An interesting week for the Tigers started off with the trade of Doug Fister, them losing out on Brian Wilson before signing Joe Nathan and the announcement that Miguel Cabrera is moving back to first. Not bad for the first week of December.
First the Fister deal, one I was initially not a huge fan of. The Tigers sent Fister to the Washington Nationals for INF/OF Steve Lombardozzi, LHP Ian Krol and minor league LHP Robbie Ray. This move allows the Tigers to move lefty Drew Smyly into the rotation and replaces him with Krol to have a solid left-handed pitcher in the bullpen.
I am all for moving Smyly into the rotation, I’ve been asking for it since spring training last season, but I don’t think this deal makes the Tigers better in the short-term. But the short-term isn’t the only thought process for most teams believe it or not, some teams actually look towards the future. Even though the Tigers are in win-now mode, this move helps improve the depth of the organization, Ray was listed as the fifth best prospect in the Nationals system, while Lombardozzi gives the team another utility player who can do it all.
Fister was great in his two plus years in Detroit, he did everything the organization asked of him and was solid in the postseason. But this is a numbers game and moving him allowed the organization some flexibility and potentially another trade piece if Dombrowski eyes another move.
Yesterday the Tigers formally announced the signing of closer Joe Nathan to a two-year $20 million contract, with a team option for a third season. Nathan has been a Tiger killer in his career in both Minnesota and Texas, so having him on our side means at the very least he can’t hurt us anymore. But Nathan is still another aging veteran brought in to try to get this team over the hump and win a World Series Championship.
At the press conference, Dombrowski shared with the media his opinion on a few pressing topics. One of them is that Joaquin Benoit is not likely to be back with the organization (which doesn’t completely shut the door) and Bruce Rondon is the likely eighth inning setup guy.
Also it was announced that Miguel Cabrera will return to first base in 2014, and Nick Castellanos is going to be given every opportunity to win the third base job with the big club. Castellanos was reportedly fielding grounders on Monday to prepare for a potential move back to the infield, and he may be rewarded for his hard work this coming season.
One name that is still out in free agency is Shin-Soo Choo but he is not someone I’d like the Tigers to splurge on. He is a Scott Boras client, which means he will be wanting a ton of money in a long-term contract and I don’t think he is the guy to help this team. If the team is still looking to spend on a left fielder, my vote is still for Carlos Beltran.
So what do you think of the moves Tigers fans? What does Dombrowski and company still have to do to make this team into World Series champions? Let us know at DetroitSportsBloggers.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
A lot of offense left with Prince and Peralta. Is the loss significant enough to impact the Tigers chance at winning the Central? Will the Tigers be more efficient at scoring runs this new season?
And, is this roster today, a better team than the 2013 roster? Cheers.
Those are good questions. I still think the Tigers can run away with the Central if they play up to their abilities in 2014, but no I don’t think that this roster is currently better than the one in 2013. But I also believe that Dombrowski will make more moves to improve this team, because the goal remains the same: winning the World Series.