If you haven't heard, the Tigers made a huge trade last eve that included Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin and four other players. What they got in return is one of the most prolific, talented, and youngest players in the National League, Miguel Cabrera. Dontrel Willis is also on his way, via Mexico, to Motown. This is by far the biggest trade that has been (will be?) made this off season by any club. It remains to be seen what all of this will mean for others, such as my favorite Tiger, Brandon Inge. I envision the starting line up looking something like this:
1. Granderson, CF
2. Polanco, 2B
3. Sheffield, DH
4. Ordonez, RF
5. Cabrera, 3B
6. Guillen, 1B
7. Renteria, SS
8. Rodriguez, C
9. Jones/Thames, LF
The rotation has to look something like: Verlander, Bonderman, Willis, Rogers, Robertson.
The only problem with that is it goes righty, righty, lefty, lefty, lefty; so I suspect that this will not be the rotation order, but stand back and LOOK AT THAT!
This has to be the most potent line up in the Majors, no questions asked. P.E.R.I.O.D.
OK then, what about Inge. I hate to say it but he is probably gone. He is making north of 4 million, and that is rich for a back up, even if he can play numerous positions. This saddens me as he lived through the deplorable years and has improved his defense ten fold, but his bat has never contacted the ball on a consistent basis and this could be the final factor. The Tigers could always put Cabrera in left field, and this may be what they are looking at. They traded this off season to acquire Jacque Jones, but I have no doubt that this was there way of planning ahead, and I don't believe that anybody could have thought that they would be able to acquire a "hall of famer" as Mr. Ozzie Guillen put it. It is also important to look past this year, as Sheffield is in the final year of his contract and Cabrera would probably be excellently suited (255 pounds last year!) for the DH role, which would make Inge more valuable in the future seasons. What I am trying to say is I don't want Inge to leave. Inge got shafted for the Gold Glove this year and is a fan favorite. Cabrera struggled at the hot corner last year and the Tigers defense suffered through some rough spots in the field last year, mainly at short and on the mound. If they can keep Inge through this year, Cabrera can keep the weight off (he is said to be dropping daily, and getting stronger), and Sheffield doesn't come back, then it would be win-win as far as I am concerned.
On to Mr. Willis, he had a pretty down year and had declined the year before, BUT he is only 25 years old and has never been injured. I think that this year could be one of growth for him. Think about this, all of the young pitchers that the Tigers have had the past two seasons beam about what a great mentor the Gambler has been to them. Now we have the D-Train, a young lefty who has had no one of KR's stature and knowledge, to lead him in the right direction (as long as it isn't assaulting anyone). This could be crucial for the D-Train as he is going to have other young talent around him. He will not be the "ace", although he could certainly challenge Verlander and Bonderman for top honors.
Is it OK to be giddy and sad at the same time? I will write something about the departed, as we all felt (I can only assume, I guess) that Miller and Maybin were the future, but I guess the future is now.
I think this picture, that I took this year when the Tigers beat the Mets, says it ALL.
Labels: Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers, Dontrel Willis, Miguel Cabrera, Trade