Scott Sizemore Traded to Oakland


This moves comes as a surprise, to me at least. The Detroit Tigers today traded second baseman Scott Sizemore to Oakland in exchange for reliever David Purcey. Sizemore was hitting .222 with four RBI in 17 games with the Tigers after being recalled on May 3. The club recalled the contract of infielder Danny Worth to take Sizemore’s place on the roster.

Purcey, a left hander, has been very good with Oakland this year, pitching to a 2.13 ERA with the A’s and holding opponents to a .191 batting average. According to Jason Beck, Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski said he has coveted Purcey “for a while now” and has made two prior attempts to deal for the southpaw when Purcey was still with Toronto. Purcey will join the Tigers bullpen which already features a slew of left handers in Charlie Furbush, Adam Wilk, and Daniel Schlereth.

In order to accommodate both Purcey and Worth, the Tigers will need to make an additional roster move, so you can expect that another reliever will be leaving the roster. That will probably be either Enrique Gonzalez or Ryan Perry with Wilk still slated to depart tomorrow when Andy Oliver is recalled to make the start.

The second base job is once again wide open in Detroit. With each failed experiment, the idea of Carlos Guillen coming back is looking better and better. Guillen is still struggling to rehab his surgically repaired knee and we should know by now that he really can’t be counted on. In the meantime, it’s looking like we’ll see a second base by committee approach from the Tigers with Worth seeing time along with Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn.

Although Worth doesn’t have a great reputation at the plate, the way Sizemore and Will Rhymes have hit this year, it shouldn’t be tough to improve there. The defense will get better as well (except when Raburn is playing there).

Purcey gives the Tigers an experienced left hander in the bullpen, something they’ve lacked this year. I expect to see him take over as the primary southpaw going forward.

This piece will seem like a small return on Sizemore, but the Tigers biggest weakness has been the porous middle relief corps. By adding Purcey to a (hopefully) rejuvenated Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde at the back end of games, the Tigers will be better able to limit the exposure of the vastly inexperienced guys like Al Alburquerque, Furbush, and to a lesser extent, Perry, allowing them to work in lower-leverage situations and grow into late-inning roles down the line.

My initial gut reaction? I’m sad to see Sizemore go as I hoped he would blossom into the kind of hitter we all expected him to become. But at the same time, I’m thrilled that Dombrowski is taking this opportunity to make the bullpen better. And when you consider that with the way he’s hit, Sizemore is no more valuable to the club than Rhymes or Worth and Worth is better with the glove, so Dombrowski was dealing from depth to address a weakness. It’s a solid move.

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