We get some minor-leaguer in return. Sounds like the Tigers will pick up some of his contract.
Good move, but sad to see him go.
Looks like Willis secures the 5th spot in the rotation.
I for one am not disappointed to see him go. As promising as he looked much of the time, including this spring training, he was a 430-foot game-losing blast waiting to happen.
Having Willis at that fifth spot is kind of scary. He's had a great spring and I'm happy for him given everything he's been through, but still.
I guess that makes Bonine the insurance policy, yeah?
and remembering a fond summer of 2006.
Link to stats for those who are interested.
Not a bad looking prospect, 22 year old lefty reliever, 8.9 K/9 in AA ball last year with a 2.9 era. 3.7 BB/9 is a little higher than you'd like it, but at 22 he certainly has time to work on his control.
I hate Dombrowski. this was a stupid move. Robertson was a good pitcher and a good guy. We need a lefty in our rotation, and I don't think Willis is going to cut it. The only plus side of this is getting rid of that contract (at least we better have, exact cash considerations aren't sure yet)
I would say, rather obviously, that Robertson being traded means those in the know think Willis will cut it better than Robertson would have. I liked Robertson a lot and was always pulling for him, but he ceased to be effective about three years ago.
That I am rather biased, and know it. I may be the only person that owns a Nate Robertson jersey (as he is my favorite MLB player). I was rooting hard for a big comeback out of him this year getting back to 2006 form.
So take my opinion with that in mind.
I hear you man, for whatever reason I was a Nate Robertson fan as well. This is why enjoying baseball is so hard for me. When you really like a player you have no assurances they we continue to play for your team, baseball trades can happen at any time with any player.
Sure, get mad at the guy who is most responsible for making the Tigers a respectable ball club that has expectations to contend going forward. It wasn't that long ago we were a laughing stock in the baseball world. Maybe he can be the GM for the team across the street too.
He is better than Randy Smith. But I think you're giving him too much credit. Hes made some terrible moves. I'll leave it at that though. I think Detroit fans give him too much credit and don't hold the team to a high enough standard. Especially considering the payroll.
I think your first sentence excludes you from passing judgement on anything Dombrowski does. For those of us who don't hate Dombrowski, this is actually a very good move even if we have to pick up a chunk of his contract.
At least Willis has had major success before. Robertson's 2006 was the only season he didn't completely blow ass and even then he was only a .500 pitcher. I for one can't believe we actually got back a living breathing player for an aging shitty pitcher. I'd much rather take the chance that Willis finds it again than to put someone you absolutely know is going to suck on the mound every five days.
Also, we are basically covering the whole contract (9.6 out of 10 mil).
Robertson was a great guy and gave us some solid years, so in that sense sad to see him go. But I think this is an great move depending on how much of his salary the Tigers are eating. Let's face it, that contract was an albatross and his best days are almost certainly behind him.
I havent been a big fan of Nate Robertson so hopefully this new kid could be something good. I wonder when D Train gets released. I know he was fighting for the 5th spot but are we realistically expecting the D Train of past?
I guess they've made their choice between Crappy Overpaid Lefty Starter A and Crappy Overpaid Lefty Starter B.
Makes sense though -- I can see going with the upside play and keeping Willis, who has actually been good in the past, versus Robertson, who was never really better than just an innings eater.
According to 97.1 the Tigers basically bought out the whole contract. Sweet, just throw money away.
Honest question, if the Tigers hadn't made a run in 2006 (from the wild card position) would every still be this supportive of everything Dombrowski does?
We're still MILES better than the mid-90s thru mid-00s teams. We are (potentially) competitive every year, at least for the division crown.
So what you're saying is he gets a free pass b/c he is a step up from the incompetence he took over for?
It means that he deserves a little bit of leeway considering he took a team from god-awful to the World Series in two seasons, and has at least kept us in the playoff hunt, for the most part, ever since. I agree that some of his moves have been questionable at best, and we've had some disappointments, but you can't just jump around from GM to GM because you don't make the playoffs every year. Who do you suppose we could get that would do a better job?
Of course things would have been different had they not made that run, but they did, and he deserves a lot of the credit for it.
I just think he should get some heat from fans for the terrible moves he makes. Also, the fact that he took them to the WS in 2 years shows me that there were pieces in place (at least in the minors) before he got here. I would say the best move he's made is hiring Leyland, who in my opinion makes Dombrowski look good. I mean look at the payroll vs. the success. Look at what Minnesota does. I realize they're the exception not the rule, but we waste a ton of money w/o getting results. And we're not going to be able to just outbid NY or Boston for success.
