Tigers acquire Aubrey Huff

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…

Analysis

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

73 Comments

  1. Coleman

    August 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Wow…didn’t see that coming…

  2. Walewander

    August 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Would much rather have had Luke Scott, but I bet he doesn’t clear waivers. Huff has been awful this season.

  3. Mike in CT

    August 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Does this mean Inge is more hurt than they’re letting on?

  4. mcb

    August 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I guess going 0-16 with RISP yesterday finally hit home.

  5. Sam

    August 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I think the big loser in this move is Clete.

    I see them putting Huff in LF and using Clete for a late inning Def relacement.

    Huff can get on base and work a pitcher.

    His OF defense isn’t that bad (when he has played).

    His range factor at 3B in 2008 wasn’t horrible (he has only played 1B this year).

    A good low risk move by DD.

    • Andre in Chi

      August 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      Not so sure if its not Magglio (or Raburn) that need to worry. Huff actually played RF mostly, in addition to the added 1B/3B utility. Interesting move, we’ll see what it means.

    • anaaki

      August 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm

      I don’t know why they’d punish Clete by sit him down if he plays well in the field and can sometimes deliver at the plate. I would think that it is Raburn who needs to worry, especially after the way he played yesterday.

      • scotsw

        August 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

        Clete Thomas has been just brutal lately with the bat. Yes, he’s solid in the OF, and has some potential at the plate. But he seems to be yet another AAAA player, not a MLB-caliber starter.

        It’s not a bad move, IMHO, but if you’re looking for a 6-week rental, maybe getting a slumping hitter with half as much HR power as Brandon Inge isn’t “the answer.” Huff hasn’t been hot this year. Maybe a change of scenery, and he reverts to the mean? You can hope.

        • Andre in Chi

          August 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm

          He’s been a second-half guy (according to ESPN’s 3-year splits) and immediately becomes the team RBI leader (if you care about that stuff).

          The Tigers (and I) will be happy to let Granderson lead the team in HR if Huff can occasionally manage what the Tigers seem to struggle with: a sac-fly with man on 3rd and < 2outs.

        • anaaki

          August 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm

          He’s not amazing with the bat no, but if our team is supposed to be so defense oriented as they say, I prefer Clete in the outfield over Raburn, and for that matter, Guillen or Thames. And as we saw yesterday, Raburn was screwing up some routine grounders at 3rd. If it were my choice, and it isn’t, I would send down Raburn, not Clete. And when it really comes down to it, I can honestly say I prefer Clete’s bat to Raburn’s.

        • tbliggins

          August 17, 2009 at 5:48 pm

          I prefer Clete in the OF, but you have to figure his days hitting 3rd are over. I like moving Carlos up to 3rd in the lineup w/ Huff hitting 5th.

          • anaaki

            August 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

            I can agree with that. I never wanted him at third. I think Miguel should be hitting there. Carlos wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

  6. anaaki

    August 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks Bill!

  7. Josh B

    August 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    The left-handed hitter should definitely help balance the lineup a bit, but this isn’t Babe Ruth (or Luke Scott) we’re talking about here. Huff’s OPS is .725, which is identical to Magglio’s. That’s about 90 points below his career #s, so hopefully he’ll trend upward.

    Might this be another way to distribute plate appearances to players other than Magglio in hopes of staying away from his vesting option? Anyone know how close Maggs is?

    • Chauncey

      August 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      Last I heard it was approaching less than 100 PA’s until his option kicks in, so they would practically have to sit him for the rest of the year to avoid the option kicking in.

      • Jeff Molby

        August 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm

        100 PA = 20-25 games. Only 45 left on the schedule

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      One reason Huff’s OPS is lower than career is Luke Scott. OK, to be less dramatic, it’s because the Orioles have a lot of lefty bats. So teams run their lefties against them whenever possible:

      Aubrey Huff, OPS
      vs LHP .610 39%
      vs RHP .767 61%

      compare that to Granderson:
      vs LHP .513 28%
      vs RHP .925 72%

      Notice that 72%. Huff will instantly get more ABs vs RHP than he would have as an Oriole, and his stats will improve even without him hitting any better than he has been this season. Or, teams may be less prone to feed us a diet of RHP–which helps our right hand hitters. Either way we win.

