Do trade rumors make you nervous? Trade rumors make ME nervous.

photo by Samara Pearlstein

So many trade rumors are flying around right now, you’re lucky if you can make it through the day without getting at least one or two smacking right into the side of your head, all claws out and wings flappin’, giving you a major headache. Or does that only happen in the RotT Headquarters? I’m never quite sure.

The bulk of the rumors thus far seem to be flying around Magglio, getting their pointy rumor bits tangled up in his hair and all that. Why Maggs? Well, he’s going to be 35 in January, and that’s the wrong side of 34 for an outfielder with a history of nagging and spasmy injuries. He can still hit, but it’s unlikely that he’ll put up 2007 numbers ever again, and he’s rapidly approaching DH Land, or at the very least Outfielder But Not In A Cavernous Outfield Like Comerica Land.

Those facts, combined with his big shiny name and his big shiny hair, make him a relatively rare commodity in the Tigers organization: a player who is old enough to make trading palatable for the Tigers, but still viable enough to make trading palatable for other teams. He, uh, also still has $48 million left on his contract, which probably works against moving him, but we’ll cross that river when we stagger up to it, and the fact that he has three years left might make him attractive to someone… I mean, they’d have him under control for a good solid while… as he aged precipitously…

Look, there are stupid teams out there, right? We can’t rule this sort of thing out just because there seem to be logical points against it.

What do the Tigers hope to get from a potential Maggs deal (or from any other deal)? Now that Brandon Inge has been declared the third baseman of Christmases Past, Present, AND Future, we’re probably going to need a catcher. Dusty Ryan is all well and good, but he’s just a kitten and we don’t really know whether he’ll be able to consistently hit major league pitching or not.

I don’t know what catcher we’d pick up– we’ve talked about this before– but I’m gonna say right now that Jason Varitek is not the answer, and anyone who seriously talks about Varitek as the answer to the Tigers’ problems behind the plate is stuffing their face with pure sugary crazysauce. I know that he’s a Leader and a Captain and a Clubhouse Studmuffin and a Pitcher Whisperer, but the Sox were leaving Kevin Cash in games to take at-bats even after the knuckleballer had been pulled by the end of the season. KEVIN CASH. I love Tek, as a Red Sox fan I am contractually obliged to love Tek, but really, no.

There’s also the question of shortstop. The Edgar Renteria Experiment didn’t work out (surprise!!) and even if he’s re-signed to a smaller restructured contract, it will not magically start working. Edgah doesn’t do the AL. It’s been tried twice now and it didn’t work either time. Let it go. As much as I don’t want to see Ramon Santiago starting the season at short, I want to see Edgah back even less, so hey: Ramon 4 eva, unless someone better can be picked up. Ramon 4 eva conditional.

But then there is the position we need filled most desperately: PITCHER. Relief pitcher, for sure, but we should at least be sending out feelers on starters as well, especially since Nate Robertson underwent a collapse of astronomical, black-hole-style proportions. If a bad, fleecy deal of Pudge was able to get us a single maddeningly inconsistent relief pitcher, Maggs should be able to bring in a good bit more.

In other news, Kenny Rogers is thinking about pitching in 2009. If he wants to pitch for another team, whatever, but I don’t particularly want to watch him slowly mouldering on the Tigers anymore. The staff was depressing enough without that piled on top.

Pay your last respects to Virgil Vasquez, by the by, as he was plucked off waivers by the Red Sox. He wasn’t doing much with us (how down on a guy d’you reckon the team had to be to NOT call him up during the disaster that was the 2008 Season in Pitching? PRETTY DOWN, I would guess), but by golly, he had a fabulously alliterative name, and we’ll miss that.

The fact that he was on waivers at all, thus freeing up a spot on the 40-man roster, would seem to point to the possibility of a trade coming up soon. Thus the rumor flocks. Hopefully we shall soon see what there is to be seen, and hopefully it will be good for us. I don’t want to wake up some day soon to a repeat of the Pudge deal, where I spend the entire day after gaping in mute horror, because Pudge Rodriguez straight up for Kyle Farnsworth, really?!?!?!?!??!?!.

You hear me, Mr. Dombrowski? NEVER DO THAT TO US AGAIN.

10 responses to “Do trade rumors make you nervous? Trade rumors make ME nervous.

  1. I agree Varitek is not the answer, at least not right now. Still though, who do you see the Tigers trying to bring in at that position. It would probably be a disaster to leave Ryan there alone.

  2. ivantopumpyouup

    The thought of Jason Varitek in a Tigers uni terrifies me. I also don’t really like the idea of trading Magglio, unless DD was really wowed by the players offered.

