Detroit Tigers: Trading For Need an Unpopular Method

Eric RutterCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2008

In the MLB, completing a trade has been a rather difficult task these days.  There are so many factors that need to be considered: age, salary, and productivity to name a few.  That said, when you are able to construct a swap of players that you feel will benefit your ball club, you have to make the most out of that opportunity. 

Late Wednesday the Detroit Tigers completed a trade that would send 14-time All Star Ivan Rodriguez to the New York Yankees in exchange for journeyman reliever Kyle Farnsworth. 

At first, I can see why many Tiger fans were red in the face upon hearing that beloved catcher "Pudge" Rodriguez would be donning pinstripes.  The catalyst of the Tigers lineup for the past four years is no longer playing for the "home team."  

What's not to be mad about?  Only receiving a middle-of-the road reliever in return surely didn't help.

But when you look deeper into this trade, it's not as bad as it seems for Detroit.  Sure, Pudge is one of the best defensive catchers in the game and can hold his own at the plate, but it was unlikely that the upcoming free agent would return to Detroit.  Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has stated numerous times that he did not expect Rodriguez to re-sign with the club. 

With Rodriguez now residing in the Big Apple, longtime-Tiger Brandon Inge will likely get the playing time he has been looking for all season.  Before Rodriguez's arrival in 2004, Inge was the Tigers' full-time catcher. 

One of the major holes for Detroit this season has been in the bullpen.  Fireballer Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney have been injured for most of 2008.  Todd Jones has struggled thus far, and is now headed for a stint in the DL. 

Farnsworth has performed well this season with a 3.65 ERA and 11 holds for New York.  The depth that Farnsworth brings will be greatly needed if the Tigers plan to make a playoff push this season.

Dombrowski has been searching for a solid reliever in past years pre-deadline scrambles, but has never been able to find a reasonable suitor.  Farnsworth fits the bill for an ideal trade target: an affordable contract, decent performance, and still has many good years ahead of him at 32. 

All in all, the Tigers seem to be one of the winners at this year's trade deadline. 

No matter how many disgruntled Tigers fans cursed Dombrowski for trading a fan-favorite, only time will determine if he made the right move.

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