Just in case you were having trouble keeping up with all those twitter updates (I was), you can find out what happened in Tiger baseball here. Stay tuned, though, the winter meetings will be here all week.
First, we learned the Tigers had made a flurry on minor moves. They announced the trade of LHP Clay Rapada to the Rangers. In return, the Tigers will receive some sort of compensation, be it a player to be named later or cash considerations. That move cleared a 40-man roster spot for LHP Brad Thomas who pitched the past two seasons in Korea. In conjunction with those moves, the Tigers also outrighted RHP Zach Simons to AAA Toledo, clearing another roster spot.
It certainly seemed like a precursor to a bigger move, having the open roster spot. The Tigers had been rumored to have swung a deal with the Mets that would send RHP Edwin Jackson to New York. That rumor was quickly debunked when a Mets official told Newsday’s Ken Davidoff that no such trade was happening.
The open roster spot was filled shortly thereafter when shortstop Adam Everett agreed to another one-year deal to stay in Detroit. Everett played last season at $1 million, a paltry sum for a major league veteran. He had been thought to have been seeking near $3 million for 2010, especially given that a fellow defensive whiz, Alex Gonzalez, had already fetched that much from the Blue Jays. But Everett signed his deal for just $1.55 million, he will again be the primary shortstop for the Tigers.
As the evening drew to a close, the Tigers were having significant trade discussions with as many as 12 clubs, according to Fanhouse’s Ed Price. The hottest rumor was of a three-way deal that would send Jackson to Arizona and Curtis Granderson to the Yankees. In return, the Tigers were set to receive RHP Max Scherzer from Arizona and OF Austin Jackson and LHPs Phil Coke and Micheal Dunn. The deal may have fallen apart late when one of the teams backed away. My hope is that the Tigers are holding out for a better return.
The night ended when Jason Beck reported that RHPs Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney had both declined the Tigers offers of salary arbitration. Both players are seeking multi-year deals, but the hope is Detroit will be able to retain at least one of them. It doesn’t look good however, as Lyon in particular has already been linked to both the Phillies and Yankees.
My take- the Tigers’ haul in the proposed blockbuster doesn’t seem to jive with the day’s earlier moves. The Yankees apparently spent most of the day working on getting Granderson, but in this trade Detroit would get two LH relievers. They already have Bobby Seay, Fu-Te Ni, and now Thomas lined up as lefty relievers, so there is no need for Coke in the big league pen. Dunn projects as a nice arm, having pitched last season in AA, but the Tigers went part of the year in 2009 with only one lefty in the ‘pen, hard to imagine they’ll want four of them out there this season. This deal could still happen, but I’m betting if it does, Coke’s name will be removed in favor of RHP Phil Hughes. And I would be just fine with that. Remember folks, Granderson is at this point a very good defender who can’t hit a left hander. How much value does a platoon player have?
As for the Jackson for Scherzer part of the deal, I hope there is a way to make this happen. Scherzer has a boatload of talent and is under team control for another five season. Exactly the type of player Detroit is trying to get.
In on board with bringing back Everett, you know what you are going to get with him. He doesn’t hit much, but it will be important to have him working with rookie Scott Sizemore up the middle. Sure, Brent Dlugach could have probably filled the spot at 1/3 the price, but Everett’s experience and defense are worth more that the $1.55 million he’ll make next year.