The Tigers pulled the trigger on a deal with the Atlanta Braves that probably had more to do with Kenny Rogers coming back then anything. With the nice pitching by Eulogio De La Cruz and the fact that guys like Chad Durbin and Wilfredo Ledezma were out of options, the Tigers had to make some kind of move and this is it. Now they can send Macay McBride down to Toledo if needed and the Tigers can sit on the current complement of pitchers.
I’ve always been a Wil Ledezma fan although I recognize he’s never lived up to the hype. He was pegged as the team’s fifth starter in 2005 before having a tough time and getting sent back down to the minors that year and since then he’s been used as a spot starter/long reliever. He’s still only 26 so he has some time to put together a decent career and it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins 15 games in a season at some point in his career if he’s given a chance as a full time starter, especially in the National League.
The guy the Tigers got is Macay McBride, the Braves first round draft pick back in 2001. Since then, he’s moved up the minor league ladder without much of a blip until he got to Double A in 2004. There he finished 1-7 with a 4.44 ERA and it was enough for the Braves to have him repeat at Double A in 2005. He pitched better, and after stints at both Double A and Triple A, he finally made his major league debut just after the All Star Break that year in 2005. In 2006, the Braves used him mostly as a left handed relief option and he put together a pretty good season in which he held lefties to a .181 batting average. This year was more of the same and he’s held lefties to a .160 batting average. He gives up a lot of walks though and his track record against righties is pretty poor (major league career batting average against of .329)
And just as important, McBride still has an option which gives the Tigers some flexibility. Not a bad deal here, but then again, at the end of the deal I’d hardly call this a huge deal. McBride could turn into a very nice situational lefty similar to what Jamie Walker gave them although having a converted starter like Wil Ledezma coming out of the pen was always nice because he give you a start or a long relief outing when you needed it. Six of one, half dozen of another and at the end of the day I think both teams will have gained something here.