The Detroit Tigers have had their fair share of trades that went exceptionally well. Here’s a look at the best of the best in franchise history.
The Detroit Tigers have a history of being trade happy. Former General Manager Dave Dombrowski was nicknamed ‘trader Dave’ during his tenure in the Motor City. Dombrowski had his share of outstanding trades, with a few that backfired as well.
The 2018 Detroit Tigers have quite a few players who were acquired via trade. It’s a bit too early to tell if Detroit’s acquisition of Michael Fulmer or Jeimer Candelario will become some of the greatest trades in team history, but they are certainly on the right track.
Below is a list of the five greatest trades in team history. In each instance, the Tigers were able to acquire high level talent without sacrificing much in return. Because most trades these days involves stars for prospects, these are primarily instances where the Tigers traded prospects to acquire a quality big leaguer, and in turn the prospects did not pan out. A few of Detroit’s worst trades involve those prospects eventually turning into quality big players (cough, Eugenio Suarez, Robbie Ray, cough).
Before we begin, we have two honorable mentions. It was very hard to narrow this list down from seven to five, so I wanted to shout out the two trades that just missed the cut:
Detroit acquires Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth for Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson
This was a massive three team trade with the Diamondbacks and the Yankees. Although the Tigers acquired a Cy Young winner, an above average center fielder and a pair of left-handers, they also gave up a decent starting pitcher and a potential Hall of Fame center fielder in Curtis Granderson. No doubt this was a great trade for the Tigers, but the quality of talent they surrendered puts it just outside the top five.
Detroit acquires Doug Fister and David Pauley for Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells, Francisco Martinez and Chance Ruffin
Another trade that just missed the cut was Detroit’s acquisition of right-handers Doug Fister and David Pauley from the Mariners in 2011. Fister went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in the second half that year. He ended up going 32-20 with a 3.29 ERA in 2.5 seasons with the Tigers.
Meanwhile, Furbush was an okay LOOGY for the Mariners for a few years, and Wells and Ruffin never amounted to much. This one was a big win for Dave Dombrowski and co.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff: