Detroit Tigers: The Five Worst Trades in Franchise History

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Detroit Tigers

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 17: Jair Jurrjens #49 of the Atlanta Braves against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field on August 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Detroit Tigers have had their fare share of outstanding trades, including landing superstar Miguel Cabrera. But with all good trades come a few clunkers.

Detroit Tigers fans were able to relish in the team’s successful trades a few weeks ago, when we listed the five greatest trades in team history. Chief among them was the team’s acquisition of superstar Miguel Cabrera, whom the team acquired for a handful of prospects who never fulfilled their potential.

Trades like that have often worked out well for the Tigers, as they have netted Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, Doug Fister and others by giving up prospects who didn’t pan out.

Unfortunately, those are the trades that often come back to bite a team in the ass. And while the Tigers have had some success in that regard, they’ve had some failures as well.

Here is a compilation of the five worst trades in Tigers history. We will start with an honorable mention, a star for prospects deal that didn’t work out:

Tigers send Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez to the Braves for Edgar Renteria

The Tigers were in desperate need of a shortstop after the 2007 season. Carlos Guillen had a great season, but the Tigers were hoping to move him and his questionable glove over to third base. They struck early in the 2007 offseason, sending prized pitching prospect Jair Jurrjens and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to the Braves in exchange for well-respected veteran Edgar Renteria.

Renteria was coming off a 2007 season where he’d slashed .332/.390/.470 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases. He was an All-Star in 2006 and was only 31 years of age. Jurrjens and Hernandez seemed like a small price to pay for a five time All-Star shortstop.

Unfortunately, Renteria never found his footing in the Motor City. He hit .270/.317/.382 with 10 home runs and six steals, good for an 84 OPS+ and a 1.1 bWAR. He signed with the Giants after the season and won a ring with them in 2010.

Meanwhile, Jurrjens exploded onto the scene in 2008, going 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA and a 113 ERA+. That was good for third place in rookie of the year voting. He led the league in games started the following year and made an All-Star team in 2011. Injuries caught up with him in 2012, and he was out of the game by 2014 at age 28.

Hernandez didn’t reach the big leagues until 2012. He bounced around until he caught on with the Giants three years ago. While he hasn’t been a great big league performer, the Tigers still lost this trade, big time. The team was desperate for a fifth starter from 2009-2010, and Jurrjens would have been a great piece to have.

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