Paging Trader Dave: Make a Trade Now

The DFA announcement of Tiger shortstop Adam Everett (and his glorious hair) means two things to me. Number one, #4 is now available if Bobby Higginson is finally ready to come back. And two, Dave Dombrowski needs to make a trade or two.

Crazy as it may sound to anyone that’s read my nonsense in the past, I am in full agreement with Freep blog writer, Jamie Samuelsen on this one. His latest calls for the Tigers to make a trade and he makes some good points. Sadly, as with most articles written on subjects like this, Jamie doesn’t offer any solutions to the problem or players to target. That’s what I would like to explore with this post.

If the Tigers are serious about contending in 2010, we need to get a shortstop and/or a catcher. I know many are already throwing in the towel for us this year, but as crappy as we’ve played, we are still only 3 ½ games behind Minnesota with 2/3 of the season left to go. We can still win this thing, especially with the starting pitching showing signs of life.

Back to our worthless shortstops and catchers. As much as I enjoy watching Little Ramon play, he is not the everyday answer at short. And Danny Worthless has done nothing to show me that he’s the answer, either. Behind the plate, Gerald Laird has been an abortion with rookie Alex Avila not being much better. Something needs to be done if we want to make the playoffs.

When you look at the current VORP (value over replacement player) for the Tiger hitters this year, only 8 out of the 16 position players to bat this year have a VORP that isn’t in negative numbers. That is pathetic. We could have the average schmuck out there hitting better than our guys. But I’m concentrating on short and catcher, here. The VORP numbers for our guys?

Laird: -11.0
Avila: -2.7
Everett: -6.0
Santiago: 1.1
Worth: 0.7

Just for poops and giggles, Everyone’s Hero Brandon Inge’s current VORP is -0.3. But we all know he isn’t going anywhere.

So, great. We want to make a trade. But to who? Well, logic tells you that teams out of the playoff hunt are the ones looking to make trades and improve for the future. Currently, there are 9 teams in baseball at least 8 games out of first and a 10th team (Washington) that’s 6 ½ games out, but likely not to contend for their division the rest of the way. I’m limiting the trade options to these 10 teams for now: Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago White Sox, Seattle, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Houston, and Washington. And naturally, KC, Chi, and Cle will be more difficult to deal with since they’re in the Central with us.

Here’s the top three candidates at each position on these ten teams that I can see fitting in and hopefully helping this club out.


Stephen Drew, Arizona
Double D has worked a lot with the D-Backs in recent months hammering out the Jackson/Schlereth/Scherzer deal, as well as the Dontrelle dump. Drew is left handed bat in a 1 year/$3.4 million deal and is currently 4th among MLB shortstops with a VORP of 14.4. He’s hitting .285 with 4 homers and 20 RBI. His OBP is .350 and has only made 3 errors in 52 games this year. Drew is my ideal candidate for the job, but would probably cost the most, too.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland
Why not add another Cabrera to the team? It worked well the first time. Little Cabby is a switch hitter in a 1 year/$444K deal with a VORP of 3.3. He’s hitting .287 in a terrible Cleveland lineup with 1 homer and 7 RBI. He’s a competent defender and could add some speed as he stole 17 bases in 2009. Cleveland could really use some pitching and that’s the one thing we have an abundance of.
Josh Wilson, Seattle
Wilson is currently a part time player that would be the biggest reach for us. But at least he’s hitting the ball this year for the M’s, unlike our shortstops. He has a VORP this year of 8.3 and is hitting .301, 1, 12 from the right side with an OBP of .357. Ahh, screw it. Let’s trade the farm for Hanley Ramirez like all the crazy folks think we can do.


Ryan Doumit, Pittsburgh
The dream catcher for Tiger fans would be Mr. Doumit. The 29 year old is 4th among MLB catchers with a VORP of 11.5. He’s making $3.5 million this year, $5.1 million next year, and has two club options after that of $7.25 million and $8.25 million. You know the Pirates aren’t going to want to pay that. Doumit’s hitting .281 with 6 homers and 23 RBI with an OBP of .366. I would punch a baby if it meant Dombrowski could pull off a deal for him.

Jason Kendall, Kansas City
I’d be in favor of trading for Kendall just so Tiger pitching wouldn’t have to face him any more. Kendall’s a solid leader on the field and can still hit for average. He makes $2.25 million this year and $3.75 million next. Jason’s hitting .299 with 0 homers and 16 RBI with a .360 OBP. He also has 5 steals for KC this year and would make a great mentor for Avila.

Ivan Rodriguez, Washington
Yeah, it’s probably the homer in me that wouldn’t mind seeing Pudge back in Detroit to finish his career. He’s making $3 million this year as well as 2011. For the Nats, he’s hitting better than he has in years with a .325 average, 1 homer, and 16 RBI with a .351 OBP. I know things didn’t end well for Pudge last time around, but I think it would definitely make for interesting TV if he were to return.

To pull off a deal for any of these guys, we shouldn’t have to empty the farm system. We have tons of pitching in the minors backing up what is already the youngest pitching staff in the majors. There’s positon guys like Ryan Raburn, Ryan Strieby, and Wilkin Ramirez that might be attractive to other clubs, too.

We can’t afford to wait until the end of July to pull something off if we want to win the division or more this year. But releasing Everett and hoping the team stikes gold on yet another rookie out of nowhere isn’t going to get the team anything but disappointment, in my opinion.