The Detroit Tigers have been one of the more aggressive franchises in baseball over the last handful of seasons because they are in ‘win now’ mode. Whether it is former team general manager Dave Dombrowski or current GM Al Avila, the man calling the shots has been given the green light by longtime owner Mike Ilitch.
The team has made a bevy of moves over the years the help improve their team right away and increase their chances of winning a World Series. As always, those moves come at a price, some more expensive than others. And it makes us wonder – where are some of those old Tigers farmhands nowadays?
We’re going to look back at some of the more notable deals that Detroit has made to help benefit the big league club. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, speculation seemingly rises with each day on whether the team will buy or sell.
We’re going to go all the way back to 2011 when the Tigers began their four-year run as American League Central Division champions.
1. WILSON BETEMIT TRADE
The first real notable move came about ten days before the trade deadline in 2011 when the Tigers acquired Wilson Betemit from the Royals in exchange for a pair of prospects. Betemit was slotted right at third base and was a significant upgrade offensively over a struggling Brandon Inge at the time. Betemit in 40 games that season compiled .292/.346/.525 slash line with five homers and 19 RBI.
The two prospects Detroit dealt? Pitcher Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriguez. Cruz, 24, last played in 2014 and has a career 2.89 ERA in six minor league seasons. Rodriguez, 26, has just a career .249/.295/.327 slash line in six minor league seasons, getting as high as the Royals Double-A affiliate in 2012. He’s not playing independent ball in the Frontier League.