  8. Stephen

    August 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    This can’t hurt, might help!

  9. Chauncey

    August 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Its a little harsh to say that Huff has been “terrible” this year, but he certainly hasn’t been great either- however he is just a year removed from going .304/32/108 with an ops over .900, so hopefully he can recapture that down the stretch with a change of scenery.

  10. Ypsi

    August 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I bet that they put Huff at third base and put Inge on the 15 DL….Huff hasnt played third base yet this season but he did play there some last year. Also it is going to be SO nice to have a player who can hit with RISP for a change.

    • Jeff Molby

      August 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm

      In regards to BA w/ RISP: Billfer did a good analysis about team “clutchiness” a few years ago. I don’t have numbers on individual “clutchiness”, but I would suspect that in the grand scheme of things, most hitters have a BA w/ RISP that’s pretty close their BA w/o RISP. Most of the people that would get flustered (or otherwise have an impaired ability to perform under stressful circumstances) don’t even make to AAA, let alone the majors.

      • Coleman

        August 17, 2009 at 5:14 pm

        Overall this season the AL avg BA is .266 (OPS .764). The avg BA with RISP is .268 (OPS .775) (That doesn’t mean that there aren’t individual players or teams with a wide gap). It actually makes sense to me that RISP stats would average a bit better; the more runners on base the more pressure on the pitcher to throw strikes, etc.

        Tigers 2009: team BA (OPS): .258 (.746) with RISP: .254 (.754)
        We’re no better or worse than at other times. The real problem: not enough runners in scoring position to start with.

        One exception (since this is sometimes considered one of the “clutch” stats): stats with a runner on 3rd less than 2 out. Because in this situation you aren’t just looking at if a batter rises to the occasion, etc, but you are looking at a different goal–to put the ball in play to get the run home. I think there are real differences in the ability to do that.

        • Jeff Molby

          August 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm

          You’re on fire today. Relevant stats all over the place and you’ve even resisted the urge to talk about his Pitches/PA. :-)

          Agreed re: individual and team variances, but I bet most of them disappear when you look at an individual or team over a multi-year sample.

          Agreed re: sacrifice situation. That is a distinct skill.

  11. Mark in Chicago

    August 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Low risk move, and he’s a Type A guy at the end of the year. Can’t complain.

  12. westcoasttiger

    August 17, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    There is no way in hell Magglio has to worry. Over the last 30 days he is hitting .308. He is going to vest, and any attempt at this point on the Tiger’s part to prevent it would cause a grievence to be filed (which would be successful). He is driving the ball and appears to have a nice stroke back in time for the final push and beyond. With the addition of Huff, Rayburn seems to be expendable, and the case could be made for Clete to head back down until the rosters expand. Back to Magglio, the Tiger’s don’t need or want any Drama down the stretch(beyond Rodney’s work in the 9th). Screwing with Magglio would create Drama.

    • Andrew

      August 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm

      Yeah, MLB isn’t going to let the Tigers sit Maggs to avoid his vesting option. It was the kind of contract the Tigers had to make to get players back then & it is what it is.

      I’m betting on Clete being sent down. He’s just not getting it done with the bat. I’m sure we’ll see him in September.

    • Andre in Chi

      August 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm

      -Failing to make the playoffs due to a play of offensive production would also create drama.

      -DD has said that the Huff move doesn’t affect Magglio, but if Raburn is expendable, than so is Thames.

      -Even with his scorching August .356/.370/.992 line, Maggs only has 5 runs / 2 hr / 5 rbi to show for it (other wise know as an average Luke Scott game vs. the Tigers). I’m not complaining about the “new” Magglio and hopefully this lasts…but there aren’t many pluses to his option vesting, and several million minuses.

