Hi everyone. This is my first diary entry. It has absolutely nothing to do with Michigan, but I hope that you will find it interesting and would appreciate any feedback that you may have. So anyway, here it goes:
Dave Dombrowski has been the GM and President of the Detroit Tigers since 2002. He has presided over the worst season in team history and the team's first successes in over a decade. Along the way, he has made some great moves and some abysmal ones. What he has done, however, is consistently show that he has balls. Here is an evaluation of some of the most important events of his tenure.
Firing GM Randy Smith and taking over his duties (2002) - This move was obvious and necessary. Smith had managed to destroy any hope of short term success with a variety of stupid contracts (exp. Bobby Higginson for $11.75M) and necessitated a rebuilding effort.
Tabula Rasa (2003) - Dombrowski purged the team of almost all MLB (or at least MLB ready) talent, removing all bloated contracts, for the 2003 season as part of the rebuilding effort. However, in doing so, he produced the second worst team record-wise in MLB history, something completely unacceptable.
Signing Ivan Rodriguez (2003-04 offseason) - Dombrowski's first major signing was a huge success. Pudge, who was passed on by other teams due to injury concerns, was signed to a large contract that included safeguards if he wound up being unable to play for most of a season. Pudge proved instrumental to the 2006 pennant run.
Trade for Carlos Guillen (2003-04 offseason) - This was a great move. Guillen was instrumental to the team every year minus this year. Furthermore, he is a hard worker and is willing to play injured (which he did for a lot of last year and is why he's on the DL).
Signing Ugueth Urbina and Troy Percival (2003-04 offseason) - Percival was injured in early July, 2004 and didn't play for the Tigers ever again. Urbina is in Venezuelan prison for attempted murder. Needless to say, this was not a good move.
Signing Magglio Ordonez (2004-05 offseason) - A nearly identical situation to Pudge. Ordonez provided an even bigger offensive boost than Pudge. Ordonez was also considered to be a bigger risk as he was coming off of experimental knee surgery.
Trade for Placido Polanco (2005) - The Tigers gave up Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez for a consistently good hitter and a solid defender. This was a great move. It didn't hurt the Phillies too much though, as they were making room for Chase Utley.
Signing Kenny Rogers (2005-06 offseason) - Rogers was another free agent passed on by a lot of teams due to concerns over his age, health, and temperament. He was integral to the 2006 AL pennant team, but faded afterwards. His signing was another great move.
Hiring Jim Leyland (2005-06 offseason) - Getting Leyland out of retirement has been a blessing.
Gary Sheffield (2006-07 offseason) - Dombrowski traded Humberto Sanchez, our top minor league prospect, along with two other prospects for Sheffield. Then, Sheffield was offered a large extension. This deal was a complete fiasco. While none of the traded prospects panned out, Sheffield's $14M contract for this year meant that we had no money to spend on any other top free agents, which is one of the reasons that the Tigers have so many holes this year.
Extensions for Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson (2007) - These extensions cost the Tigers $19.5M this year and $22.5M next year. Both pitchers have major injury problems and are unlikely to ever become full time starters ever again. Both contracts seemed reasonable, but slightly risky at the time. They turned into disasters.
Trading Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria (2007-08 offseason) - This was, hands down, the worst trade of the Dombrowski era. Jurrjens is currently a solid starter for the Braves and leads the Braves with a 2.91 ERA. Renteria performed horribly for the Tigers and was not re-signed for the next season.
Trade for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis (2007-08 offseason) - This was an excellent trade. While Willis has not panned out, neither has any of the prospects we sent Florida. Meanwhile, we got Cabrera, who is now the top hitter on our team.
Extension for Miguel Cabrera (2008) - Assuming he doesn't sustain serious injury, Cabrera will likely be part of the core of our lineup for years to come.
Extension for Dontrelle Willis (2008) - An absolute disaster. The Sheffield, Bonderman, Robertson, and Willis contracts are the reason that the Tigers have been thus far unable to sign Verlander to a long term deal.
Trading Ivan Rodriguez for Kyle Farnsworth (2008) - While I don't disagree with trading Pudge, who wanted to be traded, trading for literally any other player on the Yankees roster would have yielded more benefit to the Tigers. Farnsworth had a bloated $5.5M contract, which was paired with his consistency in giving up runs in close games.
Trading Matt Joyce for Edwin Jackson (2008-2009 offseason) - This is perhaps the best trade of the Dombrowski era. Jackson has made the front end of the Tigers' rotation one of the most formidable in the Majors and has been instrumental to the Tigers remaining in contention. Joyce was a good outfield prospect, but the Tigers are full of outfield prospects anyway so his loss is negligible.
Anyway, that concludes the summary of Dombrowski's tenure with the Tigers. If anyone feels that I missed something important, please comment.