It's always interesting to read about former Tigers landing with other organizations. After reading PCB's post, I decided to see if I could put together my own roster of former Tiger players. With a little creativity, you can find enough Tiger droppings around the league to make a full roster, complete with a bench, a DL, and even a few extras. Here it is, my all former Tiger team:
Catcher, Rob Brantly- Went to Miami with Jacob Turner in the Sanchez deal last July, and is now their every day catcher after hitting .290 .372 .460 .832 for them in 100 at bats last summer. He is considered one of the up and coming stars on the Marlins this year, and also one of their highest paid players. He makes the major league minimum.
First Base, Carlos Pena- After the Tigers released Pena in favor of Chris Shelton in the spring of 2006, he went on to the Red Sox and Yankees before landing in Tampa Bay. He put together four seasons starting in 2007 averaging 40 home runs, 117 RBI, was twice among the top ten in MVP voting, won silver slugger and gold glove awards. Well, who cares, we've got Prince now, right?
Second Base, Scott Sizemore- After going from the next great prospect to worthless scrub being traded for the previously DFA’d David Purcey, Sizemore caught on with the A’s where they actually care about on base, on base, on base percentage. He continued to battle injuries but managed 355 plate appearances last season, getting on base at a .345 pace with a .778 OPS and 11 home runs. By comparison, Infante had a .300 OBP, .711 OPS and 12 homers in 588 PA between Miami and Detroit. We won't talk about what other Tiger second basemen have done.
Third Base, Brandon Inge- You had to know this was coming. After finishing out the season in Oakland where he hit eleven homers and drove in 52runs in just over 300 trips to the plate, the Tigers’ all time strikeout king has moved to Pittsburgh where he has made the opening day roster. Think he got a recommendation from his former skipper?
Shortstop, Ryan Raburn What? Raburn’s not a shortstop, you say? So what! He wasn’t a second baseman either, but that didn’t stop Leyland from pretending he was. Now, the silly Tribe are going to use him as- get this- the right handed part of a left field platoon. Who ever heard of such a thing?
Left Field, Casper Wells- Just get him, Mr. Dombrowski. Read Should the Tigers trade for Casper Wells.
Center Field, Cameron Maybin- After being sent to Florida in the Cabrera/ Willis trade, Maybin was up and down with the Fish before eventually being
released.traded to the Padres and is quite comfortable. Maybin posted a batting line of .253 .315 .371 .686 with 17 home runs and 66 steals in over 1100 plate appearances in two seasons in Petco Park.
Right Field, Wilkin Ramirez- Never give up. Don’t ever give up! Once a top prospect in the Tiger system, Ramirez was traded to the Braves for cash considerations in 2010 when the Tigers needed the roster space, then released and signed on with the Twins in 2011. Well, after they traded both Revere and Span, guess who has mad the Twinkies’ opening day roster?
Designated Hitter, Cody Ross- Where is Steve Colyer these days, anyway? Eight seasons after the Tigers sent Ross to L.A., he just signed a three year, $ 25 million deal with Arizona that includes a $ 9.5 million option for a fourth year. Ross has had a very nice career, hitting .262 .324 .460 .783 with 122 homers in over 2900 plate appearances. He even has an ERA of 0.00 for a grand total of 10.6 rWAR (no, that’s not Rob WAR).
RHP, Burke Badenhop- The former Tiger pitcher of the year in the system was one of the six going to Florida in the Cabrera trade, and seemingly is the only one that gave them any value from that deal. He was traded to Tampa last year and to Milwaukee in December. BB (cool initials for a pitcher) has made at least 50 appearances, thrown over 60 innings and had an ERA of 3.03 and a WHIP of 1.20 last year with the Rays.
LHP, Andrew Miller- Good thing the Tigers got Miggy for him, because Miller has fallen far short of expectations. The Tigers’ former no. six pick overall has made 66 career starts with an ERA of 5.54 and a WHIP of 1.69. He may have finally found a niche with the Red Sox, where he threw 40 innings in relief last season.
