By: Tom Millikan
Some in the office think I’m on crack. Others are saying I’m not thinking clearly because I’m going on vacation. Both couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s time for the Tigers to move all-in.
What do I mean by all-in? I mean it’s time for the Tigers to make a bold blockbuster deal.
The Tigers should be in World Series or bust mode this year because it’s extremely unlikely Max Scherzer will return next season. This is the year to go for broke and do whatever it takes to win. The problem is, the Tigers don’t have what it takes to win.
It has become apparent during this 4-13 stretch that the Tigers have too many flaws to win the World Series. They don’t have a shortstop unless Eugenio Suarez pulls off a miracle. They don’t have a reliable closer. And over half their lineup can’t hit .250. This ain’t working folks.
Rather than standing pat and plodding through an 87-win season, the Tigers should make a bold move that shows they want to win now. I’ve never been afraid to trade prospects unless you think you have a can’t miss guy like Bryce Harper or Mike Trout. The Tigers don’t have that guy so any prospect is fair game.
I spent my morning perusing around the Internet trying to find a couple of trade partners that make sense. I came up with two: The Phillies and the Rays. Here are trade options with each team.
Tigers get: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon
Phillies get: Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suarez, Bruce Rondon, and three other prospects
How’s that for bold? The Tigers are getting guys with pedigrees that fill holes. Rollins would need some convincing to waive his no-trade clause. I know Rollins and Howard are down this year, but I trust them over what the Tigers have now. I’m moving Papelbon to closer and Nathan to the 8th inning. This trade would move Cabrera back to third base. Why would the Phillies make this deal? It’s to get rid of payroll and rebuild. The Tigers would not be hemorrhaging their future either because Rollins’ deal is up this year, Papelbon is up next year and Howard is up in two years.
Tigers get: Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce, Grant Balfour
Rays get: Nick Castellanos, Eugenio Suarez, Bruce Rondon, and three other prospects
This would certainly be bold as well. It’s a bit different as the Tigers don’t get a SS, but I’m taking crap at SS if I get Longoria at third hitting between Miggy and V-Mart. You’d have to get cute using Joyce in left with Davis, but I like his left handed bat. Balfour would be your 8th inning guy and turn closer if Nathan doesn’t turn it around. This trade also takes more commitment as Longoria is signed through 2022. Balfour is signed through 2015 and Joyce is arbitration eligible this year.
Which trade do you like more? Maybe it’s neither. That’s fine. But don’t you agree that the Tigers have to do something. This smells like 2009 or 2010. It ain’t happening with this crew folks.