      -On a lesser note, two of those triples Maggs had this month should be credited to Drew.

    • Jeff Molby

      August 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm

      It’s still possible for Maggs to screw himself. If he goes into an atrocious slump in the next week or so, his last few weeks go from “renaissance” to “fluke”. It would have to be a very bad slump, but he could conceivably play his way back into the wrong side of a platoon.

      They’re not going to sit him if he’s pulling his weight, though. DD has a reputation for being an man of his word and he’s not going to trash that over one contract year.

  13. Ken in Vegas

    August 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Good points, westcoast. If we’re serious about winning this division than money is not a deciding factor. We simply play the best we have, and right now Maggs fits that description. I hadn’t even thought about the grievance possibility but you’re right, you would have to assume he would have a pretty good case against us. Our owner is not the penny pinching type and will do what is best for this year’s success.

  14. JJ

    August 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    He can’t be too terrible considering he leads the team in RBI’s.

  15. scotsw

    August 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I’m curious to hear Billfer’s take on this.

  16. Mark in Chicago

    August 17, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Does anyone know anything on Jacobson? BA had him rated as the 10th best prospect which isn’t saying much.

    • Jeff Molby

      August 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm

      Talented, but he’s expendable.

      The Tigers’ other sacrifice, of course, was Jacobson, part of Detroit’s crop of big, hard-throwing relievers from last year’s First-Year Player Draft. He went 1-3 with a 3.74 ERA and six saves at Class A Lakeland, striking out 44 batters over 55 1/3 innings. However, the Tigers already have relievers Cody Satterwhite and Robbie Weinhardt at Double-A Erie, plus Scott Green in Lakeland.

      “He has a good arm,” Dombrowski said. “He’s got good stuff. He’s done a solid job out of the bullpen. He’s not a guy we would like to give up, but considering we’re getting a quality middle-of-the-lineup guy, we had to give up something to get him. I think he’s got a shot to pitch in the big leagues.”

      http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

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  18. Tim D

    August 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Huff’s performance season to date has been disappointing, an OPS+ of 87. At a corner position that kills you. Last year (one of his best) he was at 135. Career 114. It is interesting to note how much he had to hit against lefties in B’more, but we need to see more for him to help. To compare, his OPS+ is exactly the same as Maggs. Suckitude. Larish is the same player, likely better if they would give him an honest chance. Huff is not much of a defender at this point; I doubt you would lose much in a having Larish play 3B or even LF.

    That said, I remain optimistic about the deal because Jacobsen has been a disappointment and it’s a 7 week rental with more draft picks attached. And we know Huff can catch fire. But right now both Thomas and Raburn are better hitters. And Larish is wasted at Toledo. (And BTW, Maggs has quietly put up a .622 SLG in August and I doubt he is going anywhere but RF in Comerica for 2 more years.)

    • scotsw

      August 18, 2009 at 8:39 am

      I think the comparison with Larish is excellent. Larish has a lot of power potential, but he doesn’t get the bat on the ball often enough. He’s prone to big slumps, and needs to put things together now.

      Huff isn’t Barry Bonds, or even Sean Casey. But this year he’s having an off-year, and still looks like an average-quality MLB hitter. So there’s a chance he gets hot and becomes a plus bat for Detroit. Or maybe he ends up adding some mediocrity to the other side of the plate. Low-risk.

      • Jerry the Tiger Fan

        August 19, 2009 at 12:59 am

        Isn’t Sean Casey?? I hope not. If he’s Sean Casey then we’ve whiffed on this deal. We don’t need a singles hitting punch and judy hitter like Casey. That being said, he has far more power than Casey and that is what we need from a left-handed bat right now, especially with a reachable RF fence at Comerica. Plus he gives our batting order some lefty-righty balance. Our lineup is way to right-centric, if you know what I mean.

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  20. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I think this move was made because Raburn stunk it up at 3B and Guillen stunk it up at 1B this past weekend.

