Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski Has Done It Again!

Over the last two seasons prior to the July 31 trade deadline, Detroit Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski pulled off trades that significantly made the Tigers better.
In the 2011 season, Dombrowski in need of a starting pitcher, picked up Doug Fister from Seattle Mariners for outfielder Casper Wells and pitcher Charlie Furbush.  Fister, who at the time of the trade had a record of 3-12(due mostly to lack of run support) has been a winner for the Tigers and helped lead them to the ALCS. Meanwhile, Wells is no longer with Seattle while Furbush is a part of their bullpen.
In 2012,  Dombrowski took advantage of Miami Marlins' salary purge and acquired starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante in exchange for pitching prospect Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers.  Sanchez, who signed a long term deal with Detroit in the offseason, has been solid in the rotation while Infante shored up the second base position that has been lacking since the departure of Placido Polanco.  Turner's future will determine if both teams consider the deal a success.
On Tuesday, Dombrowski picked up shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston Red Sox in exchange for Avisail Garcia(to the Chicago White Sox) and pitcher Bryan Villarreal(to Boston) in a three team deal. I like this deal for several reasons.

2010 Bowman
First of all, if you are not familiar with Iglesias, he is a slick fielding shortstop who has been compared to Ozzie Smith or Omar Vizquel.  These are big comparisons, so I would rather compare him to former New York Met and fellow Cuban, Rey Ordonez.  Iglesias has had a major league ready glove from the day he signed with Boston, but his bat has always been his biggest question mark.  At the time of the trade, Iglesias was hitting .330 for the Red Sox.   I don't think he will maintain this clip as his minor league stats have shown this.  Even if he hits .230, his glove will be good enough and Tigers have a solid enough lineup to mask his batting flaws.
Of course the biggest motivating factor in his acquisition is the impending suspension of current shortstop Jhonny Peralta.   Iglesias will be able to step right in a fill right in for Peralta.  Iglesias does not have the power that Peralta does, but he makes up for it with much more range in the field.  This will make the Tiger pitchers especially happy.
Another positive for the deal is Iglesias' age. He is 23 years old.  Tigers not only have a shortstop right now, but also one for the future.   The shortstop position is pretty weak on the market.  It mostly made up of veteran stop gap options.  With Iglesias in the fold, Tigers now will not have to overpay in terms of money or players for a veteran or anyone else.  Tigers' farm system is thin and the major league club already has a very high payroll, so Detroit is limited here.
Speaking of paying,  Iglesias is relatively inexpensive.  Detroit will be saving money with Iglesias versus a Peralta or whomever else.  Detroit then could use that money to resign their own players who are will be headed for free agency like a Max Scherzer or Austin Jackson. Or they can use that money to extend Miguel Cabrera's contract.
The final verdict of the deal, of course, is dependent on Iglesias and the departed's level of play.  But right now, it looks like it is another big midseason get by Dave Dombrowski.  I, personally believe that Jose Iglesias will be the Detroit Tiger shortstop for years to come.  He may never become a great hitter in the big leagues, but his glove can more than make up for it.  It is that good.  He could become the best fielding shortstop in Detroit in decades and that includes Alan Trammell.

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