and this looks foolish in 2016. But it’s a gamble you take because, despite how much of a cliche it may be, flags fly forever.
It’s been nearly three years since The Trade that sent Curtis Granderson to the Bronx, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, and Daniel Schlereth to Detroit, and Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona.
This shouldn’t really be news today except that the Tigers have cut ties with the smallest piece of that deal; Daniel Schlereth.
It’s hard to call this trade anything but a win for the Tigers at this point given how well Jackson, Scherzer, and Coke have performed over their three seasons with the club at a lower collective cost than Granderson and Jackson.
Granderson has 13.2 WAR since 2010 while making $23.75 million. Austin Jackson (12.3), Scherzer (11.1), and Coke (3.8) sum all the way up to 27.2 WAR and cost $9.5 million together. (Edwin Jackson put up 7.8 WAR in his two years of team control that the deal covered but made lots of money so he’s a wash)
So the Tigers basically added 14 wins to their club over the last three years and saved $14 million, so far. The deal will keeping paying dividends as time goes on and Granderson’s deal expires and Jackson/Scherzer/Coke remain under Tigers’ control.
But what about Daniel (son of Mark) Schlereth? You can’t fault Dombrowski on a deal that worked out this well…or can you?
Schlereth has been worth a whopping -0.6 WAR as a Tiger. That’s a minus sign folks. Many, many walks will do that to you. His Tigers career is over and he’s been worse than useless.
Let’s reimagine the 2009 trade without Schlereth in the picture. Tigers send Granderson to New York for Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy. They then send Kennedy and Edwin Jackson to Arizona for Scherzer and Schlereth. Hmmm…
Could the Tigers have kept Jackson or Kennedy if they hadn’t wanted Schlereth? We’ll never know, but it’s interesting to think about. The Diamondbacks wanted to trade two pitchers for two slightly more proven pitchers. Could we have gotten a one for one? Kennedy for Scherzer or Jackson for Scherzer?
Could this be a world in which the Tigers had Ian Kennedy as well right now? Or Edwin Jackson for two more seasons? Even if the rotations were crowded, those are nice trade chips that would return more than a Daniel Schlereth right now.
This is a fun game we can play, but it’s also pretty crazy to get 14 more wins for $14 fewer million and wish you had done better. One of the pieces of The Trade has watched his clock run out in Detroit. Daniel Schlereth’s days in the organization are over and he will forever be the miss among the hits.
Which is fitting, given how much he missed the strike zone while wearing a Tigers uniform.
Tonight the Marlins agreed in principle to a deal that would send Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck to the Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar and a handful of solid prospects.
This deal was a massive salary dump. They traded their #1 and #2 starters, their shortstop, a solid utility player and one of their catchers for a haul of prospects that does not measure up to the package they sent.
They dumped everyone on their roster that had any kind of salary this year. They did so long before those contracts were up. They did so after one year at a $400 million stadium they begged the city of Miami to build.
This is a farce. The ownership of the Marlins went on and on about how they were changing baseball in Miami and this looked like a franchise ready to break out. Fooled us.
Four bad months of baseball and it was “Sell, sell, sell” in South Beach. What a sham.
Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco voiced their displeasure on Twitter tonight. Fans were livid. The owners blew up the Marlins one year into a massive overhaul of the franchise. I can’t imagine anyone going to a game in Miami this year unless you’re a fan of the visiting team.
There ought to be a coup in Miami. This is a joke.
Now if you’re a Blue Jays fan, I’m very happy for you. You just went from solid team in a tough division to contender in a tough division. You upgraded your rotation in a big way. You dramatically improved at short. You’ve added depth. You hardly lost anything you can’t replace.
This is a good day for baseball in Canada and a sad one in Miami. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve lost a generation of young fans in Florida because we’ve allowed crooks to run the Marlins while a gem of an organization in Tampa Bay can’t get a decent stadium despite a phenomenally interesting and successful club.
My heart goes out to anyone who bought a jersey in Miami without the name “Stanton” on it, and even those of you who did, because he’ll be gone soon too. What a sad moment for baseball.
But I rejoice for Blue Jays fans and am excited to see them contend with an Orioles team on the rise and perennially good clubs like New York, Boston, and Tampa Bay.
Tonight the Blue Jays traded for the entire Marlins roster and were smart enough not to ask for the homerun sculpture. The Marlins traded away their entire roster for way less than market value and couldn’t even dump that centerfield monstrosity. That tells you about everything you need to know.