Rosenthal's Fantasy World


In the wake of last week’s frenzy of information and speculation about the Tigers being open to trading a few of their players, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports decided to go all shock-jock on us and toss out a ridiculous scenario where the Tigers would trade Miguel Cabrera to Boston.  In return,the Red Sox would surrender Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Lowell, and a “top prospect”. 

Seriously, this is what it has come to?

I would expect to read stuff like this from a high school kid who thinks saves and fielding percentage are actually useful statistics.  I get that in fantasy baseball, this trade might make some sense.  I may even try this one on a PlayStation game.  In real-life baseball, however, this trade is flat-out dumb.

Rosenthal suggests that the Tigers might be wanting to move Cabrera in part due to his off the field antics on the season’s final weekend.  He suggests that the team in such dire straits financially that they would have to make such a deal simply to survive.

What he fails to realize, although he does note the existence of, is that nearly $60 million worth of contracts come off the books following the 2010 season.  Don’t you think it would be nice to have a player to build around when you have all that cash available?  We are not talking about just any player here.  We are talking about the best right handed hitter in the American League.  And he plays defense pretty well, too.

But lets examine his proposal, shall we?  Six years of Cabrera for one year of Lowell, at $12 million, probably two years of Papelbon, at roughly $10 million per, and a prospect, who by nature of playing in the Boston system, will be over-hyped.

Lowell simply cannot stand up to the rigors of a 162 game season any longer.  His tremendous third base glove will be nullified by a neccesary move to first.  What you have left is a good defender at first base, but one who probably can’t play there more than three times per week.  He is an average hitter at best as he struggles with age and injury concerns.  So I think I’ll pass on Lowell, thanks.

“But Papelbon! He’s awesome!”  He’s a closer.  Closers are not worth $10 million per year, go ask the Reds.  Fernando Rodney had a better year than Papelbon at a fraction of the cost.  The A’s have been trotting out effective closers for years that earn less than $2 million per year.  You don’t need to pay for saves.  Detroit already has at least two guys that can fill the role at one-tenth the cost of Papelbon.  Again, I’ll pass.

This trade proposal made by Rosenthal is just the latest example of how the national baseball writers seem to think that just because the Red Sox have a need, other clubs should lay down and allow the Nation to cherry-pick their franchise.  This is simply no different from the Adrian Gonzalez rumors that have been discussed since July.

In those talks, the conventional wisdom says the San Diego should hand him over to Boston because the Padres can’t afford him.  Really? Gonzalez makes all of $4.85 million next season and has a club option for 2011 at $5.5 million.  ANY club, regardless of finances, can afford his contract.  But the Red Sox have somehow managed to spend $150 million without getting themselves what the writers deem to be a slugging first baseman.  They simply cannot fathom a world where the Yankees sign Mark Teixeira and the Sox don’t respond.

This just in: Kevin Youkilis is pretty good.  If the Yankees had Youkilis, they probably would not have spent so much trying to sign Teixeira.

But if the Sox want to move Youkilis back to third base, Lowell can always shift to first.  What? Lowell not the answer for Boston?  Guess what? He’s not the answer for Detroit, either.  And neither is Papelbon.

I’m not saying the Tigers would never trade Cabrera, but if it were to happen, the players they got in return would have to be a whole lot younger, cheaper, and better than the names Rosenthal is tossing out there.