  21. Sam

    August 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Raburn’s career fielding pct 3B: .811 with a 2.20 range factor/9 innings.
    Huff’s carreer fieldign pct 3B: .947 with a 2.60 range factor/9 innings.

    Huff will never be considered a gold glover at the hot corner, but he is not the butcher that Raburn is!

    -Sam

  22. Jud

    August 17, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    any move is basically a good move when you have so many players struggling……Baltimore says he is a club house leader. That would certainly be something the Tigers can use , he most likely wouldn’t be now, but long range.

    Do the Tigers HAVE a club house leader????.. I know Smokey says you don’t need one. But I don’t believe that for a second. Only teams that don’t have a good one say that you don’t need one.

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 8:20 pm

      They used to say it was Guillen…which is another reason it hurt the Tigers to have him struggling last season and out most of this season. I think there are different aspects of “leadership” and the Tigers probably have different guys in those roles. Inge seems to handle a lot of the post-game media commenting, and seems to be a kind of team glue / class clown (ever watch him horse around with Cabrera, Laird, etc before games?). He’s the youngest old guy on the team, and the oldest young guy. Granderson’s most likely to be the face at a public event. Carlos has obvious respect from the other Latin players. I’m not sure about the pitchers–Kenny Rogers was practically a pitching coach last season; maybe they don’t need their own leader because they have a, um, pitching coach doing that this season…

      What they are also lacking–the guy in the angry role when things aren’t going well. Pudge had this role for a while, but Sheffield kind of took over. As awful as Sheffield was I enjoyed seeing him playing the ferocious way he did sometimes, especially on the basepaths. Ed-Jack is the only one who has shown any of this kind of spark as far as I can think…

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 8:26 pm

      I meant to add apparently Huff and Inge are buddies; when Inge hit his last HR against the Orioles and was rounding first Huff tossed a handful of dirt in his face, which I guess they both thought was hilarious (I guess there’s a reason you rarely will find “baseball player” and “sophisticated” in the same sentence…)

      http://www.detnews.com/article.....down?imw=Y

  23. Jud

    August 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Grandy who isn’t a lead off hitter 1, but no one else on the team is either.
    Polanco’
    Guillen
    Cabrerra
    Huff
    Inge
    fill in the rest…..looks like a workable improvement

  24. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 17, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I think the Tigers made some significant upgrades with Huff, Avila, and Washburn. This team just keeps getting better and stronger. Really, the only hole in our line-up is Everett, but his defense has been very good lately.

    Laird and Avila behind the dish is working real good.
    The right side of infield with Polanco and Cabrera is playing excellent lately.
    Inge/Everett provide a rock solid left side of the infield.
    The outfield of Thames, Granderson, Ordonez with Thomes shuffling around is working out pretty good.

    A starting rotation of Verlander, Washburn, Jackson, and Porcello speaks for itself.
    Seay, Lyon, and Rodney have been very dependable for awhile now.

    Throw Huff into the mix. He gives us another big lefty bat on the bench that can pinch hit for Everett, but he gives us some insurance at 3B/1B.

    This team has really come together nicely.

    DD and Leyland deserve a ton of credit for not making excuses about all the disappointments and setbacks. They just keep moving forward without looking back.

    • Stephen

      August 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      Off Camera:

      Narrator:The prior blog post was brought to you by ‘The Committee To Keep Dave Dombrowski Employed

      On Camera [man in checked red jacket] I’m Dave Dombrowski and I approve this message.

      Fade To Black

      • Keith (Mr. X)

        August 17, 2009 at 11:23 pm

        You really need to go on a vacation.

        • Stephen

          August 17, 2009 at 11:57 pm

          Mr X, If you can explain how a team can go 14-15 since the all-star break and is currently getting no production from their third basemen, their shortstop, and their catcher equals ‘this team is coming together nicely,’ I will send your entire extended family on a 30 day vacation to the South Island of New Zealand.

