Friday, November 10, 2006

Tigers Trade for Sheffield

I don't like this trade at all for the Tigers. They give up some decent prospects for a guy who is going to be 38, has a history of being disgruntled, was injured most of last season, and you sign him to a 2 year extension through 2009? This is madness. I doubt Sheffield hits 35 home runs for his $40M that he's getting from the Tigers. And given that I don't trust Magglio Ordonez to hold up for his big deal either, I think the Tigers are building themselves on very, very uneasy footing. I could see them going from a World Series team back to a laughing stock in short order. I think for aging sluggers you have to weigh risk and reward. That's why I liked the Jim Thome deal last year. They weren't giving up all that much, and they were able to get a lot of the salary paid to compensate for the risk. Here the Tigers are taking all the risk, and giving up quality to boot. And watch, when the season starts everyone will be picking the Tigers, because the way people look at sports way too often is looking at how the team did last year plus the people they added, without taking into consideration how indicative the previous season was of their overall skill level, and whether the added players however prestigious will be able to legitimately improve the team. But I guess we will see. Obviously if Sheffield and Magglio stay healthy and their young starters are able to hold up for a bunch of innings again without any deterioration in performance, they will be in good shape. But to say I have serious doubts about that is quite the understatement.

13 Comments:

Blogger Fish said...

Plus R.Kelly fucked his wife on videotape. Lost ALL my respect there.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little perspective from a Tigers fan. In a bubble, I have no issues with Sheffield and the money he got. It was well known you would have to give him a 3 year deal to keep him around (which is ridiculous, but I think he'll play it out just fine. As a matter of fact, I recall hearing those same complaints about Pudge when we signed him and that seems to have worked out nicely). I don't think health is an issue at all as he's been healthy his entire career and last year was a freak accident that broke his wrist. He brings a patient hitting philosophy, which is sorely lacking on the club. I think he's capable of 30+ HR's every year of the deal, not to mention 100+ RBI's because I do see the Tigers scoring more runs this year. Also, I don't think age is the rub since looking over the league, older power guys like Thome and Thomas have excelled as well. All that being said, I'm not a big fan of the deal either. I think they paid way too much, way too early. Considering how disgruntled he was with New York, you could've let the deal simmer for a while and paid significantly less for him. I do think people are praising Sanchez more than he deserves. He had a strong early run, but he was already starting to succumb to typical pitcher injuries (he missed the last month of the season with an elbow injury) and he's still another year or better from the Majors. I have no idea about the two single A guys, but if the deal sits until late December, they're not thrown in. I'm hoping he keeps his mouth to himself, which I think he will as long as the team keeps winning and he seems to get along well with Leyland. Oh well. Its a gamble, but should it pay off like Thome and Thomas did for their respective teams last year, they should dominate the Central.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

The average LF/DH hit 272/348/459 in 2006, those are the positions where Sheffield is likely to split his time next year. Sheffield hit 298/355/450 last year. Over the course of the year, that means Sheff will produce about 10 runs more than an average player at that position. So, if an average player earns about $3 million per year, how do you justify giving a barely above average player who is 38 and on the decline, a poor citizen, and coming off the worst kind of injury for a power hitter dependent on bat speed (wrist), a significant contract? This would be bad if it were only a free agent signing, as a trade where the Tigers gave up useful pieces, it's terrible.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

To address the guys who the Tigers gave up, here's what FirstInning.com projects for Humberto Sanchez, the key to the trade from a New York perspective:

"Humberto Sanchez:
2007 - AAA - 3.78 ERA
2008 - ML - 4.28 ERA
Sanchez is a power pitcher who has steadily improved his control during the last four years and now looks like one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Sanchez was unhittable for much of the 2006 season, but he struggled in July and missed the final month of the season with a tender elbow. Sanchez has been a starting pitcher for all of his minor league career, but his secondary pitches lag behind his mid-90s's fastball and I expect him to provide a mid-season boost to the Yankees bullpen in 2007 if he is healthy."

