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Tackling the trade deadline: Detroit Tigers

Jul 11, 2011, 5:45 PM EDT

Justin Verlander Getty Images

Over the next few days, I’m going to look at the needs of some contenders as we approach the July 31 trade deadline.

Detroit Tigers
First-half record: 49-43
Standings: Leading Indians by 1/2 game, White Sox by 5 games in AL Central

Needs

Starting pitcher: Cy Young contender Justin Verlander is the only Tigers starter with an ERA under 4.50, and the team recently sent Phil Coke back to the bullpen.  Coke’s replacement, Charlie Furbush, has responded by giving up 12 runs — seven earned — in 7 1/3 innings while losing both of his starts.  Since Rick Porcello is a tough guy to rely on and Brad Penny is a big-time injury risk, the Tigers need to add someone who can start Game 2 or 3 of a postseason series.

Second base: The Tigers have Ryan Raburn for pop, Ramon Santiago for defense and Danny Worth for… well, I’m not sure what he’s for… but they’ve been hurting for an everyday second baseman for a couple of years now.  The plan is for Carlos Guillen to see time at the position if he can make it back from knee surgery, but he’s a terrible bet to stay healthy while playing second base.  The Tigers should go get a real second baseman and see if Guillen can contribute as an alternative to Brandon Inge at third.

Outfield: I don’t see a real need here, largely because I’m a believer in rookie Andy Dirks.  Still, there have been whispers that the Tigers will try to acquire an outfielder to help pick up some slack if they don’t think they can count on Magglio Ordonez.  Ordonez has hit .284 since coming off the DL last month, but it’s come with just four extra-base hits in 67 at-bats and he’s turned into quite a liability defensively because of his leg problems.

Target

Wandy Rodriguez (LHP Astros): Owed $10 million next year, $13 million in 2013, Rodriguez comes with plenty of risk.  That’s especially the case because his $13 million option for 2014 turns into a player option in the event of a trade.  Still, it’d be a gamble worth taking.  He’d certainly provide a different look from Verlander and Max Scherzer at the top of the rotation, and his excellent strikeout rate suggests that he’d hold up just fine in the AL.

Proposed deal

Rodriguez and 2B Jeff Keppinger for Porcello and LHP Casey Crosby

Astros fans wouldn’t be too happy with this one, but I think Porcello would have a bright future in the National League and come close to approximating Rodriguez’s success for the next three years.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen for him in Detroit.  The Tigers would have a better chance of making an October run with Rodriguez slotted into their rotation, and Keppinger would be an upgrade at second base.

The way I see it, either top prospect Jacob Turner or Porcello will have to go for the Tigers to land a big upgrade this summer and Porcello is likely the one they’d move first.

  1. insaneinthemembraines - Jul 11, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    What about a Bedard/Jack Wilson deal? Would be cheaper on the prospects.

    • tigersmariners - Jul 11, 2011 at 7:14 PM

      I am thinking Ryan Raburn for Jack Wilson, both need a change of scenery. The Mariners would get a little pop in their outfield in Raburn who has a history of big second half of the season florishes and the Tigers could move Peralta to third with Wilson at short.

      I also like Bedard as a Tiger. He would be closer to his home in Ontario Canada.

      • marinersnate - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:34 AM

        First, I am not even certain you could even get Wilson for someone like Raburn. (Why would the M’s want him again? He of the lofty .213-.248-.360 line. And that stellar defense.) We have plenty of COF who can hit near .200. Yes, Wilson has been horrible this year offensively. That being said, he is still worth probably more than Raburn.

        Second, what do you propose it is going to take to get Bedard? (Another Luke French?) Detroit is going to have to give up a lot more than you think for any kind of deal like this. If you really want Bedard and since the M’s need an OF, you might try one name: Austin Jackson. But I do not think you will get him for less. Other teams are very interested in the M’s starting pitching. They can pretty much pick and choose their offers, if they decide to sell at all.

      • tigers115 - Jul 12, 2011 at 8:58 PM

        nate-

        Bedard, an injured, injury prone head case and you’d start with Austin Jackson? That is ridiculous. While I don’t think Ramon Santiago or a C-level prospect would get it done, a B-level prospect is about all you could expect for him at this point. Anything more than that and you’re dreaming. How many innings has he pitched over the last 3 years? He’s damaged goods much along the lines of Jarrod Washburn.

  2. bobwheel - Jul 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    It’s too early to give up oin Porcello. He’s only 22.

    • chomsky66 - Jul 12, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      exactly. This isn’t fantasy baseball, but you’d never know that from reading these useless pieces. It’s like sports radio, only worse, because at least the radio hosts have access to their home team’s players and manager.

      What exactly is the benefit of a speculative series like this written by some blogger whose only sources are the morning blogrolls? At least blowhards like Buster Olney actually worked as beat reporters and have industry contacts. There is nothing anchoring any of these proposed trades in reality; there is not an original thought or insight in any one of them.

      Worse, there is absolutely no understanding of how current contracts are structured and what that might mean, or what GMs have been saying about such speculations, or any appreciation of how MLB has shifted its valuation of top prospects in these latter days of the arbitration system… this is recycled CW from months or years ago and has all the value of a newspaper delivered a week late.

  3. vikingshipper - Jul 11, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    It doesn’t matter what they do the Twins will win the division, Save the money and work on next year.

  4. thekcubrats - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    WANDY? really? Leave aside that he’s only been good at home in that strange dome, his contract is so favorable to the Asstros that… words fail me. Thoughts fail you. How did you get this gig?

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