The stove is heating up, but not yet for the Detroit Tigers. The latest trades have been both surprising and typical; they could give Al Avila some ideas of what to do and what not to do.
One of the most exciting trades happened between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Angels. It appears that the Angels are ready to get serious about their defense. They added Andrelton Simmons in exchange for Erick Aybar, cash, and a pair minor leaguers. This surprising trade did get the attention of Tigers fans, simply because it involved a top-notch shortstop, much like the Tigers’ Jose Iglesias who could be an interesting trade option.
Sep 13, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) tags out New York Mets Eric Young Jr. (1) trying to steal during the eighth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The other trade ended one rumor that Tigers fans were hoping to see come true. Right-handed, closing pitcher Craig Kimbrel will be moving across the country from San Diego to Boston. True to form, Dave Dombrowski parted ways with four minor league players to bring Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox. Many Tigers bloggers and fans were hoping Kimbrel would come to Detroit, but many of those same fans were worried that he would only come by swapping Iglesias. It seems, for now, that Iglesias is safe; but, one solid closing pitcher is no longer on the market.
Jul 26, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) celebrates after the Padres beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Most Tigers fans remember the last game that Joaquin Benoit pitched against the Boston Red Sox. He allowed David Ortiz to hit a grand slam that demolished the Tigers. After the Red Sox knocked the Tigers out of the postseason, they went on to win the World Series. Despite this, Joaquin Benoit was on the Detroit Tigers’ radar this fall as a closing pitcher. He is no longer an option because he was sent to Seattle from San Diego for a pair of minor league players. One more closer – gone.
In another interesting small group of moves, qualifying offers have actually been accepted. Three major league players have accepted offers from their home teams. This is the first time that any players have accepted the offers. Brett Anderson will remain a pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodger, Colby Rasmus is staying with the Houston Astros, and Matt Wieters will be catching for the Baltimore Orioles.
Hopefully, Avila has learned from the way that Dombrowski decimated the Tigers minor league system, so he will not repeat Dombrowski’s trading style. It looks like Dombrowski is at it again, but in Boston. Avila should also pay attention to the fact that closing pitchers are getting snapped up quickly. Anything can happen in the offseason, and we are already seeing the drama unfold. Hopefully, Avila will act appropriately and fill the Tigers needs by moving forward, rather than backward by repeating the ways of his former boss.