MLB Trade Wire: Cabrera, Willis, and Rumors Galore

Forrest Kobayashi@forrestkobaSenior Analyst IDecember 5, 2007

IconWe're in the midst of the 2007 Winter Meetings—a time where teams talk, rumors fly, and the baseball world generally goes nuts.

The last 48 hours have been heavy on speculation—with one very big deal going down.


Tigers-Marlins Trade

Talk about massive.

The Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins agreed in principle to a blockbuster deal last night—with third baseman Miguel Cabrera and starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis going to Detroit in return top prospects Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo, and three minor league pitchers.

All told, the deal is a great one for teams.

Given that rumors had Cabrera going to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, you have to love how the Tigers put their foot down to get a deal done. Cabrera will add even more punch to a stacked lineup—and with an above-average starting rotation, the Tigers look like the clear favorite to win the AL Central.

Willis makes for an interesting addition. After a spectacular MLB debut, his dominance has waned—as evidenced by his K-BB ratio, which has slipped from 3.09 in 2005 to 1.93 in 2006 and 1.68 in 2007.

Simply put, Willis is no longer the quality pitcher he was in 2003-2005. Fans love his high leg kick, and he's a great player to market, but he's no better than a No. 4 or No. 5 starter in the American League.

On the Detroit staff, Willis will probably be the last man in the rotation.

The Marlins, meanwhile, got two of the best prospects in baseball in Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin.

Miller was regarded as the top starting pitcher in his draft, and is a raw product who should develop nicely in Florida. Maybin is a five-tool player who scouts love—and could end up turning into a Grady Sizemore-type down the road.

The other players in this deal should bolster the Florida farm system, which the Marlins have to rely on as a small-market team.


Latest Trade Rumors From Around The League

Maybe we haven't seen the last of David Wells. Newsday reports that the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds are interested in bringing the veteran back.

If they do, they really shouldn't expect much—the guy is in his mid-40s and has nowhere to go but down.

Dallas News reports that Hank Blalock is in demand around the league, but is not on the block. According to the website, the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Minnesota Twins, and Los Angeles Dodgers are all interested in acquiring the third baseman.

Blalock has a decent bat, but is coming off an injury-plagued season. I have my doubts about his ability to bounce back.

The Athletics have said they want to wait and see what happens with Johan Santana before trading prized starting pitcher Dan Haren—and can you blame them?

There's talk that the A's have worked out a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks that could potentially involve RP Jose Valverde. Valverde has been mentioned in connection with other teams as well.

I assume that the Diamondbacks would look to hold onto their young stars—Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Mark Reynolds, and Chris B. Young—but you never know. reported that the Giants and Blue Jays were talking a deal involving Toronto's Alexis Rios in exchange for the Giants' Tim Lincecum. But apparently Rios isn't enough to get a deal done—San Francisco wants more in return, or Lincecum is out and Matt Cain is in.

In any event, there's something brewing here, so be sure to watch these talks closely. Honestly, who wouldn't take the young Lincecum?

Erik Bedard is garnering a lot of interest, particularly from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. He'd be a spectacular catch for those who aren't able to get Santana.

Bedard is really the only valuable player the Orioles have other than Miguel Tejada, so hopefully they can get the most out of a team willing to trade for him.

More information can be found here.


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