RHP, Edwin Jackson- After an All Star season with the Tigers, but tanking badly in the second half in 2009, Edwin went to Arizona in the Granderson/ Scherzer/ Austin Jackson blockbuster deal. Before the season was over, he went to the White Sox and before the next season was over, went to St. Louis, with Octavio Dotel, among others. He finally inked a four year deal this winter with the Cubs, for $ 52 million.
RHP, Ryan Perry The Tigers’ No 1 choice of the "great relief draft" of 2008 was sent to Washington last spring for Collin Balestar. The Nats didn’t like what they saw in the pen, so they sent Perry down and converted him to a starter where he posted a 2.84 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 13 starts at double-A Harrisburg. Better than anyone Detroit had in double-A last year. Or triple-A!
RHP, Jeremy Bonderman- After injuries wrecked his final seasons with Detroit, He turned down a minor league deal with the Tigers and chose to retire before attempting a comeback with the Twins. Bonderman signed on as an NRI for his home town Seattle club this spring, and had a couple of good outings, but has been knocked around since, posting an ERA of 7.20 in 10 innings, allowing an OBA of .351.
LHP, Luke French- The Tigers sent French to Seattle as part of the aforementioned Washburn trade at the deadline in 2009. He made 13 starts for the M’s last year, posting a 4.83 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, but striking out just 3.6 batters per nine innings. He was released at the end of last season and hasn’t resurfaced.
Closer, Fernando Rodney- F Rod saved 37 of 38 games despite a 4.35 ERA for the Tigers in 2009. So they offered him arbitration, but he wanted a multi year deal. The Tigers received a compensation pick, which gave them Nick Castellanos, and they signed Jose Valverde, who converted all but eight save opportunities in three years as a Tiger. After two years of mediocrity with the Lost Angels, Rodney has found the strike zone with his fastball and was hands down the best closer in the game last year with an 0.60 ERA and a WHIP of 0,78 for Tampa. He has a WBC title under his belt, will be a free agent next winter, and still wears his hat crooked.
RHRP, Chance Ruffin- After being selected in the supplemental first round with Castellanos, Ruffin was sent to Seattle in the Fister trade. He pitched a respectable 14 innings the rest of that season for the M"s, but never surfaced in the majors in 2012. He has been optioned after only 3 innings in spring training this year. Still a prospect.
LHRP Charlie Furbush- Now here is a guy that I’d like to have back, but I’ll take Fister. Charlie made 48 appearances for Seattle last year with a 2.72 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 8.2 K/9 while holding lefties to a .147 average and righties to a .198 average. His 0.79 ERA and 0.75 WHIP were both lowest in the AL among all pitchers (minimum 20 innings). How about Downs, Lobstein, Coke AND his brain for Charlie?
Jason Grilli- After the Tigers traded Grilli to the Rockies following poor performance in the 2008 season, Grilli mouthed off about the atmosphere in the Tiger clubhouse and drew the ire of Jim Leyland, resulting in Leyland’s best rant as Tiger manager. Grilli settled down, still walking four or five batters per nine innings, still striking out more than a batter per inning, and has had two good seasons for the Pirates the past two years, posting ERA’s of 2.48 and 2.91, while dropping his WHIP below 1.20 both seasons. Last year, he struck out 13.8 batters per nine frames. He seems to think he’s Italian, although he was born in Royal Oak.
Casey Fien, You might expect a strike throwing machine like Fien to wind up with the Twins, and he has. Casey was drafted by the Tigers and made his debut in 2009 but didn’t clear waivers when they tried to send him down in 2010. He was picked up by Boston, and released, signed by Houston and released, signed by the Twins who love his strike throwing ability and made 35 appearances for them last season. He posted a 2.06 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 in 25 innings. Not bad, eh?
Brandon Lyon, Lyon chose to sign with Detroit over the Twins because he would be given the chance to close. After getting shelled in spring training, he lost the closer’s job to Fernando Rodney, but rebounded to have a fine season in a set up role. He was offered arbitration, left, and the Tigers took Chance Ruffin with the compensation pick. Lyon signed a three year, $ 15 million deal with Houston, and was traded in a multi player deal last July to Toronto. He signed with the Mets this past off season. Like Timex, he takes a licking and...nvm.
