Dave Dombrowski’s Best Trades [BLOG]
By: Jeff Riger
Doug Fister is pitching for the Nationals Wednesday night. The Doug Fister that is 10-3 with a 2.68 ERA, the same Doug Fister that was traded away in the offseason for 2 guys in the minors and another guy that has played 20 games with the Baltimore Orioles this season.
It’s amazing how colossally awful that deal was!
I’m not sure I’ll ever let it go nor should I.
But everybody is entitled to an awful decision…
It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon when I was reminded that Tigers President and GM Dave Dombrowski usually gets it right. As all of Detroit was counting down the minutes until the debut of David Price I was taking note at another “untouchable” prospect that Dombrowski traded away that failed. In case you missed it, Jacob Turner was designated for assignment by the Marlins after posting a 4-7 record with a 5.97 ERA and a WHIP of 1.65.
Turner is just another player in a long list of Dombrowski traded prospects that have failed to pan out for their new teams.
So as mad as I still remain about the Fister trade, I thought it would be good therapy to take a look at all the players that DD dealt away and how most of them have failed to succeed. OK, I might not hit on all the players; I’m going to try for most of them.
The Tigers were shocking all of baseball and on the way to their first World Series since 1984. Dombrowski knew a guy that could play first base and DH would give his team a better shot at winning it all. Enter Sean Casey…
Casey only hit .245 for Detroit in the regular season but then picked it up for the playoffs hitting .353 for the ALDS, .333 for the ALCS and a whopping .529 in the World Series. If you remember, Casey was the only Tiger to actually get a hit in the Fall Classic that year. I think I’m right about that last sentence. At least it feels like I’m right.
That season Casey was traded for Brian Rogers. Who?
Rogers lasted just 2 seasons in the show where he compiled a 9.28 ERA and 1.5 WHIP.
After falling short of a World Series title in ’06, Dombrowski felt his team needed a feared hitter so he went out and dealt for Gary Sheffield. Shef hit a combined 44 homers in 2 years with Detroit. His stats probably would have been a heck of a lot more impressive if he didn’t injure his shoulder that essentially ended his career.
To get Sheffield, Dombrowski gave away Anthony Clagett, Humberto Sanchez and Kevin Whelan. At the time, some folks hated to see Sanchez go. He was supposed to be this big, right handed, hard throwing pitcher that could someday be an ace of a staff. Yeah, that didn’t come close to happening. Sanchez ended up pitching in just 2 big league games in 2008 with the Yankees. That was it. Clagett did a little better pitching in 3 total career games while Whelan pitched in just 2 games.
Despite Shef never really living up to expectations, I would say it was worth it. Wouldn’t you?
I shouldn’t even waste my time with this one but I will.
Miguel Cabrera came here. Enough said.
Just in case you’re wondering how the guys that DD gave up are doing, I can tell you…
Cameron Maybin, who some freaked out was traded has played 8 seasons in MLB with the Tigers, Marlins and Padres. He’s a .248 career hitter with an OPS of just .654. He’s never drove in more than 50 RBI.
Andrew Miller was the other key piece in that deal and he’s done alright for himself. He was just traded to the Orioles from the Red Sox and has turned into a nice bullpen pitcher.
Dallas Trahern, Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz and Mike Rabelo were the other players in the deal. They have played in a combined 430 games at the major league level. Badenhop has pitched in 329 of those games and has a 18 and 22 record with a 3.82 ERA.
Detroit also got Dontrelle Willis in that trade which would have been ok if Dombrowski didn’t offer him an extension that year.
Dombrowski had a great idea at the trade deadline when he brought Aubrey Huff and Jarrod Washburn in. At the time Washburn was 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA. He was also a lefty. What could go wrong? Dumb question as he went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in his time with Detroit. Those were the last games of his career. As for Huff, he played a whopping 40 games with the Tigers where he hit .189 with 2 homers. He was brutal in Detroit before heading to the Giants where he won a World Series.
As bad as Huff and Washburn were in a Tigers uniform, Dombrowski gave up nothing to get them. Huff was traded for Brett Jacobson, a pitcher that never played a single game in the majors. Washburn was brought in for Luke French and Mauricio Robles. French pitched in 25 games with a 4.99 ERA while Robles pitched in just 3 games.
No major trades really went down so we’ll move on…
Delmon Young came over for Lester Oliveros. Oliveros pitched in 20 games in his career with a 4.70 ERA. Young was the 2012 ALCS MVP. But it wasn’t all good as Young also embarrassed the Tigers organization on one summer night in New York City. Detroit also got Wilson Betemit that year. The Tigers gave up Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriguez. Both players never played a game in the majors.
Dombrowski moved quickly once again at the trade deadline and brought in Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. Both players played a significant role in the Tigers making the World Series that season. Sanchez was ok during the regular season but was dominant in the postseason allowing just 4 runs in 3 games. Infante hit .300 in the playoffs.
Dombrowski gave up Rob Brantly, Brian Flynn and Jacob Turner in return. Brantly is hitting .235 in two seasons with the Marlins while Flynn has a 8.14 ERA this season. And we know about Turner…
The Tigers got David Price for Austin Jackson, Drew Smyly and Willy Adames. We know about Jackson and Smyly. We’ll have to wait and see about Adames.
In deals I just realized that I missed…
Dombrowski also traded away Infante for Jacque Jones. That didn’t work out. He also dealt away Gorkeys Hernandez and Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria. Renteria was ok here hitting .270 and Hernandez only played in 70 games in his career.
I guess what I’m trying to say is…
I despise the Fister deal, I really do but I guess I have to let it go. Fister has been brilliant with Washington since being dealt away, we knew he would be but so many others have been brutal when we worried that they wouldn’t be.
So kudos Dave Dombrowski, you’ve made a lot of good deals. So many, that I’m letting the Fister one officially go. Because I’m sure you care what I think.
Oh, one more thing…
Maybe DD was forced to trade away Fister and if that’s the case then I guess this blog was not even needed. Although it is nice to look back and see how your GM has fleeced so many others.