Monday, December 05, 2005

Tigers did well with Beckett talks

When the Florida Marlins decided that they were going to have a fire-sale, I was wide-eyed at the possibilities for the Detroit Tigers. The Marlins may have underachieved as a team last year but no organization in MLB can match the talent of Florida’s roster. Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Carlos Delgado, Josh Beckett, Juan Pierre, Luis Castillo, Paul LoDuca and A.J. Burnett are just some of the players that would immediately help a MLB franchise. When I read that the Marlins were actively trying to trade Beckett, I could only hope that the Tigers would try to get involved. Rumors circulated that the Rangers and Red Sox were in discussions to acquire Beckett. Then, the trade with Boston was announced and I was not happy. The Tigers had a chance to bring in a top of the rotation, strikeout pitcher who is only 25 years old. Throw in the fact that he would probably come at a discounted price and you have a dream scenario. I was extremely annoyed that the Tigers seemingly blew a chance at bringing in a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.

Then I found out that Detroit had tried hard to get Beckett from Florida. It turns out the Marlins asked for Justin Verlander and Curtis Granderson in return for Beckett and Mike Lowell and his Chris Dudley-esque contract. I put myself in Dave Dombrowski’s shoes and tried to rationalize the trade one way or the other. It’s a very difficult decision when you consider all of the factors. Giving up Granderson doesn’t necessarily concern me all that much especially when the Tigers could easily find a star centerfielder in this year’s free agent market. Granderson could turn into a decent major leaguer but I’m not convinced that he’s a superstar or worth nixing a Beckett deal. Justin Verlander has been destroying the Minor Leagues. He has as much “buzz” as any pitching prospect in recent memory. By all accounts, he’s going to be a dominating pitcher in Detroit for a long time. Having said that, I’ll quickly take a look at the pros and cons and decide if I think Dave Dombrowski made the right decision.


-Josh Beckett is an established star already in MLB having won a WS ring. He would immediately make Detroit’s rotation one of the best in the AL with Jeremy Bonderman.
-Verlander hasn’t accomplished anything in the majors yet. It remains to be seen what he can do.
-Beckett is only 25 years old
-The Tigers would not have to give up any players that have had much of an impact in the major leagues. Basically, the Tigers would be trading speculation for guaranteed.
- The Tigers have Nook Logan and Cameron Maybin already in the organization which would minimize the loss of Granderson
-Mike Lowell could bring more offensive consistency to third base.


-Beckett has been injury prone
-Verlander is younger than Beckett
-Lowell’s contract is ridiculous. The Tigers can’t afford to bring on another bloated contract to go along with Pudge and Mags.
- Beckett will cost considerably more than Verlander in the near future.
-Granderson could be the centerfielder that the Tigers have been looking for over the last decade.
- It is possible that Verlander could be an even better pitcher than Beckett
-Verlander probably has an affinity for the organization while Beckett would probably be miserable at the thought of coming to Detroit.

Each of the pros and cons has in impact in the decision but some weigh more heavily than others. For instance, Beckett’s injury history and potential salary stand out. Also, since it’s a possibility that Verlander and Beckett are equal in terms of pitching ability, the Tigers would then be giving up Granderson who could end up being very good. I’m not saying that I would do this trade if it was just Verlander for Beckett and Lowell but I would definitely give it more consideration. I just think that the cons of making this trade outweigh the pros. Verlander wants to be in Detroit. He’s gone through the farm system. This is the team that drafted him. Just look at how much pride Jeremy Bonderman takes in his performance as a Tiger. Beckett most likely would not want to be in Detroit and he’d probably try to take the first available train out of town. There are too many things that could go wrong with this trade to make it worthwhile. I applaud the Tigers for exploring the possibility but Dave Dombrowski, in my opinion, made the correct decision.


Anonymous said...

Wow great background. I was going to ask you when we might see some Tigers stuff with the winter meetings coming up, and your sorry ass Lions out of sorts.


As far as that trade I would not have made it. If it was for Verlander and a mid-level position prospect then it would have been a good trade. As you said Beckett is young, established, and he has great stuff. I'd trade VErlander for Beckett straight up any day (well any day meaning for the next two years). But to add Granderson the Tigers top position prospect, that would have really gone back to the way the organization was run by Randy Smith. I know it's tough and people want to win now but I'd much rather be like the Atlanta Braves than I would like the Rangers or Mets. Some teams just spend, spend, spend and never get anywhere. The Braves win every year because of what they've done through the years with their farm system.

Wouldn't you like the Braves as your team? Who cares they only one one World Series all these years. They are in it every year. Every year they have a chance to go to the World Series. That's what I want. I don't want the Tigers to buy up Percival, Burnett, or whoever and get a questionable return. Buy smart (KEVIN MILLWOOD PEOPLE!), develop a great farm system (triple A title and two major minor league awards for pitching), and put a respectable team on the field (one that can compete with any team in any given series). That's enough for most Tiger fans. I don't think after this dry spell that we'll be screaming if the Tigers aren't playing on Devils Night. Just putting a team out there that can almost get to the playoffs would be fine with me at this point. How about 82-80? I'll take that as a fan. I'm easy when it comes to the Tigers!

Jake said...

Millwood would be a asset to the Tigers for sure. Hopefully they can either bring in him or Matt Morris. I don't know have any idea why the Tigers would look into Javier Vazquez and Carl Pavano over Morris and Millwood. Vazquez is a mess and Pavano's had one good year.

I don't think I'm nearly as high on Granderson as you are. He did fairly well with the Tigers last season but he's kind of stuck. He's not neccessarily a power hitter and he's not necessarily a speed/leadoff hitter. Hopefully he ends up being real good. I'm just not putting all of my eggs in the Granderson basket.

Anonymous said...

EARLY PREDICTION: Toronto starts dumping all that salary they just picked up by mid-season 2007. What a joke. I actually wish them well in that division but I'm not sure what they are doing. It's Christmas shopping with credit cards not thinking about the bill.


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