  3. I just looked at a list of available FAs, and here’s who I wouldn’t mind the Tigers going after:
    Type A:
    A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays)
    Juan Cruz (Arizona Diamondbacks)
    Derek Lowe (Dodgers)
    Oliver Perez (Mets)
    C.C. Sabathia (Brewers)
    Type B:
    Casey Blake (Dodgers)
    Jon Garland (Angels)
    Mark Grudzielanek (Royals)
    Bob Howry (Cubs)
    Braden Looper (Cardinals)
    Mark Loretta (Astros)
    Brandon Lyon (Diamondbacks)
    Miguel Olivo (Royals)

  4. Allen, I’m not sure– the FA market for catchers is pretty bleak right now, so they would probably have to look for trades, and who they’d look at would be heavily dependent on who was actually available… which is something that I, a lowly blogger, just don’t know yet. :P I had seen Gerald Laird’s name batted around a bit, I guess if the Rangers wanted to embrace Salty as their catcher or somesuch, and that’s a solution I’d far prefer to Varitek.
    ivan, the thing is, we have needs. Lots of needs, and they’re fairly dire. And Maggs is one of our most trade-able players, for the reasons I got into in the post. We need so much, there’s just no way we get it without giving up something big, and if we’re giving up something big I’d much rather give up someone big who’s 35 years old than someone big who’s in their 20s.
    As for that list, I would say that Cruz concerns me (obliques… ugh), Sabathia might be worth the risk just because we’re SO desperate for pitching (but he WILL be a huge risk for whoever goes after him, the way he was ridden into the ground this season), and Braden Looper scares the kitty litter outta me.

  5. I hear ya on the Pudge trade. Did DD go on a crack binge the night before? (or more likely, in the midst of a crack binge in progress, given the ridiculousness of that trade).
    Our off-season moves last year amounted to subtraction through addition. After the sorry-ass season we just had, upper management is making it look more and more like 2006 was a fluke, which makes me very sad. :/
    And seriously… what are we going to do about the albatross named Sheffield around our neck?

  6. The Phillies probably don’t want to shake things up very much, so will likely go with Ruiz & Chris Coste again next year… I wonder what it would take to pry away Jason Jaramillo, who spent all year at AAA, turned 26 yo earlier this month, and who batted .266/.340/.371, which ain’t half-bad… Plus, he’s a switch-hitter. My bet is they’d want pitching, and maybe a lower minors catcher in return. Would we be willing to ship them the James Skelton experiment? Just an idea. Besides, the last trade we made with the Phils turned out pretty good (Polanco for Urbina & Ramon Martinez).

  7. The rational portion of me says trading Magglio is a good chance to shore up some problems. The fan in me does not want his hair to leave.
    Honestly, we just have to wait and see what happens. Scenarios will not come to pass until the winter meetings.
    Also, the part of me that loves D-Train is holding out against hope that he is going to bounce back. I know it is silly but I like Dontrelle.

  8. h2opolopunk, I’m hoping it’s more like THIS past season was the fluke… I know we had some unusually strong performances in ’06, but I think we had some unusually terrible ones this season, plus some bad injuries, plus some elderly folks realizing their ages. I dunno what we CAN do about Sheff; we may have to just suck it up and try to work with him, but I’m not feeling particularly good about that.
    Jeff, that’s a thought… I’d be wary of a platoon of two essentially untested minor leaguers, though (that kid + Dusty Ryan). And I wouldn’t count on the Polanco trade lightning striking twice. :P
    David, oh, you know I am not happy about losing that magnificence. But yeah, practically speaking… he’s probably our best shot. And I would LOVE if Dontrelle could come back and kick all kinds of tail, but… not holdin’ my breath.

  9. It would be pretty cool to have women all over Massachusetts walking around with the name of a Tiger on their backs. But it’s not worth it. Stay away from Varitek.

  10. stephen grosberg

    stop, stop trading for overpriced, non clutch veterans and develop rookies and youth from among the following: matt joyce, mike hessman,dusty ryan, jim skelton,casey fien, rudy darrow,luis marte, casper wells, cale iorg,jonah nickerson, rick porcello, zach simons, guillermo moscoso,robbie weinhardt,freddy dolsi. aquilino lopez,brandon douglas, alex avila jon kibler,brett jaqcobson, scott green, anthony shawler,alden carrithers, jade todd, nicholas cassavechia. Just look at hits vs runs and rbi and for pitchers inn vs hits and so vs bb and walks per inning and so vs innings for all minor league teams. Then move them up quickly.

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