The Tigers have acquired Aubrey Huff from the Orioles for Brett Jacobson. Joel Zumaya has been moved to the 60 day DL. “Huff is a quality major league hitter, who adds a lefthanded bat to our lineup and brings versatility to our club with his ability to play numerous positions,” Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski said. He has batted .324 (34×105) with runners in scoring position this season. An announcement on the move for the 25 man roster likely won’t come until tomorrow when he reports.
Conference Call Notes:
- DD: Huff adds left handed middle of the bat type hitter to the team. They’ve worked on getting a bat for awhile
- DD: Huff can play first, third (spell Brandon), DH, and left field. Hasn’t played left since 2006. Huff is happy to play any position and play in a pennant race.
- Huff will be a free agent after this year (currently Type A)
- DD: Brandon Inge isn’t going on the DL
- DD: no correlation between Jacobson move and possible Turner/Oliver signings
- DD: not sure how much Guillen can play in the field but would like to have both bats in the lineup against right handed pitching
- DD: Huff passed through waivers – he wasn’t claimed by Detroit
- DD: Tigers are taking on the remainder of Huff’s salary
- DD: Magglio is not the corresponding roster move
More to come…
While Aubrey Huff is having an off year, it’s hard not to like this move. Mike Rogers has done the math already and it works out well for the Tigers with Huff likely adding a fraction of a win over the last 7 weeks of the season. It’s not an earth shattering amount, but he can fit this team well for the stretch run and the price was certainly acceptable. Brett Jacobson was the 4th round pick last year and stands a decent chance of playing in the bigs by next year or the year after. But he was one of he bevy of relivers the Tigers took last year and he isn’t Perry/Satterwhite/Weinhardt.
Huff is a couple years removed from playing 3rd base, and while Dombrowski didn’t have specifics on his playing situation (that’s up to Leyland), I’d venture a guess that he gets about 4 starts a week and that one of those come at third. The others will likely come in the outfield meaning less time for Clete Thomas (presuming he doesn’t draw the short straw), Marcus Thames, and…perhaps Magglio Ordonez.
Since the beginning of August Leyland has gone away from the platoon arrangement, and instead has been trying to rotate at-bats through his different options. Clete wasn’t holding up his end of the platoon anyways and this move may help in the Ordonez-not-vesting scenario. Look at how these PA’s breakdown:
- Guillen -60
- Thomas – 54
- Ordonez – 46
- Thames – 38
- Raburn – 29
Guillen will still DH against all righties, but there is room to spread a lot of those at-bats around. And I really think Thomas sticks because I think they prefer Thomas’ glove in the outfield in late innings at the very least.
Expecting Huff to produce isn’t a pipe dream given his track record. Lee notes he is a streak hitter, I didn’t know this about him but I’ll trust Lee’s info because I trust Lee.
Mostly though I like this move because there is so little risk involved. Huff is a pending free agent. I doubt he gets an arbitration offer if he is a Type A because chances are high he’d accept because I don’t know that he’d get a more favorable deal on the open market where the receiving team would have to cough up a first round pick. If he slips to Type B there’s a good chance the Tigers net themselves a sandwich pick.
Links and such
- Huff is on Twitter @aubreyhuff