This is my first fanpost so feel free to provide criticism, hopefully constructive, in case I decide to waste some time until the GM's meet for the Winter Meetings in December, the whole article is intertwined so please read it all to get the idea of what I'm proposing, now onto the jump...
Recent reports being publish say that the Tigers are looking to deal Delmon Young to the Braves in return for Martin Prado. The Tigers are desperate to find an everyday 2nd basemen so that they're not left having a Raburn/Worth (or some variation) platoon at second. First and foremost if Dombrowski and the Tigers can negotiate this trade straight up, I've got to believe they would jump on it right away. First to Prado:
While Prado is coming off a down year he still has the tools to be a productive everyday 2nd baseman. While his 2011 splits, .260/.302/.385/.687, might suggest he's tapered off a little bit, you have to remember that he was moved into left field to make room for Dan Uggla. His combined 2009-2010 splits were a more respectable .307/.354/.462/.816., this while playing the majority of his games at 2nd and while he doesn't walk as much as you'd like he doesn't strikeout nearly as much either at only an 11.9%/PA. On to Delmon:
Delmon Young was a highly touted prospect when the Rays drafted him first overall in 2003. While he's had a decent Major League career to date, he hasn't been the threat the Rays or Twins thought he'd be. He did and okay job when the Tigers hitting .274 with 8 HR and 32 RBI in 40 games after being claimed off waivers. However Delmon benefitted by hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera and his inability to draw a walk is killer for the Tigers, it was clearly evident as Ogondo ate him up in the postseason in multiple AB's against Young. Any hitter will find it increasingly easier to hit not just for power but to hit period when batting in front of the best hitter in the Majors. The other thing the Tigers have to consider is that Delmon is a defensive liability in the Yellowstone Nati...I mean Comerica Park's vast outfield. His Rdrs (defensive runs saved above average) was -4 and that was in just his 40 games at Comerica. Here's what the Tigers should consider:
If the Tigers can solve the second base issue by acquiring Prado for Young then should go ahead and make that trade before the Braves can convince themselves otherwise. The next thing the Tigers should do is seriously look into acquiring defected Cuban OF Yoennis Céspedes. I think both parties could benefit immensely and here’s why:
At reportedly 26 years old, Céspedes is the same age as Young and he has been very productive since breaking in with Granma in 2003. He has hit over .302 in every season since except in 2008 while Young has never hit over .300 for an entire season. In 6 seasons he has averaged 24 homeruns in 60% of a major league season while Young has only hit over 14 once, in 2010 when he had 21. The biggest upgrade in Céspedes over Young is the defensive ability he brings to the table as well as the on-base threat to swipe a bag. Young is set to get a pay raise via arbitration, with reports that should be in the $8 million range. Dombrowski has said numerous times that they will tender him a contract but nothing long-term, why not save the money and instead give a shot to the Céspedes who is said to be looking for a $6 million dollar a year contract??
While realizing that signing Céspedes would be a long shot with the number of clubs said to be interested, it would be a massive upgrade seeing him and Jackson patrolling Comerica in left and center. If he can prove he can handle big league pitching wouldn’t you much rather slot him in the 3 spot in front of Miggy and allow him to see the pitches that Delmon was seeing? Céspedes has a .315/.399/.575 average over the course of his career in Cuba but its safe for one to presume that a slight drop off due to better pitching in MLB but say they were to dip to near Young’s career averages (.288/.321/.428) wouldn’t the upgrades in speed, power and defense be worth the $6 million for a low-mid .290’s hitter that Detroit would have to pony up for Young in the first place if not more??