Mission ’13: Let’s Make a Deal

Actual trades?  Well, no.  It’s more of a thinking-out-loud kind of thing. I do that often. People look at me funny.

Jose Valverde blew another game for the AL Central hopeful Detroit Tigers. It’s been a commonplace since his big season in 2011. The wild card teams are unlikely to come from the Central, ergo the Tigers need to win their division to return to the playoffs.

The Tigers’ bullpen is almost as bad as their defense, both of which are costing them precious runs and, therefore, games. They have 7 relievers who are worth -0.7 WAR in more than 50 IP and making matters worse, neither Alex Avila nor Victor Martinez are playing well. 84 wins took the Central last year, but this year both the Indians and the Royals are better teams and Minny just won’t go away.

The Tigers have 2 things the Jays could use: a second baseman and a starting pitcher. The Jays have a surplus of relievers who have pitched very effectively. The question is how much the Tigers value bullpen help. Both Anthopoulos and Dombrowski have important matters to consider regarding the team on the field.

Okay, here are the primary players in 2 scenarios:

  1. Trade #1: Steve Delabar (0.6 WAR), Juan Perez (0.6 WAR), and Darren Oliver (-0.1 WAR) for Omar Infante (1.5 WAR)
    • Infante’s a good infielder who’s having a nice year with the bat
    • he would solidify the Jays’ infield when Reyes returns
    • Delabar and Oliver would thrive in Detroit, with it’s natural grass and spacious dimensions, and they’re both more than just righty- or lefty-specialists
    • Delabar’s place in the Jays’ ‘pen is assumed by Neal Wagner, Perez is a journeyman who’s pitching very well, and Aaron Loup/Brett Cecil have already demonstrated their value as go-to lefties
  1. Trade #2: Steve Delabar (0.6 WAR), Juan Perez (0.6 WAR), Darren Oliver (-0.1 WAR), and AAA OF Moises Sierra for Anibal Sanchez (3.4 WAR) and AAA C Ramon Cabrera
    • Sanchez’s value in a trade is mitigated somewhat by his contract, hence the swap of minor leaguers
    • Sanchez is off to a terrific start—making this potential deal a little more of a stretch—but will likely settle into place behind Verlander and possibly Scherzer as the Tigers 3rd-most effective starter
    • Verlander, Scherzer and Fister still give the Tigers a solid 1-2-3, and with an improved ‘pen, the efficiency and effectiveness of their rotation improves
    • the Jays get a good starter and a catching prospect

The effect of a re-tooled ‘pen for the Tigers could be similar to the St. Louis Cardinals after the Jays-Cards big swap. The Jays got a 5+ Fld CF; the Cards got a championship, but the impact of the players they received declined precipitously afterward. It’s a chance you take as a GM. Some players (Edwin Jackson; Octavio Dotel; Corey Patterson) were gone after the season finished; others (Rzepczynski) just declined. Interestingly, one of the ‘pen principals in that swap, Octavio Dotel, pitches with the Tigers.

A healthy, effective starter could kick-start things for the Jays, giving them quality innings and mitigating the loss of the valuable bullpen arms. A real second baseman could solidify the infield defense, giving the Jays 2 above average (Lawrie; Infante) and 2 average defensive infielders (Reyes; Lind) when everyone’s healthy.

Which? Neither? Alternatives? Discuss.

Wes Kepstro

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10 Responses to “Mission ’13: Let’s Make a Deal”


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  5. 5 Idiot Fan June 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Keep bringing these, I could read trade rumors all day everyday.

    Interesting deals. The Tigers should bend over backwards for Delabar but they’d probably be more inclined to deal prospects (Castellanos would look nice).

    I doubt Anibal would move (does he have a NTC?)
    Cool piece though

    • 6 Wes Kepstro June 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      They, like pretty much everyone else, have a good history of dealing top prospects (John Smoltz) to fill an immediate need, even if they fill it with a journeyman (Doyle Alexander).

      I wrestled with the return value. Perhaps Anibal’s asking too much. What about Scherzer?

  6. 7 @ALEastbound June 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

    #1 is fair if not great for both however the Tigers are thin up the middle and need Infants at this time.

    #2 is a reach. Anibal was the SP WAR leader after a great start and just resigned that massive deal. Tigers are high on him. Jays should’ve signed him, period.

    • 8 Wes Kepstro June 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Deal #1 seemed to make sense both ways. Delabar, Perez (as he’s pitching now) and Oliver is a serious upgrade for the Tigers. What about farmhand Brandon Douglas?

      It’s the second deal that bothered me because it seemed like giving too little for too much. The only reason it bothers me is that it makes it unlikely to happen. I don’t mind screwing the Tigers over one little bit. The rationale, as mentioned, is 3-fold: Sanchez is likely to regress, the ‘pen help mitigates his loss, and they still have quality starters. I guess the real question is, ‘how desperate are they/will they become?’

      Perhaps, as I mentioned to IF, replace “Anibal Sanchez” with “Max Scherzer”. Then we can remove the minor leaguers, too. I don’t want to see Doug Fister in a Jays uniform. Ever.

      • 9 @ALEastbound June 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm

        I’m not a Fister fan at all. Smoke and mirrors. I think Scherzer is just having too great a season (0.87 WHIP) to even ponder moving for a first place club.


  1. 1 Blue Jays Series Recap – Huge Four Game Sweep Over Rangers | AL Eastbound & Down Trackback on June 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm

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