Alright, the good news is, we no longer have to deal with Alex Sanchez. You’ll never find a more hollow .300 hitter ever, and that doesn’t even take into account his defense.
So what do the Tigers do to fill the spot? Alan Trammell was interviewed on the Big Show (AM1270) and said they would probably not be looking to make a trade to fill the spot. I for one hope that’s not true, but let’s look at the scenarios.
1) Tigers trade for Mike Cameron – This is what I want to see happen. As valuable as Ugueth Urbina is to the pen, he can’t compare to a bona fide slugger/gold glove winner. Last year was a down year for Cameron, but he was dogged by injuries.
Cameron’s best year in the field was 2003, where he logged 41 fielding runs above replacement (FRAR). Last year he slipped back down 20 but over the last six years he’s average around 25. So let’s say that’s what he’s good for in 2005. Here’s what we got last year from our centerfielders:
Alex Sanchez 1
Nook Logan No Info
Craig Monroe 1
Brandon Inge 1
Curtis Granderson No Info
Omar Infante 0
Andres Torres 0
Let’s say Logan and Granderson combined for seven, which is probably pretty nice. That means Cameron has them all beat by about 15 runs, or a win and a half. If Cameron slips back into 2003 form with a nice expanse to roam and logs 30 FRAR, then it’s worth two wins.
And this doesn’t even take into account the fact we’d be picking up another hitter with 30 homer potential. The difference between Urbina and Fernando Rodney, the guy who would probably make the team if the Tigers dealt Urbina isn’t that much.
2) They fill the hole with a current player. DeWayne Wise, Alexis Gomez and Craig Monroe have all been bounced around. Monroe is mediocre as a corner outfielder, and Wise and Gomez would be stop gaps with the hope that Granderson is ready by the All Star break.
3) The Tigers could trade for a third basemen and move Brandon Inge to center field. I think this would be a better option then moving Monroe out there. I doubt if Dean Palmer will be able to fill in as an every day third basemen, but there’s another option.
Regardless, all of these are better then the direction the Tigers were taking. Now hopefully they’ll make another right decision to fill the hole.