Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Above the Fold - Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We all know what the hot topic is in Detroit today. The Tigers started off the MLB hot stove league on Monday afternoon, not with a bang, but with a swift surgical strike, in acquiring All-Star SS Edgar Renteria from the Atlanta Braves for prospects. Not just any prospects, but 2 of the Tigers top 5, the very highly regarded SP Jair Jurrjens, and CF Gorkys Hernandez.

The MSM is in near lockstep, totally in favor of the trade. They are pleased with the Tigers aggressiveness, while showing a win now mentality.

The News' Terry Foster posted to his blog with the headline, "Renteria is the right move." It was the only move, actually...

This is a move made by a team that is serious about winning a championship. This is the new Tigers, a team that makes a community proud. For too many years when big names were available we saw the Tigers do nothing.

Now they became major players again by getting Renteria. And what did they give up? They did give up a couple good arms. I admit. But they are prospects and you never know if a prospect will ever become a star.

In a shocking turn of events, the Freep's resident contrarian, Drew Sharp, praises a Detroit team for the second consecutive day! He agrees with yours truly, in that "It has been 20 years, Detroit. Time to get over your lingering John Smoltz-itis." No damn kidding, you are preaching to the choir! That's saying something, as I normally think Sharp's opinions are overtly negative, often to the point of lunacy.

Prospects are always trade bait, it's a fact of MLB life. People tend to over value their own property. How fans tend to feel about their team's prospects is a prime example of that axiom, as Sharp explains...

The Tigers can acquire a Gary Sheffield one year and an Edgar Renteria the next because they boast a plethora of young potential that piques the interest of other teams.

The love affair with the unknown is misdirected. You must adopt the “one-third principle.” If you have 10 highly regarded prospects, you’re lucky if one-third of them are good enough to regularly contribute on the parent club. Another one-third are busts who inevitably are out of baseball and the final one-third are used as trade bait to collect the veteran pieces necessary for consistent pennant contention.

The only MSM'er that appears to disagree with the trade is the News' beat writer, Tom Gage, doing so in a 1 sentence long blog post. I hope he's not being paid by the word.

Yes, they just got Renteria from the Braves for Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez - that's a huge amount to give up in my opinion.

In the blogosphere, the reaction was mixed, mostly due to the fact that it took 2 of the Tigers most promising prospects to get the deal done.

At the great great granddad of all Tigers weblogs, The Detroit Tigers Weblog, Bill is concerned, despite Renteria's undeniable talent, that the Tigers "Got a lot older." He also found an interesting article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

It appears that the Braves are sending some cash to the Tigers. I find this odd, since the contract is fairly manageable with $9 million owed next year and an $11 million option for 2009. Are the Tigers going cheap now, saving money for another big free agent, inking Granderson/Verlander long term? Odd for cash to change hands in this one.

Ian is torn between the Tigers taking care of a need, but possibly mortgaging the future the process. In fact he's "Still trying to sort it all out in my head," at Bless you Boys.

I'm thrilled the Tigers got what was probably the best shortstop available, someone proficient with both the bat and the glove. But to give up one of their best minor league outfielders, along with a top pitching prospect seems like a rather high price at first glance. I could've seen trading either Hernandez or Jurrjens in such a deal. To see them both go is a bit of a surprise.

Kurt is optimistic over the trade at Mack Avenue Tigers, as "I really can’t think of too many times a Dombrowski trade has cost the Tigers." Kurt's right on the money with that thought. He is more concerned about the pitching side of the deal, though...

I was just getting used to having Jair Jurrjens around. He’s a good young kid at 21. Doesn’t get stressed on the mound. He was part of the Tigers reloading their young staff.

I would have been happier if say, Dallas Trahern was the pitcher selected for the trade. Just sorta throwing potential toward the Braves, not throwing a proven major league guy.

At the go-to site for all things sabermetric, Tiger Tales, Lee comes up with a runs created table ranking AL shortstops, plus Renteria. Surprisingly, "He ranked ahead of all American League shortstops." He's also not that worried about Renteria's underwhelming '05 American League performance with the BoSox.

There is some concern about the sub-par year (4.5 RC/G) he had in the American League for the Red Sox in 2005. He also had a lot of trouble defensively that year. However, I believe his problems had to do with a quiet sensitive player playing in the frenzied Boston environment and were not because he can't handle the American League. I believe he will produce as well as or better than the Sean Casey (5.1 RC/G) who he'll effectively be replacing in the line-up.

That's "Above the Fold" for Tuesday, 10-30-07!

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