Wednesday, December 05, 2007
All this talk about Johan Santana and discussion about the Cabrera to Angels deal being dead but absolutely no talk about the Tigers getting into the mix. What's the point in watching ESPN really if they just give you a bunch of rumors that don't happen and don't have any whispers of trades that actually go down?
Here's the thing that might be overlooked a bit in this deal. Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera feel like they've been around forever, but in reality they both are still pretty young. Miguel Cabrera is only 24 and Dontrelle Willis is only 25. Neither has hit their 'prime' baseball years. Both will join the Tigers and have an immediate impact. Willis sucked last year, plain and simple sucked, but only 3 seasons ago he had a 2.63 ERA and 2 years ago had a mid 3 era. If he can straighten himself out a top three of Verlander, Bonderman and Willis could be very imposing. The addition of Cabrera meanwhile makes the Tigers lineup scary good. Last year their lineup was one of the best in the AL, especially when Sheffield was healthy, now substitute Cabrera and Edgar Renteria in for Brandon Inge and Sean Casey and you have a lineup top to bottom which rivals the Yankees and the Sox.
The reality of this is, the Marlins do not want to shell out big contracts and Cabrera is going to require yacht loads of cash and if Willis can get healthy and start hitting low 90s with his fastball again he will also get a decent chunk of change. So if you're not going to pay Cabrera 20 million a year, which he will get, than they were right in what they did. Andrew Miller was a first round draft pick who many thought was the #1 talent in the 2006 draft. Meanwhile Cameron Maybin is a potential 5 tool stud who was in the top ten in all prospect lists coming into the 2007 season and even made a pit stop in the bigs the last two months. All of the other prospects they got in this trade are just icing on the cake. The Marlins weren't going to win in 2008 with Cabrera and Willis, so why try, why not bring in as much young talent for the two players you know you aren't going to hold onto. This is why the Marlins have two World Series titles while the Royals and other crappy teams do not. The Marlins don't go out and bring in dumb free agents, ala the Royals signing Jose Guillen for 3 years 36 million, and when they have players they can't afford they go out and get premium talent for them. For instance, Josh Beckett was great for the Sox and so was Mike Lowell, but Hanley Ramirez might be the best shortstop in baseball already. The Marlins are good at this sort of thing, asking them to have a minimum salary floor is just asking them to make dumb free agent moves they shouldn't.
Two random thoughts about this trade. I'm disappointed Dontrelle won't be hitting any more as his batting numbers last season were better than his pitching numbers. And fantasy wise I'm pumped by this trade. Cameron Maybin is one of my minor leaguers and he almost assuredly will slot into their centerfield slot next season, which means I could use my last round pick in my draft to call him up. Woo.