Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera Leave the East
Dontrelle Willis AND Miguel Cabrera have been traded to the Detroit Tigers.
HOLY S !
In what is the biggest blockbuster in years, the Marlins have dealt both of their most coveted players to the Tigers in return for outfielder Cameron Maybin, lefty starter Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo, and pitchers Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz and Burke Badenhop.
I don’t even know where to start with this one. On the one hand, I’m ecstatic that a.) Cabrera and Willis have left the division, and the National League; and b.) that the Yankees obtained neither of them.
However, this trade is a real head-scratcher. I thought for certain that Cabrera was worth at least that type of package — and possibly more — all by himself. I may not be a good judge of talent, but I believe that Miguel Cabrera is hands-down the best hitter in baseball not named Albert Pujols — and possibly as good or better than Sir Albert. And in return the Fish get not one player with a full Major League season under his belt.
Would I rather have Andrew Miller or D-Train? Tough one, I’m not really sure. Yes, Willis had a tough 2007, but he’s already succeeded at the MLB level while the jury is still out on Miller. So call it a wash, I suppose, since Miller has tremendous upside. But, Willis was once a Cy Young candidate, is still only 25, and Miller’s ERA in 2007 was nearly 6. I mean, jeez, Mike Pelfrey‘s numbers were startlingly similar to Miller’s last year, and they’re about the same age (and height). Does that mean the Mets could have traded Pelfrey for Dontrelle? Would we have been happy with that deal?
As far as Miggy goes, I doubt the Mets could have made a play for him. But it makes you wonder. We know Cameron Maybin has a world of potential, but is he definitely ahead of where Lastings Milledge is now?
Mike Rabelo is the 28-year-old version of Mike DiFelice, so don’t even give him a second thought; he’s filler in this deal (actually, since all the other kids in this deal were pitchers, the Fish needed another receiver to help catch them all). Dallas Trahern is a 22-year-old righthanded starter who has moved quickly through the Tigers’ system, pitching a game in AAA last year. Baseball America said he had the “Best Slider” in the Detroit organization back in 2005, and was #8 in their “Top Ten Prospects” list. From the scouting reports I’ve read, Trahern actually sounds a lot like Pelfrey — he depends on a low-90s sinker, has at best an average slider, and doesn’t strike out enough batters.
Eulogio De La Cruz was #6 and had the “Best Fastball” as well as the “Best Curveball” in 2006. The 23-year-old De La Cruz got into six games with the big club last year, and projects to be a closer with his 100-MPH fastball and knee-buckling curveball. However, he tends to get erratic (can you say Jorge Julio?) so he may be a few years from MLB duty.
Burke Badenhop sounds like a sorry excuse for a poorly groomed infield, but in fact he is a 24-year-old righthanded pitcher who has had success at every level. However I don’t know a thing about him other than the stats. Where the heck did Detroit find all these young pitchers?
So the two most notable stars on the Marlins have exited, with Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla remaining. Suddenly, though, the Fish have a remarkably talented and young corps of pitchers who have lots of potential. I’m not worried — at least, not about 2008. These young arms will take a few years to mature.