The hot topic on this site and in talk radio has been about the possibility of the Tigers acquiring John Smoltz for Joel Zumaya. Apparently the idea was floated on Baseball Tonight and heartily endorsed by John Kruk. This is all just silly.
Let’s pretend for a moment that there is truth to the rumor. While there would be a nice symmetry in terms of reaching back to 1987, that is about at the only level the deal looks good. The Tigers are still six weeks away from the trade deadline. They don’t know what the race will look like by then. Will they need help to push them over the top, or will they be well on their way, or will they be out of it all together? They don’t know how much help they will need.
Even assuming that the Tigers need another arm to get them into the playoffs will John Smoltz provide that much of a lift? As Nick points out in the comments to this post, the trade only makes sense if the Tigers minus Zumaya and plus Smoltz are significantly better to make a difference.
Now notice I said that there could be a scenario construed where trading Zumaya could be prudent. I’m working off of my own personal tenants which are:
Now moving beyond the assumption that the rumors are real, there are strong indications that the Braves will never trade Smoltz. They’re having a bad year, but far from being ready to blow everything up and start over. This trade isn’t going to happen.
In Detroit we’re accustomed to trade rumors, but it is more other teams looking to add for their playoff runs. Now the reports are coming out that Dave Dombrowski is asking about Carl Crawford, Aubrey Huff, Livan Hernandez, Alfonso Soriano, Geoff Jenkins, and a whole host of other players. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a general manager. I’m just not expecting a trade anytime soon.
I guess trade rumors can be fun for some, and I even enjoy it during the hot stove league. I enjoy discussing possible trade targets and looking for players who could upgrade the team. But discussing specific trades that will never come to fruitition can make you crazy.