Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cabrera and Willis will be wearing the Olde English D

I'm updating this post as the night goes on, scroll down for the latest and greatest... Big Al

As I was in the middle of writing another post, I tuned in the 4 Letter, and I just heard the following...

Peter Gammons, as of 6:15 on Sportscenter, says Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis will be Detroit Tigers. It's a done deal, save for crossing the T's, and dotting the I's. The Tigers trade Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Mike Rabelo, and 3 more prospects to be named to the Marlins.

WXYT in Detroit has confirmed the report as well.


The Tigers just traded for arguably the second best player in baseball, a young superstar! Let alone a #2-#3 starter!

Win now, indeed.

Jesus, I didn't see this coming even 6 hours ago... I'll have much more later as more details are known...

Update 6:30 PM - The Freep's Jon Paul Morosi has confirmed the deal as well, but doesn't tell us much more...

The Tigers have acquired third baseman Miguel Cabrera and left-hander Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins in exchange for a package of prospects believed to include outfielder Cameron Maybin and/or left-hander Andrew Miller, according to one major-league executive with knowledge of the negotiations.

More as I hear it...

6:45 PM - MLB.com has a little more info...

The Marlins and Tigers are on the verge of completing a blockbuster deal that will send Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit for a package of six players.

A source familiar with the negotiations has told MLB.com that the Tigers are parting with outfielder Cameron Maybin and lefty starter Andrew Miller and four prospects for the final two players from the Marlins' 2003 World Series championship squad.

The deal was all but finalized as of late afternoon at the Winter Meetings.

The Tigers swooped into the sweepstakes for Cabrera and Willis on Tuesday and put together a package of players that the Marlins felt too tempting to pass up.

The 4 Letter's GM used-to-be Steve Phillips on Sportscenter - (Paraphrasing) "This is a huge, huge deal for the Detroit Tigers. It's a major statement that they are not a small market team, a middle market team, they're going for it."

Phillips then goes on to rave about the Tigers' powerful everyday lineup.

More as it comes...

7:00 PM - Mlive's Danny Knobler chimes in...

With the deal in the final stages, general manager Dave Dombrowski just postponed his scheduled 6:10 EST media briefing. The briefing was postponed ``indefinitely,'' not totally surprising as talks are continuing.

The Tigers would get Cabrera, a third baseman who is one of the best hitters in the game, and Willis, a left-hander who slumped badly in 2007.

There had been some question whether the Marlins will actually be willing to pull the trigger on a deal with the Tigers. They've been asking for a huge return for Cabrera alone in talks with other teams, and have suggested that they wouldn't take a reduced price for Willis if he was packaged alone.

Knobler also mentions the Marlins' money issues that brought on the trade. It also gives Tigers fans something to think about 2 years down the line...

Both Cabrera and Willis are eligible for free agency after the 2009 season, and both would take big money to sign long-term. The Marlins had been unwilling to offer teams a window to negotiate a contract extension before completing a trade, but one source suggested their position on that has changed.

This trade gives the Tigers a two year window to win it all.

On WXYT, Pat Caputo brought up a good point, that this trade might allow for the trade of Brandon Inge for a much needed relief pitcher.

Just look at the Tigers' everyday lineup. It should be something like this...

Granderson - CF
Palonco - 2B
Cabrera - 3B
Ordonez - RF
Sheffield - DH
Guillen - 1B
Renteria - SS
J. Jones - LF
I. Rodriguez - C

People, that's just freaking sick... Think fans in Chicago, Cleveland and Minnesota have broken out the crying towels yet?

More as I find it...

7:15 PM - Lynn Henning has an article up at the News...

Cabrera is an awesome 24-year-old slugger who hit batted .320 with 34 home runs and 119 RBIs for the Marlins in 2007.

Willis, 25, has pitched an average of 200-innings plus in his last four seasons and was 22-10?in 2005.

The Tigers had said Maybin and Miller -- back-to-back first-round draft picks in 2005 and '06 -- were untouchable when each player was mentioned in earlier trade talks. But the Tigers, apparently with an almost spontaneous response to the Marlins' offer, suddenly decided both premier prospects were available for a hitter on Cabrera's extraordinary level and a top-of-the-rotation lefty such as Willis.

