Aside from trying to handicap the Tigers starting rotation battle, the other story of interest was figuring out the last 2 spots on the bench. That picture is a little clearer today with the news the Tigers have traded for Josh Anderson. In exchange they send Rudy Darrow to the Braves.
Anderson (who when I first heard of the trade I got confused with Brian Anderson AND Josh Fields), hits left handed and runs pretty fast (42 steals last year on 49 attempts), and he has hit a little at the minor league level. He’s kind of like this year’s version of Freddy Guzman except that Dave Dombrowski has said he’s made the team (Anderson is out of options). At 26 Anderson isn’t a prospect but could prove useful coming off the bench.
However, the Tigers still have a plethora of outfielders in the mix. Ryan Raburn is likely traded or using his last option. Brent Clevlen? He’s out of options and it looks like he’ll be removed from the 40 man roster. Marcus Thames? His future is also a little cloudy. Jeff Larish? Not sure where he’ll end up either. Clete Thomas, who offers the most similar skill set, gets to develop a little more in the minors.
As for Darrow, he was set to begin this year pitching out of the bullpen for Erie (8.2 K/9,2.5 K/BB between Erie and Lakeland in 2008) . Darrow has an unusual delivery and could prove to be a useful bullpen arm at some point, but it’s a fair price and one I don’t envision the Tigers regretting greatly in the future.
This isn’t a move I really dislike at the moment, but one I really don’t understand a lot either. Man, I’m ready for the roster to just be set and be done with spring training.