As the All-Star break draws near, many teams around the league are looking for upgrades. Your Motor City Kitties are no exception. The Tigers need for a another bat has been well chronicled, and many names have been tossed around the blogosphere. Unfortunately, the Tigers failed to pounce on the one name that I would have liked them to target; Eric Hinske.
Today, the Pirates made their annual trade with the Yankees, sending Hinske to New York along with cash for two minor leaguers. You may recall that over the past several seasons, the Pirates have made several deals with the Yankees, sending them Craig Wilson, Damaso Marte, Shawn Chacon, and Xavier Nady. The Pirates always seem to get the short end of such trades.
The Yankees use these players to solidify their push to the playoffs, while the Pirates continue to flounder until the next season, when they repeat the process. It has been said that the definition of insanity is to repeat your actions and expect different results. I believe the Pirates’ executives to be insane.
So what’s left for Detroit? Guys like Aubrey Huff and Luke Scott are likely still available, as are Adam Dunn and Nick Johnson, but all will have a bigger price tag than Hinske.
Perhaps, the Tigers’ answer will come from within, as Carlos Guillen is progressing nicely from his shoulder injury that has cost him most of the season. If he can regain any type of the form at the plate he has displayed over the past several seasons, he would be a welcome addition to the Tigers’ inconsistent attack.
The simple facts are that if the Tigers plan to make it to October, the offense needs a boost. If players like Guillen and Magglio Ordonez can find the fountain of youth, they should have enough to get there. If not, and I would not put a ton of faith in that happening, the team must look outside the organization for help.
A versatile left handed hitter that’s capable of hitting the long ball would be ideal. With Hinske’s name scratched from the shopping list, I will throw my support behind Chad Tracy of the Diamondbacks.
Tracy has spent the last month on the disabled list, but when healthy, has shown good pop throughout his career, twice hitting at least 20 home runs in a season. He can play first base and third base. He played in the outfield regularly prior to 2006, so he could probably get by there again.
Tracy could be activated by this weekend and while it’s true that he has been injury prone over the past three seasons, so it would be a risk to take him on, the Tigers wouldn’t need him to play everyday. He could be used in a platoon situation to help offset the losses of production the team was counting on from Ordonez and Guillen.
Given his injury history and the D-backs roster full of young talent, Arizona shouldn’t ask for a ton in return. Tracy has a $7 million option for next season with a buyout of $1 million, so he should fit into the Tigers’ plans financially as well.