Monday, October 29, 2007

Edgar Renteria is a Tiger, yet the first thing fans think of is the John Smoltz trade?

The long rumored move finally happened this afternoon. Edgar Renteria is a Tiger! The Tigers just got better at two positions, when compared to 2006. Renteria is a better defensive shortstop than Carlos Guillen, and he's no slouch at the plate, hitting .332, with a .390 OBP, for the Braves in 2006. The Tigers merely replaced one All-Star shortstop with another All-Star shortstop.

Though I would have been fine with Guillen at short for another season, I have to admit he is a huge upgrade over Sean Casey at 1st base. The Tigers are now a much better team than they were at the end of the season. (This also puts an end to the pie in the sky A-Rod talk)

Yet the first thoughts I see from fans is that the Tigers gave up too much in Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez. It's the John Smoltz trade all over again! That trade was a generation ago, and we need to let it go. This is a move the Tigers had to make. I repeat, HAD TO MAKE.

Yet I hear baseball "Expert" Pat Caputo on WXYT already moaning the Tigers are making a mistake in trading Gorkys Hernandez, claiming we may be looking back in anger at this trade for a long time. Come on Caputo, overreact much?. Sure, Hernandez has shown he has tools, but he's a LONG LONG LONG way from being close to major league ready.

You aren't going to get Renteria for Nate Robertson and Ramon Santiago. Atlanta's GM wouldn't have taken the call, let alone make the trade. It takes something to get something, and it's not like Renteria is another BHoS...

Guillen wouldn't have moved to 1st base for just anybody.
Edgar Renteria is not just anybody...

Jurrjens and (Especially) Hernandez won't become proven, big time major leaguers for 2-3 years at the earliest, probably longer. And that's giving the two prospects the benefit of the doubt in saying they will become productive big league players. There's no guarantee that they will, and Renteria is a proven, elite level shortstop who also happens to have a reasonable contract.

Give me proven over prospect when you are a team that has a short championship window. Yes, the Tigers have a title window that is still wide open, but it could close sooner that we may think.

The Tigers top position players are on the sweet side of 30. Maggilo Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Placido Polanco, Gary Sheffield, Brandon Inge, Pudge Rodriguez, and for that matter, Renteria, are all over 30. So are top reserves Vance Wilson and Marcus Thames. The two free agents the Tigers are odds on to re-sign, The Gambler, Kenny Rogers, and The Rollercoaster, Todd Jones, are 42 and 39, respectively.

Their manger could collect social security. Jim Leyand, no smoked spring chicken, is only signing 1 year contract extensions at a time. That's a man in win now mode.

Between you and me, the Detroit Tigers are not a team that has the option of waiting on prospects to fill a hole.

I'm not worried about giving up a couple of good prospects. 5 years ago I'd be screaming bloody murder. But the Tigers of today are not the penny pinching Tigers of yesteryear, run by a GM who couldn't draft his way out of a wet paper bag.

The current Tigers regime has proven that they can pinpoint, then sign, top amateur talent. So the Tigers traded Jurrjens? They still have bigger time prospects Andrew Miller and Rick Porcello. They traded a 19 year old Hernandez? The Tigers still have 20 year old uber-prospect Cameron Maybin. Don't forget, Curtis Granderson is only 26, and coming off one of the best seasons ever by a Tigers outfielder. Both play the same position as Gorkys, by the way.

Dave Dombrowski realizes that he still has a few holes to fill. The roster is far from being a done deal. He knows they need to find another starting pitcher, a bullpen guy, a left handed bat, a corner outfielder, and Pudge's eventual replacement. I'm confident that they will fill those holes.

The off season is less than 24 hours old, and the Detroit Tigers have just fired a warning shot across the bow of the American League. They are acting like a big market team should, and are going to pull out all the stops to win it all in 2008.


  1. Definitely a good trade for the Tigers. I had the opportunity to watch Hernandez play a couple of times this summer and he was good, but still not outstanding in my opinion. Renteria is a proven shortstop who has a few years left in the tank.

  2. My thoughts exactly, Cody. Renteria is under contract for 2 more seasons, and is in his early 30's. I'm sure there's still plenty of tread left on his tires.