          Washburn certainly helps. And if Huff can somehow channel his 2008 self that will be great. Plus, if Inge can get healthy and hit like he did in April that would be awesome. But that’s a heck of a lot of ifs to say ‘this team is coming along nicely.’

          • Keith (Mr. X)

            August 18, 2009 at 1:38 am

            What’s wrong with 14-15? 10 of them games were on the road vs playoff caliber teams. (NY, Boston, and Texas)

            Why don’t you try looking at a few of the other teams for a change? You should at least attempt to compare the Tigers to other clubs.

            The Red Sox are 12-16 since the AS break.
            The White Sox are 15-15 since the AS break.
            The Twins are 11-18 since the AS break.

            Hard to believe I have to explain this to you, but for a New Zealand vacation I will. Hitting is just a small sample of the game my friend.

            The average hitter is going to be successful at getting on base only about 34% of the time. So 66% of the time that player will make an out.
            In a nutshell,
            17% of the game is getting on base.
            33% is making outs.
            The other 50% of the game is playing defense and running.

            That’s catching the ball, throwing the ball, and running the bases. The Fundamentals. Those are things that Inge, Everett, and Laird excel at. Those are the things we didn’t have last season and why we were in last place. Team effort is what helps our pitching and gets us more wins.

            What’s also nice about the Tigers right now is that our offense is finally coming around. Polanco, Ordonez, Cabrera, Guillen, and Avila have been mashing the ball the lately. Check their splits for August and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Let’s hope Granderson gets it going too.

            I won’t be able to go to New Zealand until the end of the year.

  25. Coleman

    August 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Wow the Twins and Liriano look awful–the way they look they should be more concerned about keeping their 6 game lead over Cleveland, than worrying about the Tigers 6 game lead over them. (7 – 2 bottom of the 2nd and TEX still at bat…Liriano over 60 pitches…his only outs of the innings on sac flies…yikes).

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 9:16 pm

      Oops make that 5 game lead over Cleveland

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 9:37 pm

      And Betancourt (Betancourt!?) just hit a 2-run HR and The Royals lead Chicago 3-0…maybe off-days aren’t so bad…

  26. Rich in Mt P

    August 17, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    noob question.. since this is after the deadline, we wouldn’t be able to use Huff in the playoffs, right?

  27. Tim D

    August 17, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    the playoff roster deadline is August 31.

    • Rich in Mt P

      August 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm

      thats what i thought.. oh well wishful thinking on my part. At least Mr. Huff helps us get there.

      • Jeff Molby

        August 18, 2009 at 1:17 am

        August 31st is still a couple weeks away, Rich. He’s eligible.

  28. Mike in CT

    August 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Even when he’s gone, he still manages to bone the Tigers.

    3-2 Royals over the CWS in the top of the fourth, bases loaded and one out. Josh Anderson manages to hit into a doubleplay back to Buerhle to end the inning. Jeez.

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 10:16 pm

      Ha! beat me to it…I was actually looking up to see if Betancourt’s intentional walk was his first ever (4th career actually), when I heard Anderson’s name mentioned and thought “please strike out” but no, he pulls the GIDP.

      He has 5 this season–which for his number of PA (about 200) is high–but it has to be some sort of record for a player as fast as he is. I mean, seriously.

    • Coleman

      August 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm

      At the same time the Rangers were pulling a pitcher who had been decent with 2 out and 2 on, and the relief pitcher promptly walks his first hitter…then the next one…then the next one…then gives up a bases-loaded single, then gets pulled.
      (“And how was your day at the office honey?”)…

    • Mark in Chicago

      August 18, 2009 at 11:15 am

      It got way worse – in the 8th he bobbled a single that let Rios score the winning run easily when he absolutely had a shot at him at the plate.

      He’s awful.

