Detroit acquires Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis from Miami in exchange for Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo, Burke Badenhop, Dallas Trahern and Frankie De La Cruz
Was there ever a doubt? On December 4, 2007 Dave Dombrowski committed grand theft in the state of Florida. Perhaps the best star-for-prospects trade in history, the Tigers acquired Cabrera and left-hander Dontrelle Willis in exchange for six prospects. Miami surely figured that at least one, maybe two of those prospects would go on to become stars in their own right.
While Andrew Miller has developed into a star, it has been as a lights out reliever – and it certainly wasn’t in Miami. Miller went 10-20 with a 5.89 ERA for the Marlins.
Cameron Maybin has also developed himself into a capable starting outfielder, although he only hit .257 in 144 games with the Marlins from 2008-2010. He found some success with the Padres and actually had his best big league season in 2016…..with the Tigers. Ouch.
No matter, the Marlins still received four other prospects. Something good had to come of that right?
Frankie De La Cruz threw nine innings in 2008 with the Marlins, giving up 18 earned runs with a 4/11 K/BB ratio. He only threw 16.1 more innings in his career.
Mike Rabelo hit .202/.256/.294 in 34 games with the Marlins in 2010, never playing in the big leagues again.
Dallas Trahern never reached the major leagues.
The most successful of the bunch was reliever Burke Badenhop, who threw 250 2/3 innings with the Marlins from 2008-2011. He posted a 4.34 ERA and a 96 ERA+.
The total combined WAR (with the Marlins) for those six players equals 0.3. The Marlins got 0.3 total bWAR in exchange for one of the greatest players of this entire generation. I’d call that win.
Not every trade has worked out well for the Detroit Tigers. However, these are five examples of trades that helped the Tigers immensely. In some cases, they may have been directly responsible for the team being in the World Series.