Carl Pavano is in Yankee exile, Ivan Rodriguez is still playing backstop 130 games a year ( begins with s-t-e and ends with roids ) at 36 years old, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell have become New England legends, and Ugueth Urbina is in a Venezuelan prison for the next 14 years after he and a bunch of his friends lit a guy on fire, nice. This week however the last of the 2003 World Series Champion Florida Marlins, Dontrelle Willis & Miguel Cabrera, have been moved off of South Beach to the armpit of America . . . . Detroit, Michigan. In doing so, the 2008 Detroit Tigers may be the best thing to come out of the 'Motor City' since Eminem or they could be the worst thing to come out of the "D" since syphillis, crack, and Ben Wallace.
I'm sorry Detroit you most likely have just become New York - midwest - big off season acquisitions that include a pitcher in steady decline since 2005, an all-world third baseman with a Bartolo Colon problem, and a shortstop on his 5th team in 11 years whose been passed around more than Paris Hilton. Had this deal gone down three years ago when Florida first cleaned out Beckett, Burnett, and every other piece of the 03' World Series champs, then you might have just made a blockbuster deal. Try to follow along . . the additions
Jacque Jones, after spending two years in the JV's, or the National League if you will, Jones has experienced a decline each season in Hits, Runs Scored, RBI's, and more drastically Home Runs going from 27 in 06' to 5 in 07', hardly the protection you would like to surround Magglio and Shef with.
Edgar Renteria, So I'll join my friends on this one, Sox fans who love to rip up Renteria for what he didn't accomplish in his short stint with Boston. I always defended that at the time Renteria was the best shortstop available, and he was. NOW on the other hand, you had to trade to minor leaguers to acquire Edgar, a guy who clearly belongs in the National League playing for a team like Atlanta where the fans barely know what sport you play. Here is the thing about Atlanta, they rarely make mistakes when they trade for prospects, so you've got to question why they are so eager to deal a guy who just hit .332, it's questionable at least. It isn't like they gave up just "prospects" they gave up front line pitching prospects for Rent-a-wreck. So here is my conclusion on ole' Edgar, YES YES YES YES, if there was ever a guy who would crack under pressure it's him, and I hope he is up with bases loaded against Boston because that is a inning-ending double play waiting to happen.
Miguel "BARTOLO" Cabrera, this might be the addition that I have a hard time finding a problem with. Career highs in both Home Runs and RBI's lead you to believe that the 24 year old 240lb thirdbaseman is a great talent, but the fact that the Tigers still gave up 6 players for two, leads you to think it might have been a bit TOO much. The added weight of Cabrera has to contribute to the increase in errors he had this past year, and he'll be seeing American League pitching consistantly for the first time in his career. I'll be honest though, he hasn't hit below .320 in each of the last three seasons, and has played in 150+ games staying away from injury every year. The power he provides will be the real protection surrounding an aging DH and Magglio Ordonez.
The D Train, Dontrelle Willis: Now for the past couple years there has been more rumors about Dontrelle Willis than Lindsay Lohan, luckily none of them resulted in anything. Here is a pitcher who has been much heralded to seel jerseys and tickets than win championships for you. He has been in steady decline every year since his first in the majors, and boasted an era in the fours last year combined with a 10-15 record. Essentially traded for a major league ready Andrew Miller, this might be the piece of the deal that haunts the D. My buddy Roche said it best, Willis sucks. In the American League his ERA will go up a whole run, and he won't even get to use his best National League asset, his hitting. So Detroit goes back to their original problem, after Justin Verlander . . . who are you throwing out on the mound?