If you are a fan of the Hot Stove League at all, MLB Trade Rumors is the place to be. Sometimes, however, you find a nugget of information that you just didn’t want to see.
The Tigers are trouble as far as financial flexibility is concerned, but both Jackson and Laird are under team control as arbitration eligible players. What that means, however, is that both players will be getting pay raises in advance of next season, and that their trade value is probably at its peak.
Laird lead the league in nabbing potential base stealers but was below average at the plate. Jackson rode a strong first half to an all-star selection and though he struggled in the second half, he still had the best season of his career.
Prior to reading these rumors, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of trading either player, but with no money available to fill existing holes, perhaps Dave Dombrowski is doing exactly what he should by being open to trades that might bring him solutions to the 2010 problems without having to dive into the free agent pool.
Theoretically, a trade involving Jackson should bring back a player or two that are young, can fit a need for next season, and most importantly, are cheap. Laird’s value is certainly not as high as Jackson’s but he could bring back a useful player while opening the door to more playing time for Alex Avila.
There will be cries that the team should be trading big contracts instead of players that could be viewed as building blocks for years to come, but what team is going to take on $12.5 million for Jeremy Bonderman or Dontrelle Willis when you cannot count on anything from either pitcher. Who is the team that wants to pay Carlos Guillen’s $26 million dollar deal through 2011? Those teams don’t exist.