So you want to make a deadline trade? Ready to empty the farm system for a veteran slugger? You need an all-star right hander? They are all for sale for the right price. Whether your club is a buyer or a seller this year, the deals you make (or don't make) will impact the team for years to come.
The Tigers have many many mid-season moves over the years from both sides. Sometimes the players you give up turn out to be Hall of Famers, sometimes they never make it to the Majors. But If you want to win now, the cost could be the future of your franchise.
Lets take a look at some of the most pivotal deadline deals in Tigers history.
(Note: I have included some deals that occurred after the non-waiver deadline, but before the August 31st deadline as well. Prior to 1986, the non-waiver deadline was June 15.)
Some of those that missed the cut:
1988- The Tigers traded minor league catcher Chris Hoiles to Baltimore for a year and a half of an aging Fred Lynn, who hit .237 while with the Tigers. Hoiles played 10 seasons with the Orioles and was a consistent power threat.
1999- Detroit sent journeyman pitcher Bryce Florie to Boston for minor league lefty Mike Maroth. Florie is most famous for getting hit in the face with a line drive while pitching for the Red Sox. Maroth lost 21 games in 2003, but was an effective pitcher until arm problems developed three seasons later.
1998- The Tigers acquired Geronimo Berroa from the Indians for pitcher Tim Worrell and minor league outfielder Dave Roberts. Berroa hit all of one home run in Detroit, while Roberts went on to a lengthy career as a very good lead off hitter and center fielder, something the Tigers took nearly another decade to find.
Damian Easley was a young utility player for the Angels when he was traded to the Tigers for pitcher Greg Gohr. Easley made an all-star appearance for the Tigers. During his seven year tenure as the second base replacement for recently retired Lou Whitaker, he three times hit better than 20 home runs in a season.
Gohr faded quickly from the major leagues, winning just one game for Angels. Following the 1996 season, Gohr never appeared in another major league game.
The Tigers acquired right hander Milt Wilcox from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash considerations. Wilcox would go on to pitch nine seasons with the Tigers, winning 97 games, and was an important part in the team's rise to one of the league's elite clubs in the mid 1980s.
Jones was the closer early in 2001, but had just been supplanted by talented youngster Matt Anderson in the Tigers' bullpen. Detroit traded Jones to the Twins at the deadline, bringing back left hander Mark Redman.
On it's surface, this deal might not look like much, but Redman was eventually dealt to the Marlins for a package including Nate Robertson, who was a key starter on the 2006 World Series team.
Jones was also part of that club, returning as a free agent prior to the '06 season.
The Tigers were still a young and improving team in 1980, and first baseman Jason Thompson was providing much of the power in their lineup.
Inexplicably the Tigers dealt the 25-year-old two-time all-star to the Angels in exchange for outfielder Al Cowens, who was four years removed from his best season.
Thompson's departure lead to a revolving door of first basemen in Detroit until Darrell Evans was acquired in 1985.
Cowens played just one and a half years in Detroit, hitting six home runs.
Detroit traded a minor leaguer named Duane James to the Rangers for left hander Frank Tanana.
Never heard of Duane James? That's because James never made it to the show.
Tanana, meanwhile, pitched seven and a half seasons in the Tigers rotation, helping them to the 1987 AL East crown. 96 of his 240 wins came in Detroit.
In need of a left handed bat to stabilize the offense, the Tigers traded minor leaguer Brian Rogers to Pittsburgh for first baseman Sean Casey.
Rogers has a 9.82 ERA in 13 big league games since then.
Casey played very well down the stretch for Detroit, leading them to the AL Wild Card birth and eventually the World Series in 2006.
The Tigers lost the series in five games to the Cardinals, but Casey hit .529 with two home runs.
The key to winning is having good pitching. At the beginning of the worst stretch of losing in franchise history, the club traded it's most effective pitcher, David Wells, to the Reds for a package including lefty C.J. Nitkowski and infielder Mark Lewis.
Wells would go on to win 213 games after the trade, while Lewis and Nitkowski never panned out for Detroit.
The Tigers actually acquired Nitkowski in three separate moves over his career, but posted an 11-24 record in Detroit.
Following the disaster of a season in 2003, the Tigers managed to work their way back to respectability by 2005. With the Tigers fading in the Central race, the Tigers traded their closer, Urbina to the Phillies along with utility man Ramon Martinez to acquire Placido Polanco.
What's happened since then? Polanco has been a stabilizing force at second base, an all-star, and perhaps the most underrated player in the American League.
Urbina has spent the past few years in a Venezuelan prison after being convicted of a brutal attack and attempted murder of five employees at his family farm. I'd say this one worked out well.
The Tigers were going nowhere in the mid 90s and needed to restock a bad farm system. At the deadline, they dealt slugger and fan favorite Cecil Fielder to the Yankees for an aging Ruben Sierra and a minor league phenom in right hander Matt Drews.
Sierra's career had hit the skids even before this trade, and while he would rebound in later years, his days in Detroit were filled with injuries and poor performances.
Drews was the can't miss prospect that everyone wanted. So much so that when Arizona selected Drews in the 1998 Expansion draft, the Tigers traded thrid baseman Travis Fryman to get him back.
Drews' career blew up along with his control while in the Tigers farm system, he never made it to the show. The second trade for Drews was perhaps the most unforgivable, however, as Drews' control had already vanished by that point.
The Tigers were three years removed from their 1984 Championship season, but the core group remained intact. That summer they were locked in a three team divisional race with the Yankee and Blue Jays for a spot in the playoffs.
Just after the non-waiver deadline, they swung a trade with the Atlanta Braves for veteran right hander Doyle Alexander. Alexander was brilliant down the stretch for the Tigers, going 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA the rest of the way.
The Tigers beat the Blue Jays on the season's final day to win the AL East. The deal had worked. Never mind the cost.
Except that the cost was minor league right hander John Smoltz.
All he has done since then is win better than 200 games, save 150 more, and take home a Cy Young Award. He has earned a reputation as one of the best post-season pitchers of all-time and is one his way to the Hall of Fame.