What pieces were in place?
Dombrowski drafted Verlander, traded for Bonderman and Robertson, signed Kenny Rogers.
Dombrowski signed Pudge and Magglio. traded for Casey, Polanco, Guillen
Smith did draft Granderson and Zumaya in 2002 and Inge in 1998
The starting staff and most of the top hitters were acquired after Smith left the organization
Compare the payroll during the 120-loss seasons the Tigers had to the payroll the years they started getting those players. Dombrowski has benefitted from being able to pick between players worth multi-millions, where Smith had to pick from what Bill Simmons calls the "poo-poo platter," concerning free agents, trades, pitcher signing bonuses for early 1st rounders, etc.
Don't think that the NHL salary cap didn't have something to do with Ilitch being to throw money at the baseball team all of a sudden.
But you have to have more trust in a guy who brought the team back into playoff contention every year since 2006, including a World Series. I think of Dave D. alot like Joe D. with the Pistons. Yeah he has made some bad moves (D-Train, Bonderman, Robertson contracts) but also some good ones that led to winning and fans in Comerica.
I think that's a great comparison between Dave D and Joe D, but I hear Joe getting a lot more heat for his stupid moves than Dave does. Thats essentially my point. Dave never faces criticism for his mistakes. For example the Jurrjens trade. No one brings that up like the Darko pick is brought up. And I think it was probably a worse mistake.
Picking Darko over Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, or Chris Bosh was a bigger mistake than trading away a #2 starter? Seriously?
2.6 ERA last season
1.2 Whip last season (which is a little high)
We gave him away. Actually, we essentially paid to give him away. I'm not saying the Darko move wasn't bad. And NBA moves are inherently more important b/c there are only 5 players and smaller rosters= individual players are more important to team success. But the point remains.
In the Darko situation, EVERYBODY thought he was going to be a monster. He was a risk, but Dumars wasn't the only one that saw his huge upside. The Jurrjens trade was just bad all the way around. An aging veteran shortstop on a one-year rental for a potential top-three in the rotation pitcher? Terrible.
It's easy to pull up his numbers and say how could he have been traded, but JJ was never seen as an Andrew Miller-esque prospect (ironic, for how they both turned out). I could just as easily pull up Wade, Melo, and Bosh's stats and it would have the same effect, hindsight, blah blah blah. I still feel Darko was a far bigger blunder when you're drafting in the top 3 as opposed to trading a good but not great prospect for a guy who was supposed to be the bat that was the last piece of the puzzle for a championship.
but in my opinion he hasn't done enough bad for me to lose faith in his decision-making just yet. However, I do agree that the Jurrjens trade was fucking terrible. There is nothing that can explain that one away.
A. Darko was a good pick at the time. What we thought he was was what the Pistons needed at the time.
B. Jurrjens is solid, but is aided by an extreme pitcher's park and some lucky periphs. He wouldn't be as effective in Detroit. Obviously it was still a horrible trade, but he's nowhere near the ace some would make him out to be.
"what we thought Darko was"
A 17-year-old in a few shaky video clips, IIRC. Chad Ford liked him, but there wasn't a lot to go on except rumor. There was very little solid evidence about Darko, his play, even his measurables.
As opposed to an unguardable 3-4 who had just scored like 35 ppg in the NCAAs.
It's the age-old problem of "drafting for need" vs. "best player available". Tayshaun was the heir apparent for the 3 replacing Corliss, so the "need" for the Pistons was someone taller than Ben who could play center and wasn't Mehmet Okur.
I get that mindset. But the Pistons proved capable of getting a 4-5 when they got Rasheed later, didn't need one through the draft. Joe D must have just figured that Carmelo was not all about "Goin' to Work" and the Pistons identity (at the time) of tough defense, so they went a different direction.
Into a pick most people (including myself) now regret.
Darko wasn't as obscure as you're making him sound. He played for a major Serbian pro team, and worked out for several NBA teams (including the Pistons). He had tremendous potential. He's tall, has a huge wingspan, is pretty mobile, and has some skills. He just doesn't seem to have the right mindset. The million-dollar question is whether Darko never really had the burning desire to be great, or if being treated like crap by Larry Brown killed his confidence.
