The Sports Pages: Jayson Werth, Shin-Soo Choo, Miguel Cabrera and the Links


“I always turn to the sports pages first, which records man’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

– Earl Warren

It was right about this time three years ago that the Tigers and Marlins hooked up on  a trade that sent budding superstar Miguel Cabrera to Detroit. The Tigers also received Dontrelle Willis in the trade, but surrendered a king’s ransom of prospects in a package to Florida. Florida’s haul? Catcher Mike Rabelo, RHPs Eulogio de la Cruz, Burke Badenhop, and Dallas Trahern, Center fielder Cameron Maybin, and LHP Andrew Miller.

Three years later, the Marlins have only Badenhop still with their organization after recently giving up on Maybin and Miller- the big prizes of the trade. Michael Jong of Marlin Maniac took a look back today at the trade and says that no matter what has happened since then, the trade should be judged using information available at the time. Just one more reason that I believe trading prospects for established players is almost always the way to go.

**Cabrera may not wind up taking home the AL MVP award when the voting results are announced next week, but yesterday he did claim his second “Tiger of the Year” honor, as voted upon by the Detroit Chapter of the BBWAA. Cabrera, who also won the award in 2008, becomes the first two-time winner since Bobby Higginson. His selection as a second-time winner places him among a group that includes Lou Whitaker, Ron LeFlore, Higginson, Travis Fryman, and Kirk Gibson. No player has won more than three of these honors, with Denny McLain, Alan Trammell, and Cecil Fielder each pulling off the hat trick in their careers in Detroit.

**Tigers outfielder Casper Wells had his Dominican Winter League season cut short when he tweaked his knee a couple of weeks ago. He returned to the States to have an MRI and, as Jason Beck reports, there will be no need for surgery. Diagnosed as “jumper’s knee“, Wells will rest the injury and then begin working out as normal. He is expected to fully recover well in advance of Spring Training. This is obviously great news for Wells, whom I believe would make the 2011 club as the roster is currently constructed.

**Over at Bless You Boys, Kurt has joined me in my vocal support of pursuing free agent outfielder Jayson Werth. No media outlets have even alluded to the Tigers being interested in his services, but then again, apart from the Phillies and Red Sox, I have heard Werth’s name in connection with any other team. Surely there’s more interest in him than that. As Kurt points out, Werth has, surprisingly, been a better player than Magglio Ordonez was through their age 31 seasons and he’s a better bet to age gracefully than Adam Dunn. I like where your head’s at, Kurt.

**Speaking of the free agent crop, over at DesigNateRobertson, Rogo breaks down the pros and cons of many potential targets. I can’t say which guys he might prefer, but at least he’s thorough.

**Jen at Old English D expressed her dismay over the whole Austin Jackson should-have-been-the-Rookie-of-the-Year thing. No, Jen, you aren’t alone on that one.

**Erin (aka SabreRoseTiger) welcomed Joaquin Benoit (Wah-keen Ben-wah as I explained to my wife) to the Tigers in a post at Tigers Amateur Analysis this week. In that same piece she was elated to hear of the Uggla-to-the-Braves trade. Not because she is secretly a huge Braves fan, but because she wasn’t among those of us (me) that found themselves drooling over the possibility of getting some actual offense out of the second base position this year. Oh well, maybe Carlos Guillen will stay healthy. What? It could happen!

**Samara also announced Benoit’s signing in a way only she can. Suffice to say that she’s less than optimistic that the contract will be a good one. As usual at Roar of the Tigers, come for the pictures, stay for the words.

**Lee Panas of Tiger Tales continued his look at baseball’s best glove men this week with a piece on first basemen. No real shockers at the top of his rankings, but the shocker, to me at least, came when I saw that Adam Dunn wasn’t ranked last. In fact Dunn had five players below him on this list and wound up placing just one spot behind Cabrera.

**One more quick note. The Asian Games were completed at some point over the past few hours. The only major league player on any of the teams was Cleveland’s Shin-Soo Choo. Choo’s South Korea squad took home the Gold in beating Taiwan today. The victory should assure Choo of a military service exemption and allow him to continue his major league career. Nothing official has come down as to the exemption being handed out as of yet, however.

If the Korean government does not pardon Choo and his teammates from service (as they did when South Korea took home the Gold in the Olympic of 2008), Choo would have to either return to his home country to serve a two-year military obligation, or attempt to become a US citizen and risk being unwelcomed in his homeland.

That’s all I got this week, kiddies. Enjoys the links!

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