  29. KW

    August 17, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    It looks like someone on Twitter called Huff out for saying something embarrassing about Detroit, but I’m not sure what it was (if it was in a Tweet, Huff deleted it). This is the exchange:

    http://twitter.com/caseyo4/status/3368834806

    http://twitter.com/AubreyHuff/status/3370034516

  30. Jerry the TIger Fan

    August 18, 2009 at 12:29 am

    This is a solid move by Dombrowski. We give up a so-so prospect who is still in A ball for a left-handed bat with some power. It may not work out, but I give DOmbrowski kudos for at least trying something. This lineup with the lack of left-handed punch was easy to pitch against, all you need for confirmation is the number of games our lineup has been held to two runs or less. At least now we can put Huff behind Cabrera so that if MC is pitched around there is someone more imposing there than Maggs or Guillen. At least DD isn’t going to just sit pat (which I was fearful that he was going to do after July 31 came and went). I think Huff upgrades our lineup and I appreciate DD going out and getting a left-handed bat, something this team has been crying out for all season long. If it wasn’t for the better than expected pitching, we’d be 10 games out with our lineup as it was constructed before Huff arrived. We have scored fewer runs than everyone in the AL not named Oakland, Kansas City, and Seattle. That’s not good enough.

  31. Stephen

    August 18, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Here’s a statistical analysis of the Huff trade. It suggests that over the rest of the season Aubrey makes the Tigers exactly ONE run better. Not one game better, not one run per game, one run between now and 9/30 better.

    I don’t quite follow the sabermetrics, but then again I’m not so bright.
    http://www.drivelinemechanics......es-detroit

    • Coleman

      August 18, 2009 at 1:44 am

      I hope they pick the right game to score it in.

    • billfer

      August 18, 2009 at 6:12 am

      I think the math is fine but not the assumptions on how he’ll be used. He wasn’t an awful third baseman and I think he gets a start a week there spelling Inge and probably doing it better than Raburn was doing it. He also assumes he’ll play first/dh which I actually doubt he’ll do much of. And I think he also helps limits Maggs at-bats.

      • RPS

        August 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

        I think the last part of it is the big one. Huff is a slight improvement over the guys he’ll replace, more if he starts hitting again (which isn’t impossible), but is primarily a discount way to take another 10 games or so away from Maggs. Right now, the difference between 22 and 30 starts for Maggs is about 15 million dollars. Huff is just the sort of credible veteran that lets the Tigers get away with it.

  32. Mark L

    August 18, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Someone here was saying recently that he wishes Larish and Raburn could be combined into one player. I think we’ve found him. Just older and a lot more expensive.
    I like this pick-up. We badly needed the left-handed bat, and I like his versatility. I think he should play in left some, at least until Guillen is ready to take the field, and he should give Inge a break every week or so until his knee heals.
    Whoever goes down to Toledo, it will only be until September 1. So let’s look at what we need between now and then.

  33. Mark in Chicago

    August 18, 2009 at 9:14 am

    billfer,

    I’m curious on your thinking why Huff would accept an arbitration offer as a Type A. You know more about that stuff than I do, I just figured that since he’s only 32 he’d be looking for one more long-term contract somewhere. Is it because he’s had a so-so year and wants to try and increase the payday with a solid season? Is it because of the general state of the economy?

    • billfer

      August 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm

      Because I don’t think another team would give up a first round pick to sign him, meaning he wouldn’t get a better deal on the open market. It’s the Edgar Renteria situation.

  34. Stephen

    August 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Mr. X, you make a fair to strong case. I’ll book you and your family on a fourth class steerage to Auckland on a Japanese Whaler. You will have to fillet fish 14 hours a day and the boat will be making unscheduled stops in The Bering Strait, a Manila seaside house of ill repute, and a New Guinea pygmy farm. But the company isn’t so bad. And you can watch the Japanese Industrial League on satellite.
    You leave tomorrow.

    • Andre in Chi

      August 18, 2009 at 10:28 am

      Watch out for those anti-whale-hunting hippies!

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      August 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      I knew there was a catch. I’ll pass. I think I’m better off here in Detroit where at least I know most of the homeless people that sleep at White Castle.