Darko was universally called the best European prospect ever. The consensus was that he'd have been a sure-fire #1 pick most years, but it happened to be the LeBron draft. At any rate, criticizing the pick because Dumars ended up getting Rasheed Wallace isn't really fair. It's not like that it was obvious in June 2003 that an All-Star big man would be on the block six months later for a bargain price.
was apparent at the time.
has a lot to prove this coming off-season. He has locked up one of the five best hitters and one of the (arguably) five best pitchers in baseball long term, both of which are relatively young players. Not many GMs can say that. However, what he does with all the freed up money we get this offseason will determine his legacy in Detroit IMO. So far his only fault has been his loyalty to certain players in giving them contracts...guys like Robertson and Inge who are making way too much money for only having one good season. He has made a lot of good trades (outside of the Renteria debacle) and has drafted incredibly (Porcello, Turner, Crosby, etc.). I am meh on him, but more positive mainly because we have a foundation that can win in the short and long term.
If you cut him, you're on the hook for all that money and get nothing in return. No one would even think about giving the Tigers anything for him unless they were paying the entire salary. At least this way they got something in return -- even if the guy never pans out it's at least a chance. That money they owed Robertson was gone regardless as a sunk cost.
Robertson's contract awful, but holy crap relying on Willis as the 5th starter scares the bejeezus out of me. As shaky as Robertson was, he was still effective from time to time. Willis has been completely ineffective since his last year with the Marlins. 15 innings of spring training ball does nothing to ease my concerns.
This is especially true considering Bonderman is our 4th starter and hasn't really pitched in 2 years. But we have to remember our choice right now was Robertson or Willis. Not a great choice to have, but on the upside I believe Willis has a chance at winning 8-12 games. We also have Bonine and Miner if necessary to fill in games as the 5th starter.
I just don't see it. I know the back half of the rotation in most teams is a bit of a crap shoot, but Willis has been beyond bad in Detroit. I hope he proves me wrong.
Considering Nate was due $10 mil this year, and this trade is with the always money conscious Marlins, I'd be shocked if the cash considerations were anything less than $9 million. There's no way in hell they would take Robertson unless they only had to pay what they see as fitting for a back end rotation guy, which is probably the vet minimum.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Tigers sent $9.6 mil to the Fish.
A rotation that requires Bonderman and Willis to be healthy and effective...especially as there's no longer a viable backup.
on a team that was awful at the plate. Frankly, I don't see how adding Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon is going to make us a whole hell of a lot better.
Granderson and Polanco combined for a .328 OBP last season. That's awful. Damon and Jackson will do better than that. All Jackson needs to do is play great defense (which he most certainly will) and get on base at an average level to be an improvement. Damon will definitely be an improvement in the 2 slot as he doesn't solely rely on average to get on base. Their struggles last year really hurt us when Magglio was hitting .375 after the ASB last year. We won't be a "hell of a lot better", but I'd venture to say we will be a bit better....which for a third of the price is good.
Granderson was my favorite player, but again, hitting 30 homers might sound cool, but when you are only getting on base less than a third of the time, you lose a ton of value leading off.
I'm not positive about this but wasn't Robertson's contract up after this year anyway? The Tigers management obviously thought that he was more valuable to the team being traded for a pretty good young prospect than he would have been as a 5th starter.
I just hope that the Willis/Bonderman combo can keep their record around .500, in which case I think the Tigers will be just fine since the top of the rotation is pretty solid.
I wouldn't mind this trade, if not for the fact that the Tigers ate $9.6 mil out of Robertson's $10 million contract. Robertson's best days are behind him, and if Willis or Bonderman can't hack it as a starter, there are plenty of options to plug into the rotation, such as Bonine, Miner, and Coke.
I don't think people realize that Detroit GMs often have to gamble with limited budgets to build winners. This makes every move they make much more significant. They often have to overpay decent yet unpredictable players and hope they work out (Damon, Gordon, Villanueva, etc.) I'm not saying the moves haven't been bad, I'm just saying that often the choice is to take a risk and appear to be doing something or to be patient and appear to be satisfied with the status quo. The demand for immediate success often limits small-mid market GMs from having sufficient time to build a winner IMO.
Considering he supposedly didn't want to pitch out of the bull pen, paying 95% of his contract and getting a human being in return is a better decision than the alternative, cutting him and paying him 100% of his contract.
Again I dont see why the big deal. Robertson went 2-3 last year with a 5+ era...he just isnt good. Detrot gets a young kid in return and possibly he ends up being something good.
There are a lot of pros and cons about this team this year but they should be in the hunt come the end of the summer. It'll be the usual suspects of past...Tigers, Twins, and Sox.
I applaud the trading of E Jack/Grandy. Austin Jackson looks like a stud in the making and Scherzer has good stuff. Detroit finally has a leadoff hitter in A Jackson and cant complain about Damon because its just 1 year.
Plus side, Detroit should still be competitive with a lot of money coming off the books at the end of the season.