After some extensive reflection I’ve come to the conclusion that this deal will never really sit well with me. By never I don’t actually mean for eternity, but at least until the fruits of the trade bear some sort of championship or something. That isn’t a reflection on the players the Tigers received, more on the circumstances and the players they let go. Still, there are ends to tie up and dots to connect and other miscellany in need of blogging.
The Tigers are plus 2 on their 40 man roster once this deal is made official. Jon Morosi tweeted that the Tigers have let it be known that Bobby Seay, Dusty Ryan, and Jeff Larish are on the trade block.
I can see trying to get something for players who aren’t in the plans, and it’s clear that Ryan isn’t a Jim Leyland favorite (and they signed Robinzon Diaz to a minor league deal today), but why hold space on the roster for Dontrelle Willis or Don Kelly?
In the last 2 days the Tigers have picked up 3 left handed bullpen arms. The Tigers dropped Clay Rapada but they still have Fu-Te Ni and Seay on the roster. Now Thomas is kind of a question mark but the Tigers expect him to help at the big league level. Daniel Schlereth may need more seasoning in the minors and it remains to be seen if the Tigers will use Phil Coke in the rotation or the pen.
But more and more signs point to Seay being non-tendered. Seay would likely make about $2 million so that could potentially be another opportunity to save $1.5 million.
Given today’s moves, and even allowing for a return by Seay, I have estimated the Tigers payroll to be about $115 million heading into 2010. In 2011 that committed money drops to $49 million with Magglio Ordonez’s option and $34 million without. Of course that only accounts for 3 players so the Tigers would have some holes to fill.
Unfortunately I do believe that today’s move will have a negative impact on attendance before the season even begins. People are pissed and I’ve heard many say they are cancelling their season tickets. It wouldn’t surprise me to see outrage and empty checking accounts combine to knock down the season ticket base by 3000 which is roughly a quarter of a million tickets. It gets worse if the Tigers record sinks and let’s face it, this team isn’t as good as last year.
Despite being bummed out that Granderson is gone, the reviews of the trade from around the country have been mostly favorable. Keith Law, Dave Cameron, and Rob Neyer have all said that the Tigers did well. Danny Knobler talked to several executives that thought the Tigers got a real nice collection of players. Mike Rogers put some estimates on performance and salary and things seem to work out well in that regard as well.
I’ll just reiterate now that when I speak ill of this trade, it isn’t the players the Tigers got back. I think the Tigers got a decent package. I just never wanted to part with Granderson in the first place.
Dave Dombrowski has made a number of bold moves in his career. He traded Randy Johnson for Mark Langston. He turned some blockbusters as the Marlins GM and the Miguel Cabrera trade was epic. But if this trade doesn’t work out (and we won’t know if it works out for a couple years), this will be his legacy in the Detroit due to Granderson’s popularity. It takes guts to make a move like that.