The Detroit Tigers made two moves at the trade deadline that made them potential locks for a return to the World Series. They added some help to a bullpen that is one of the worst in the American League and brought in a former Cy Young award winner to make the starting rotation scarier when it comes to the playoffs. Let’s evaluate each move the Tigers made.
The Tigers made their first move by trading for Texas Rangers closer Joakim Soria for prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson. While many believe the Tigers gave up a little too much since both prospects were ranked high in the organization, this move was much needed.
The Tigers were desperate for stability in the bullpen and brining in Soria should provide just that. Even though Soria hasn’t looked the greatest in his early appearances for the Tigers, there is no reason to think that he will continue struggle in Detroit.
Speaking of struggles, Tigers’ closer Joe Nathan has started to be a little more consistent in his appearances when he has the chance to seal the deal. Maybe the move of Soria was able to spark a fire under Nathan because if he struggles later on in the season, look for Soria to possibly take over as the closer.
Now I may not have exactly called this a couple of weeks ago the way it happened, but I did say that it wouldn’t be too much of a shock if the Tigers found a way to land Price.
Anyways, back to the steal, I mean deal.
This deal was made just minutes before the trade deadline and it was a steal for the Tigers. Detroit acquired Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price in a three-team deal that included the Seattle Mariners as well. In return, the Tigers sent pitcher Drew Smyly and minor league infielder Willy Adames to Tampa and center fielder Austin Jackson to Seattle. When you look at the stats of Smyly and Jackson, this was a steal. Smyly did have some shining moments in Detroit this season as a starter, but if you’re asked who would you start in a game, the answer is obviously Price.
As for Jackson, his stats have started to diminish a little bit the past couple of seasons and his base running speed and defense will surely be missed but at the end of the day, you have to score runs. The Tigers’ lineup is surely filled with run support with guys like first baseman Miguel Cabrera and designated hitter Victor Martinez leading the way.
Look at the starting rotation.
You have Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello, and now David Price. All five of those pitchers have the ability to pitch quality games every start. It kills me to say this but Verlander has been the worst pitcher of all five guys, but that doesn’t mean he won’t turn it around. Porcello has been the most improved, but unfortunately will most likely find himself back in the bullpen during the playoffs when the Tigers go back to a four-man rotation.
That didn’t stop Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski from making a few moves of his own.