Detroit Tigers: Dave Dombrowski’s Roster Impact Five Years Later

The 2020 Detroit Tigers roster still has Dave Dombrowski’s prints all over it as this date in history made Tigers fans dislike the Boston sports scene even more.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself after the Detroit Tigers 7-2 loss to the White Sox last night, “Why do I need to bring up the past?” Well, it’s been five years to the date that Boston hired Dave Dombrowski to replace Ben Cherington. What he did for Boston can be found easily but I am here to discuss what he has done for Detroit in 2020.

It has been a roller coaster of emotions for Tigers fans this past week. Yesterday, marked the call-ups of Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Issac Paredes while the team is in the middle of a six-game losing streak. Those names represented Al Avila and the work he has done with the draft and trades.

There are several players who have been bright spots in the past few seasons that were under drafted or traded for under Dombrowski’s watch that has provided an impact to the current roster outside of the Miguel Cabrera trade which we all know, is one the best trades in franchise history. Say what you will about his current contract and his age, Cabrera hit for the Triple Crown, among the other achievements he has done as a Tiger.

Spencer Turnbull

So far this season, he has been the Tigers’ best starter. Drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft, Turnbull the past few seasons has been a steady presence in the rotation. As fitting to Dombrowski’s draft profile of picking players with power arms, Turnbull was it.  His coach at Alabama, Mitch Gaspard said this about Turnbull when he drafted by Detroit:

“He may have as high of a ceiling as there is in this draft, in a pitcher, he can be a front-end type of starter in the big leagues.” 

JaCoby Jones

The final trade under Dombrowski’s watch on July 31st, 2015 when he traded Joakim Soria for Jones who was at the time playing shortstop in the Pirates’ system. Thanks to the recommendation of David Chadd and Alan Trammell, Dombrowski felt comfortable in the player he received in return.

“It was a situation to get a real good middle infielder in our organization in exchange for Joakim”

While what he said was nothing earth-shattering in typical Dombrowski fashion when talking to the press, he is one of the better players for Detroit so far this season.

Starting Rotation

Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris was the last blockbuster trade Dombrowski made in the David Price deal. While both pitchers have been inconsistent at times, if you look at the Tigers’ system at the time, it was thin on starting pitching so Dombrowski provided a solution. Coming off Boyd’s start last night, the jury is still out on if he is an ace or not.

Gregory Soto and Joe Jimenez

Both pitchers were international signings. There has been a lot of arms that came under Dombrowski in this matter like Bruce Rondon, Jose Valdez, Melvin Mercedes, to name a few but so far, Jimenez has been the most steady and it appears Soto is heading down the same path. Technically, Anthony Castro was also under Dombrowski’s watch but so far this season, he has been shuttling back and forth from Toledo.

The rest of the draft picks

Buck Farmer (5th round, 2013), Tyler Alexander (2nd round, 2015), Beau Burrows, (1st round, 2015), and Christin Stewart (1st round, 34th pick, 2015) all came under Dombrowski’s time as the general manager.

While this may be common knowledge about these players on the roster came under when Dombrowski was here, it is important to point out we are still waiting to see Avila’s impact on the roster. Issac Paredes had a great debut last night and Candelario and Reyes have made strides but there is still work to do. Dombrowski, who is heading the expansion effort in Nashville, maybe in the Music City but he still has a presence in Motown.