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Detroit Tigers May Look To Trade Market To Fill Void in Right Field
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With the ungodly signing of Jayson Werth to a seven-year, $126 million contract the cost of outfield help has gone through the roof. The Tigers are most likely working pretty hard to get a deal in place with Magglio Ordonez to be the right fielder in 2011. However, because of the lack of outfield depth on the free-agent market, Ordonez might be able to land a ridiculous deal. If that happens the Tigers may be forced to look to the trade market.

Dave Dombrowski has shown himself to be an aggressive, gutsy GM. He's pulled off deals that have worked extremely well (Cabrera, Jackson and company) and some not so much (Renteria). His successes and failures haven't stopped him from going all out to try and make his team better. Also, knowing how much owner Mike Ilitch likes big-name players, it would not be surprising to see Detroit go after a "shocking" trade. These are two trades I think the Tigers should look into, or at least think about. 

 

Trade One

Detroit sends SP Andy Oliver, Armando Galarraga, OF Brennan Boesch or Ryan Raburn, and RP Brandon Wise to Milwaukee for OF Ryan Braun and a PTNL (Player to be Named Later).

Two important elements of this: First, Braun would have to OK the trade, and second, Detroit might not be willing to give up major-league quality players to land Braun. 

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

 

Why Detroit Would Make This Trade

Braun's numbers are impressive, despite an apparent decline over the last year. He's averaged over 31 home runs, 107 RBI and hit above .300 for the last three years. Braun would probably hit fifth, with Victor Martinez moving to the third spot in the Tigers lineup.

The PTNL would probably be a draft pick somewhere between rounds 2-5, which Detroit would probably spend on a pitcher. It became very clear last year that the Tigers absolutely needed to add some more punch to their lineup and adding Braun and Martinez would accomplish that. If Boesch is sent, Raburn will get the chance to start in right, and if it's Raburn who is sent over, then Boesch will battle with Casper Wells to be the starter in right with the loser being the fourth outfielder. 

 

Why Milwaukee Would Make This Trade

First, if I were Milwaukee I would want Raburn over Boesch. Raburn hits for a higher average and has shown pretty good power, plus he is a player who can play a lot of positions giving the Brewers some flexibility with double switches and the like. Boesch is a player who seems to project as a high strikeout/above average power guy. It wouldn't surprise me if Boesch ended up being a player who hits 30-35 home runs with 160 or so strikeouts. 

Which Deal is better for Detroit?

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Also, Milwaukee has made no secret of its need and desire to add pitching to a club that had one of the worst ERAs in the senior circuit last year. Oliver is one of the highly regarded LH starters in the minors, and is considered a candidate in Detroit for the fifth spot in the rotation. He projects as a top three pitcher and would give balance to an improving Milwaukee rotation. 

Galarraga is a pitcher who I think is better suited to play in the national league. He is still young enough and cheap enough that he is worth the flier. If nothing else, Galarraga has shown he can pitch in the majors and would add depth.

Brandon Wise is one of the better minor-league bullpen arms for Detroit. He should be able to compete for a big-league spot, and adds depth for a team in desperate need of pitching depth. 

 

Trade Two

Detroit Sends SP Andy Oliver, OF/IF Ryan Raburn, SP Bryan Villarreal, SS Jhonny Peralta and OF Avisail Garcia to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona sends OF Justin Upton, SS Steven Drew, and SP Mike Belfiore.

Things to note: Justin Upton would have to waive his no trade clause to Detroit. Also, I'm not sure what MLB's rules are on trading players who have just signed. I think if you pulled Drew and Peralta out, both clubs would be able to tell their fans they are in a better position after the deal.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

 

Why Detroit Makes This Trade

The Tigers are trying to add some bulk and defense to their outfield. Upton is still a very young player, who is still developing. He is an above average defender, hits for average (career .272), with some power (19 HRs and 25 doubles averaged over the last three years) and still strikes out too much, but does have a career OBP above .350.