The more I think about this trade, the more I like it. The Tigers no longer think like a small market team! This is the sort of move Mike Ilitch would make with the Red Wings. Win now, and trust your front office to continue draft well, allowing you to make trades such as this, while still build for the future. That philosophy has worked for the Red Wings for many years.

Something else that comes to mind...

Thank God we've moved past the "Oh no, what if this is the John Smotz trade all over again?!" talk.

More as I find it...

7:40 PM - Morosi has updated his article at the Freep to include all the players Detroit is giving up. It appears the Tigers have literally restocked the Marlins' system with pitchers. For that matter, the Tigers may also be looking to make MORE TRADES...

The package of prospects includes catcher Mike Rabelo, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Eulogio de la Cruz and RHP Dallas Trahern from the organization.

As a result of the move, the Tigers are now willing to move Marcus Thames, Brandon Inge and Chad Durbin.

I'm sorry to see de la Cruz and Trahern go, but considering the return, I'm fine with it.

I can see the reasoning behind putting Thames and Inge on the market. Inge just lost his position to Cabrera, and it looks as if the Tigers plan on using Jacque Jones as LF full time. Personally, I like having Thames' massive power coming off the bench, but if he can get them some pitching...

But why Durbin? The Tigers need decent bullpen arms, and Durbin more than held his own last season.

More to come...

8:00 PM
Baseball Prospectus has a few things to say about the monster trade, and it's all good...

Here’s the key number in this deal: Four.

Four is the number of relatively cheap arbitration-eligible seasons that the Tigers are picking up between Cabrera and Willis. Half of the league is willing to bend over backward — perhaps giving up a package analogous to what the Tigers just gave up — for one season of Johan Santana. Although Willis is not the pitcher than Santana is by a long shot, he’s an excellent buy-low guy who was mostly victimized by some poor defense and some poor luck in Miami last year, and an extremely viable #2/#3 starter. And Cabrera might well be the equal of Santana in terms of 2008 value. In terms of overall value, the Tigers are getting perhaps three times as much incoming value as the Red Sox might get for one year of Santana.

Four is also the number of high draft picks that the Tigers will get if Cabrera and Willis eventually depart for free agency. For a team that drafts as aggressively as the Tigers do — those picks could turn into four more Rick Porcellos — that’s an extremely non-trivial factor.

Finally, four is the number of American League teams that make the playoffs. This trade addresses clear areas of need for the Tigers, and could easily be worth as many as seven or eight games in the wins column. From my vantage point, the Tigers, Indians, Yankees and Red Sox are now in a four-way tie for the Best Team in Baseball heading into 2008; it’s going to be fascinating to see which of the those teams is the odd man out.

As BP astutely brings up, when you look at what Santana was going to cost in both prospects, and a massive contract extension, the Tigers made a much better choice in going for the younger, and for the time being, much cheaper, Cabrera and Willis.

Think this forces the Twins' hand in their trade talks with the BoSox and Yankees?

8:30 PM - I just received a message from a local media member that has a well known love for all things Cleveland, WDFN's sports director Matt "The Diesel" Dery. He speaks for all Tribe fans, and it's safe to say that he's NOT happy...

"what a joke. that lineup is illegal."

Knowing that a knowledgeable member of the baseball elite, and a big time Tribe fan to boot, HATES the deal (As a fan), it makes me feel that much better about the trade. Sorry Matt...

More as it comes along...


  1. al,

    im glad you like the deal as much as I do.. i was hoping you'd cover it and im glad you are... this is a great day for detroit and tiger fans everywhere... im just dissapointed that i am in calgary with NOBODY to talk to about this... what a great deal!

  2. Jon, I have to say, that sucks. Thank goodness for that series of tubes called the internets to keep you connected.

    I LOVE the deal. A unquestioned superstar and and legit #2 or 3 starting pitcher for prospects? When you've committed yourselves to "WIN NOW?" You gotta make that trade. You just gotta.

    Will we curse the deal in 5 years? It's possible, but unlikely. Cabrera is that good. And if the Tigers get a title or 2 out of the deal? It's worth it.

  3. You get e-mails from "The Diesel"? Dude!