Red Sox-Tigers: Talking Trade

Frankie RioloContributor INovember 16, 2008


The ability for other clubs to talk with free agents brought a wave of excitement, particularly for Yankee fans, for a couple of days. However, trade and signing rumors were scarce today for the first time since Friday morning.

One bit of news appearing on the trade front was talks between the Tigers and Red Sox regarding shortstop Julio Lugo.

The shortstop deprived Tigers have shown a great amount of interest in Lugo. Boston would welcome the trade in that they would love to dump Lugooff on another team. Since the emergence of top prospect Jed Lowrie, Julio Lugo has pretty much been jobless up in Beantown.

Lugo’s injury plagued season stats included a .268 batting average, while hitting a home run and driving in 22 in 82 games.

If the deal is eventually agreed upon, the Tigers would be receiving a decent shortstop, at best.

While Lugo’s offensive career has been slightly above average, his defense definitely leaves something to be desired. During his limited playing time with the Red Sox in 2008, Lugo committed 16 errors at shortstop for a .945 fielding percentage. This is unacceptable for a starting shortstop.

Unfortunately, in Detroit’s case, beggars cannot be choosers.

On the other side of the deal, the acquisition of Dontrelle Willis from the Tigers would be very disappointing from a Red Sox standpoint. After his skills mysteriously diminished in 2007, most figured that the change in scenery (the trade from Florida to Detroit) last winter would rejuvenate Willis.

This was not the case, however. Not only did Willis continue to struggle in 2008, but he became worse, posting an 0-2 record with a 9.38 ERA. The Tigers promptly sent him down to Triple A after only seven starts. In my opinion, it would not be worth giving up Lugo for Willis, even if there is no place for the 33-year old shortstop.

Nate Robertson, the other possible player discussed in the rumors, would probably be the better fit for Boston. While Robertson struggled as well in 2008, posting a 7-11 record with a 6.35 ERA in 28 starts, I believe he would be the better option for the Sox.

While a potential Willis resurgence may someday be possible, it would be way too much work to try to incorporate him into that already solid pitching staff in Boston.