In Drew the Tigers would get a player who is an improvement defensively, with a higher batting average and almost exact power numbers (16 HRs and 35 doubles). The other advantage for the Tigers is Drew is several years younger. Mike Belfiore would give Detroit a pitcher to replace Bryan Villarreal in the lower rung of the Tigers system and would be a developmental pitcher for Detroit. 

 

Why Arizona Makes This Trade

The Diamondbacks have a new GM who is trying to build up the big-league team and the farm at the same time. Last year's team really struggled. In Oliver and Villarreal they would have two of Detroit's better pitchers from the farm. Oliver a left-handed starter would most likely start the season as the No. 3 or 4 pitcher and could improve from there. Villarreal is a developmental pitcher, but put up very solid numbers in two stops this year.

Ryan Raburn has been considered a better fit in the NL because of his versatility. Raburn is a step down defensively, but could end up with the same or slightly better power. Raburn can play any of the three outfield spots and can also play 1B, 2B and 3B. Peralta is affordable and the club would have the option for a third year. Avisail Garcia is considered one of Detroit's top outfield prospects. He projects to hit for average and power, and play better defense. It is possible Garcia makes it to the majors in 2012.

 

Ramifications for Detroit

I believe either of these deals would help the Tigers in 2011, however with both of them the Tigers would need to make a couple of moves after the deal to solidify their depth. If Raburn is included in either deal, I think there is still a chance they try and sign Maggs to a one to two-year contract.

Also, Detroit would probably want to target another pitcher to compete for the fifth spot in the Tigers rotation. I would love to see the Tigers follow up a deal like this with a Carl Pavano and Magglio Ordonez signings. If Magglio isn't signed, then Casper Wells/Ryan Raburn/Brennan Boesch will fill his spot.

 

Projected Tigers Lineup for Both Trades

Milwaukee Trade

1. CF Austin Jackson (.293, four home runs, 34 doubles, 103 runs, 41 RBI)

2. 2B Will Rhymes (.304, one home run, 12 doubles, 30 runs, 19 RBI)

3. RF Magglio Ordonez (.303, 12 home runs, 17 doubles, 56 runs, 59 RBI)

4. 1B Miguel Cabrera (.328, 38 home runs, 45 doubles, 111 runs, 126 RBI)

5. LF Ryan Braun (.304, 25 homes runs, 45 doubles, 101 runs, 103 RBI)

6. DH Victor Martinez (.302, 20 home runs, 32 doubles, 64 runs, 79 RBI)

7. SS Jhonny Peralta (.249, 15 home runs, 30 doubles, 60 runs, 81 RBI)

8. 3B Brandon Inge (.247, 13 home runs, 28 doubles, 47 runs, 70 RBI)

9. C Alex Avila (.228, seven home runs, 12 doubles, 28 runs, 31 RBI)

 

Rotation 

1. Justin Verlander

2. Max Scherzer

3. Phil Coke

4. Rick Porcello

5. Free agent/minor-league call-up

 

For Arizona Trade

1. CF Austin Jackson (.293, four home runs, 34 doubles, 103 runs, 41 RBI)

2. SS Steven Drew (.278, 15 home runs, 33 doubles, 83 runs, 61 RBI)

3. LF Justin Upton (.273, 17 home runs, 27 doubles, 73 runs, 69 RBI)

4. 1B Miguel Cabrera (.328, 38 home runs, 45 doubles, 111 runs, 126 RBI)

5. DH Victor Martinez (.302, 20 home runs, 32 doubles, 64 runs, 79 RBI)

6. RF Magglio Ordonez (.303, 12 home runs, 17 doubles, 56 runs, 59 RBI)

7. 3B Brandon Inge (.247, 13 home runs, 28 doubles, 47 runs, 70 RBI)

8. 2B Will Rhymes (.304, one home run, 12 doubles, 30 runs, 19 RBI)

9. C Alex Avila (.228, seven home runs, 12 doubles, 28 runs, 31 RBI)

 

Rotation

1. Justin Verlander

2. Max Scherzer

3. Phil Coke

4. Rick Porcello

5. Armando Galarraga/free agent/minor-leaguer

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