I know that Jhuicing Jhonny Peralta is most likely gone for 50 games and the Detroit Tigers needed a replacement.
I know that Jose Iglesias’ .330 batting average seems to make this trade a steal since the Tigers didn’t have to give up anyone currently on the 25-man roster.
And I know that this season is a World-Series-or-bust year. Owner Mike Ilitch may not see another.
But what I also know is that Avisail Garcia will be an All-Star one day, and not in the too-distant future either.
Garcia, a right-handed outfielder, has been dubbed mini-Miggy by many because of his literal appearance: he looks like Miguel Cabrera’s younger brother. But the nickname runs deeper: the guy hits like Cabby too.
I realize that Garcia’s numbers in 30 games this season aren’t great: a .241 average is not All-Star level by any means and his K:BB ratio of 21:4 is atrocious. He’ll be the first to tell you that he needs to be more selective at the plate. But when Garcia connects with the ball, his fluid swing produces line drives that occasionally carry the fence.
And he can run! Garcia’s speed and athleticism were huge assets to a Detroit team that never, ever runs. Garcia, if given the chance, could steal 20+ bags a year, but Jim
Leyland and co. are too worried about when the next cigarette break is to figure that out.
As for Iglesias, his numbers this season look good, but he’s seen his average plummet from well over .400 to nearly .300 over the past several weeks. He doesn’t hit for any power (1 HR) and has just four hits over the Red Sox’ past ten games.
What he has going for him is his age. Iglesias is just 23 years old, and the Tigers may have a long-term solution at shortstop if they decide to let Peralta walk after this year.
I know the Tigers still have a division to win, but is Iglesias going to be a big upgrade over guys like Hernan Perez, Ramon Santiago and Don Kelly? A month ago, I’d certainly say yes, but with Iglesias’ current struggles at the dish, I’m not sold.
If GM Dave Dombrowski had stayed put, he’d still have Peralta back for the playoffs. Assuming that Detroit could slide by in the lackluster AL Central without Jhonny, he’d still have Garcia for the future.
But with the Terry Francona-led Cleveland Indians lurking, that’s a big risk, and a risk he wasn’t willing to take.
There is one other factor that played into Dombrowski’s decision to ship Garcia off to Chicago in the three-team deal: Matt Tuiasosopo.
Tuiasosopo is also a right-handed outfielder, and also a very good hitter. He hits for power to all fields and has an impressive line of .301/.419/.573 to go with 7 home runs and 27 RBI in just 103 at bats. Dombrowski made the decision that it will be Tuiasosopo, and not Garcia, who will roam the outfield at Comerica Park after the departure of Torii Hunter.
In my mind, the Tigers made a desperate deal here. Dombrowski saw Peralta’s imminent suspension and got worried. This led him to make a deal that may not help the team this year or in future years.
But what this confirms to me 100 percent is that it’s all or nothing this year for the Tigers. When a team gives up a prospect like Garcia, they have seen the cards dealt and gone all-in on the ones they’re looking at.
Now, the Detroit Tigers have to wait and hope that their hand is the best in the MLB.
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