By Dan Jenkins

(CBS DETROIT) – It has never been a secret that the Detroit Tigers have been a “win now” organization and sometimes the team’s minor leagues suffer because of it. Due to the lack of depth, the Tigers’ farm system has been ranked 29th out of 30 MLB teams by Baseball America, leading only the Milwaukee Brewers.

The website tabs the Red Sox and Astros as having the best farm systems in the MLB. Writer Matt Eddy’s explanation for the Tigers’ ranking:

Detroit traded Avisail Garcia to the White Sox in the three-team deal that netted them Jose Iglesias, and no team has mortgaged its future to win now quite like the Tigers.

The club’s ranking fell from last year, from 25th to 29th, after trading prospect Avisail Garcia to the White Sox. Moving top prospects has contributed to the less than stellar ranking, but can also be attributed to Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski pulling off game-changing moves that contributed to forming the Tigers’ all-star roster.

Here’s a list of some of the trades that Dombrowski has made involving some of the Tigers’ top prospects:

  1. Traded SP Andrew Miller, OF Cameron Maybin, and others, received 3B Miguel Cabrera
  2. Traded OF Avisail Garcia and RP Brayan Villarreal, received SS Jose Iglesias
  3. Traded SP Jacob Turner and C Rob Brantly, received SP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante
  4. Traded P Charlie Furbush, OF Capser Wells, and P Chance Ruffin, received SP Doug Fister and RP David Pauley

Baseball America ranks the Tigers’ top prospects as: Nick Castellanos, Devon Travis, Javier Betancourt, and Zac Reininger. Failing to make the list are Hernan Perez and Bruce Rondon, who are expected to earn larger roles in the big leagues next season.

With the free agents Infante, Jhonny Peralta, and Joaquin Benoit likely leaving the team, minor league prospects will most likely be asked to fill important roles for the team in 2014, barring any other major moves Dombrowski pulls off.


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