Tigers fans excited Twins traded pesky infielder to Mariners

Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

Historically, the division rival Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins have faced off thousands of times. Take 16-year Tiger Miguel Cabrera and 15-year Twin Joe Mauer, for example: Cabrera started in 242 games against the Twins, second only to the Guardians with 252 games, and Mauer started 216 against the Tigers, the most frequent team matchup in his career. Detroit and Minnesota are expected to meet 13 times in 2024.

Another (now-former) Twin the Tigers have seen a lot of in his 10 years in Minnesota is Jorge Polanco, who's played 105 games against Detroit and has fared very well against Tigers pitching during that time.

Polanco was at the center of a huge deal between the Twins and Mariners on Monday night, which will send him to Seattle in return for prospects Gabriel Gonzalez and Darren Bowen, reliever Justin Topa, starter Anthony DeSclafani, and cash.

Detroit Tigers fans should be excited about Twins trade sending Jorge Polanco to Mariners

Polanco has slashed .291/.349/.464 against the Tigers throughout his career, far and away his best numbers against any of the five teams he's faced more than 40 times in his career. He also terrorized former Tigers ace Matthew Boyd, with a .298/.320/.553 line against, three home runs, and 12 RBI in 51 plate appearances. In 2023, the Tigers and Twins matched up 13 times, but Polanco, who was hurt on and off throughout the season, was only present for six games. He struggled a bit more at the plate, but still ended up with a .820 OPS against them.

The Tigers will face the Mariners six times in 2024, so they'll see a little bit more of Polanco, but they should be relieved that he won't get as many opportunities to haunt them with walk-off home runs in extra innings anymore. Trading Polanco and failing to replace him with any high-leverage pieces that will make an immediate impact to the team will also make the Twins even more susceptible to losing their first-place hold on the AL Central, which the Tigers have clearly already identified as vulnerable, as they've looked to fortify their roster this offseason.

Good riddance to Jorge Polanco, all-time Tigers pest. You're the Houston Astros' problem now.