Detroit Tigers: 5 worst moves in Dave Dombrowski era

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May 9, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (29) reacts to a hit during the first inning in a game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. The Toronto Blue Jays won 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

#5: Trading away Devon Travis

On November 12, 2014, just hours after being named the top prospect in the Detroit Tigers’ organization, Dave Dombrowski sent second baseman Devon Travis to the Toronto Blue Jays for centerfielder Anthony Gose.

In a way, the trade made sense. Travis was blocked at second base by Ian Kinsler, who would be with the club through 2017, barring a trade. There was talk in the offseason about maybe converting Travis to an outfield position during the Arizona Fall League, but injuries kept him out of action so the experiment could not be conducted.

So the Tigers simply flipped him for a need, another outfielder, and for something that addressed the type of team that DD and manager Brad Ausmus were building: a team heavily reliant on speed.

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Travis impressed his new organization during Spring Training and was a surprise addition to the roster. He made his presence known immediately by hitting a home run for his first hit, on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.  Currently on the DL, Travis has a .303 average with eight homers and 35 RBIs.

That start for Travis was easier to take for Tigers’ fans at the time because Detroit was busy starting the season at 11-2 (remember all the comparisons to the 1984 team? barf) and Gose was one of the better players during that run.

He made his Tigers’ debut in the second game and got three hits. In the early part of the season he was always reaching on hits, walks, bunts, infield singles and then he caused havoc on the bases. It has been a LONG time since we’ve seen that Anthony Gose.

Gose is a young player and under team control through the 2019 season, so it’s not like the Tigers flipped a young prospect for a guy with a year or two left on his contract. But it’s hard to think that Gose’s upside will be better than that of Travis, even if Devon has experienced a ton of injury concerns in the early part of his career.

Next: Doug Fister trade