Sanchez was ranked eleventh by one reputable analyst on his list of best right-handed pitching prospects. By the way, the Yanks' Philip Hughes ranked first on said list. Now the question is whether the Yanks will let the youngsters contribute when they're ready (and Hughes already is) and not adapt a WWE-like aversion to new talent.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

The deal improves the team, but it's improving a team that was doomed to fall back to third or fourth in the division next year. So maybe now they'll finish second or third instead.

The Tigers were a brutally flawed team that managed to hit their stride for the right portion of the season, and were able to get some lucky breaks and fortunate pitching. Verlander should be at least as good next year, but Rogers, Robertson and Maroth all will produce less (some moreso than others), which means the bats will have to improve. Sheffield will help, but he's not going to make the rest of the team suddenly start being patient. And the hitters won't change either, because there was only one regular hitter on the team under the age of 29 (Granderson).

I hope Leyland (the guy needs to learn to pronounce his last name right, he's ruining it for the rest of us), has some healthy lungs, because he's going to be smoking a lot of cigarettes next season.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

Just to pass some "exclusive" news for you cats: on the Bob McCown show on the FAN590 in Toronto, McCown broke the news that the Jays have decided on their increased payroll. The kicker is, they aren't announcing it on purpose, unlike last year. The feeling could be that it's a big number, and they don't want to announce it because they don't want FA's bumping their demands as a result. JP Richardi is avoiding the radio stations on purpose so he's not bombarded with questions about it.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

It's also possible they aren't announcing it because they've barely increased it at all, and don't want backlash or to scare off free agents...

6:20 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Well the Jays aren't getting a piece of Jaret Wright! Errrr....yeah...

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Steve Khan said...

Mean Dean, if the Jays barely increased their payroll, than JP Richardi would be complaining about it.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

To Phil, from above who said, "Now the question is whether the Yanks will let the youngsters contribute when they're ready (and Hughes already is) and not adapt a WWE-like aversion to new talent.": Have you not been following the Yankees the last 2 years? Robinson Cano, Chien-Ming Wang, Melky Cabrera, and Scott Proctor were significant contributors to the team's success. Also, the Yankees didn't panic and trade any of them for over-the-hill veterans, like they would have in the past. Believe me, when Hughes and Sanchez (and anyone else from the minors) are ready to contribute, the Yankees will call them up and give them every opportunity to succeed.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Dave,
Hughes was more than ready to contribute this year. When it comes down to it, Torre still won't replace an established and still useful player in favor of a youngster. Sure, they'll play Cano when the option is Tony Womack, they'll use Cabrera when the option is Bubba Crosby or they'll use Proctor (who's no youngster anyway) when the option is similarly dismal. But if it comes down to replacing a slightly worse than league average player like Jaret Wright or Randy Johnson with a better young player, Torre and Cashman still won't pull the trigger.

I'll grant you that the team's track record on this matter is improving, but don't forget this is still the leadership in recent years that chose Ruben Sierra over Marcus Thames or Juan Rivera and completely undervalued Nick Johnson, for example.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

No matter how you cut it Sheffield is a 30 HR guy and you put him after Pudge and before Magglio and he adds excellent protection. Great move for the short term. Does anyone actually believe the Tigers to be perennial contenders?

9:24 AM  
Blogger harrogate said...

Trading good prospects for Sheffield at this stage of his career does smack of desperation to win now. Which is sad, because the Tigers appear loaded with youth and a good GM and, if handled correctly, could forseeably be a contender for years down the road. Especially now that the Owner is less enamored with his Red Wings and ready to put real money into this baseball team .

So yes, the Sheffield trade is counterintuitive and it sucks to see the Yankees get prospects, they should be forced to die of old age, to really pay for their gluttony. But the brigh side is, it's great that our last image of Gary Sheffield won't be in a Yankees uniform. He deserved better than that.

9:58 PM  

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