Now here, I suppose, is what you might call an ‘unconventional’ trade post. I’m not going to be drooling over the guys on other teams that could help propel the Tigers to another AL Central crown. I’m going to be talking about the guys that the Tigers could most afford to give up to bring said pieces to the Motor City.
The operative word here is ‘surplus’. For a trade to give you big benefits (unless you are able to genuinely rip off some poor sap like the well known Ramon Santiago for Carlos Guillen deal) you have to be able to deal guys with value that you just don’t need for other guys with value that you do. The Tigers have an organizational surplus of outfielders with a .700 OPS and an organizational surplus of middle infielders that can’t walk, hit for average or hit for power. These don’t count, they don’t have value. The only place in the organization where the Tigers really do have value to spare is in left-handed pitching at the AA and AAA levels.
Follow through the jump for a list and subjective/arbitrary ranking of the guys we could afford to deal:
1. Drew Smyly [11-6, 2.06 ERA, 130 K 36 BB as a starter at A+ & AA]
2. Adam Wilk [8-6, 3.24 ERA, 76 K 14 BB as a starter at AAA]
3. Casey Crosby [9-7, 4.10 ERA, 121 K 77 BB as a starter at AA]
4. Andrew Oliver [8-12, 4.71 ERA, 143 K 80 BB as a starter at AAA]
5. Fu-Te Ni [6-3, 3.24 ERA, 93 K 34 BB as a starter and reliever at AAA]
6. Austin Wood [3.16 ERA, 61 K 28 BB in relief at AA]
7. Jay Voss [12-7, 3.56 ERA, 101 K 37 BB as a starter at A+ & AA]
– the guy we got for Nate Robertson. Hilarious.
8. Ryan Robowski [3.07 ERA, 38 K 19 BB in relief at A+, AA & AAA]
– and here’s the lesser half of the package the D’Backs sent for Armando Galarraga.
9. Duane Below [9-4, 3.13 ERA, 83 K 37 BB as a starter at AAA]
10. Matt Hoffman [3.45 ERA, 46 K 25 BB in relief at AA & AAA]
11. David Purcey [2.38 ERA, 7 K 5 BB in relief at AAA]
12. Brad Thomas [3.48 ERA, 12 K 6 BB in relief at AAA]
Unless they are with the big-league club or out of the organization entirely, each and every one of these guys should either start 2012 in Toledo or finish 2012 in Toledo. Do you see the problem? They’re all southpaws and with the exception of Smyly none of them is a great bet to be more than a 5th starter, swingman or middle reliever. But since left-handed pitching is “scarce” any or all of them could have actual value to a big-league team in 2012 or 2013.