Chad Durbin- After making 19 starts for the Tigers in 2007, being pressed into the rotation due to injuries, Durbin was set to get a nice raise in arbitration, so the Tigers non tendered him. He went to the Phillies where he went back to the bullpen and won a World Series ring. He then had a bad season in Cleveland, a good season in Atlanta, logging over 60 innings every season since he left the Tigers. He has signed a one year contract to return to the Phillies for the 2013 season.
C, Gerald Laird- G$ left the Tigers as a free agent after the 2010 season, won a World Series ring with the Cards, and returned last year to Detroit. He signed a two year deal with the Braves in December. Perfect backup catcher for this list.
OF, Brennan Boesch- I’ve written about him too much this winter, so I’m not going to write about him again. Out of sight, out of mind.
UT, Wilson Betemit- Might have been the better of Baltimore’s two third basemen defensively before they called up Machado (Reynolds was the other), and still the second worst in the league. Hit a respectable .261 .322 .422 .744 while playing some first base, third, outfield, and DH for the O’s. He’s now a free agent who bats right, and plays second, third, and left field. Allegedly.
2B/ PR, Will Rhymes- Jim Leyland’s favorite "dirtball" but least favorite tweeter. Filled in for the Tigers after they let Polanco walk and Sizemore wasn’t an immediate hit. Was part of a deep infield with the Rays last year, and signed on with the Nats this season as a non roster invitee. Not likely to make the club, but you can follow him on Twitter.
2B/3B, Placido Polanco- I won’t go into how the Tigers failed to make an offer of arbitration to Polly and left a first round draft pick sitting on the table and a gaping hole in their infield for the next three seasons. After going back to the Phillies on a three year contract, he moved to his old position at third base and hit .281 .330 .356 .686, while winning another gold glove and making an all star appearance in 2011. Despite battling injuries, he has averaged almost 500 plate appearances over the past three seasons, but he is in decline now. He signed a one year deal with the Marlins for the 2013 season.
DL, Delmon Young- I know, I know, there’s no DH in Philadelphia. But then, there’s no D in Delmon, either, and I had to get him on this list somehow. He was so beloved as a Tiger. He will miss the start of the season but is expected to take up a spot in the Phillies outfield when he recovers in a month or so.
DL, Curtis Granderson- Had 108 homers and 299 RBI in 2896 PA with the Tigers, and added 108 HR and 292 RBI in 1903 PA with the Yankees. He’s averaged 36 HR and 97 RBI with New York which is second in the AL in those three years in both categories. No sooner had the Yankees picked up his $ 15 million option, which he negotiated with Detroit, than he lands on the DL. If the Yankees are sellers at the deadline, maybe......
DL, Colby Lewis- The Tigers picked up Lewis in 2004 off waivers from the Rangers, who had drafted him in the first round in 1999, then let him go after the 2006 season. He then toured with the Nationals, Royals, A’s, and went to Japan for a couple of seasons before coming back to Texas where he has found a home in the Rangers rotation. He pitched very well in two and a half seasons before season ending surgery on his elbow last July. He is expected back around May this season. He had a 3.43 ERA in 105 innings before the injury.
Aubrey Huff- Along with Jarrod Washburn was one of two busts that DD acquired at the trade deadline in 2009. A streak hitter who didn’t hit a lick for the Tigers, went to the Giants the next year and hit the cover off the ball to the tune of .290 .385 .506 .891 with 26 HR, 86 RBI, and scored 100 runs. The Giants gave him $ 20 million for two more seasons, and he went back in the tank. He’s still a free agent this winter.
David Pauley- The "other guy" that the Tigers got from Seattle with Doug Fister looked like a solid reliever, having thrown 54 innings with an ERA of 2.15 and a WHIP of 0.99 up to that point in the season, and solid numbers in 74 innings between Boston and Seattle the previous year. In Detroit, he sat, and sat, and sat, and got hit hard when he got a chance to pitch. He was released early in spring training last year, signed with the Angels where he didn’t fare well, was waived and claimed by Toronto, and is now a free agent.
Clete Thomas- Be honest, do you actually recall that Clete made the roster out of spring training last year? The Twins picked him up off waivers, but took him off the roster during the season. He’s listed as an NRI in Twins’ camp this year. Competition for Wilkin, I guess.