Now that Prince Fielder and Doug Fister have departed the Motor City via trade, much of the curiosity and anticipation of possible trades this Tigers offseason have disappeared. But pretend that we could travel back in time to October 19th, 2013. The Tigers had just lost the AL Championship Series to the fiery Boston Red Sox. It was a sad day for all of us Tigers fans and yet, there was still a lot of buzz around the team following their elimination from the playoffs. What was going to happen to Prince Fielder after his abysmal playoff performance? Will Max Scherzer win the Cy Young? What was the club going to do this offseason?
A couple of these questions were answered, but one question seemed to have been answered in a dimmer light. And yes, I'm talking about the trades. Not the trades that the team completed, but the ones that they should have completed. Pretend that not a single team has made a single move and the rosters are just what they were when the season ended. So now, I ask you to consider these trades that the Tigers should have completed.
Doug Fister and Austin Jackson for Carlos Gonzalez
Colorado Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez is one of the premiere players in all of Major League Baseball. CarGo has the speed and the fielding ability; but most importantly, he has a bat that any team would do backflips over. Over the past six seasons (minus a few injuries), Gonzalez has averaged 20 HR's and 70 RBI's. That's pretty incredible for a guy of his age.
Now it's no secret that the Rockies are in a bad position. They have a good lineup in Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer, Wilin Rosario, and CarGo. And while having a lineup like that is great, the team has zero pitching. Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa are the club's two best pitchers and they are decent to good pitchers at best. The Rockies would clammer at the mere idea of getting a SP like Fister, who would automatically become the team's #1 starter.
Not only would they get Fister in this deal, but the Rocks would also receive one of the best fielding OF's in Austin Jackson. These two players not only play good on the field, but would bring a bit of fire to the quiet Mile High baseball club. While it would be sad to see these two depart Motown, the Tigers receive one of the elite OF's in the game. It would also work in the Tiger's favor as CarGo could take over CF duties from Jackson and could hit either before or after Cabrera in the lineup. He would be an incredible addition to any team, but if Carlos Gonzalez were to ever come to Detroit, that would be one deadly lineup.
Follow me here...the Miami Marlins have always said that they would never trade Stanton for a sack of marbles and Season 3 of Fantasy Island. But by throwing in Castellanos, whom is regarded as a top prospect, it might just get their attention.
I have always been against the idea of trading Castellanos. He shows a lot of potential on the field and might just be the spark this team needs to win a championship. It would only be suitable to trade him if the team received a top player in return. Giancarlo Stanton is more than a top player; he's an absolute freak. The guy has 117 HR's in 489 games, has hit over 55 RBI's in all four seasons of his career, and has hit over 85 RBI's in two of his seasons. Last year he was out for much of the season and had a hard time getting back into the swing of things, but still managed to hit 24 HR's in 116 games. There is so much more that he could do, especially if he had a good lineup around him.
As for Steve Cishek, he is one of the more underrated closers in the league. He recorded 34 saves during the 2013 season for a very poor Marlins team . He also has the strikeout factor, which is a plus; and Cishek can also be a set up man, long releif man, or closer like he was in Miami. With his versatility, the Tigers bullpen would become a much stronger one with the 27 year old Massachusetts native in it.
To get these two guys, I feel as though Detroit would have to give up Castellanos (like I mentioned earlier), Hernan Perez (who has little use in Detroit with Iglesias, Kinsler, and Lombardozzi), Luke Putkonen (developing pitcher who has the potential/ oppurtunity to start in Miami), and SP Rick Porcello. While giving up Porcello would hurt the Detroit rotation, the team could easily move Smyly to the rotation with Fister was still there. This could be very enticing for the Marlins during their grueling rebuilding period as it gives them the pieces they need, as well as giving the Tigers the pieces they need.
Maybe you're catching on, but I believe the Tigers need a left fielder. Andy Dirks has shown flashes of greatness, but they are few and far between these days. But to other teams, such as the Los Angeles Angels, he could be just what they need, along with a SP. In the Angels outfield, there is Mike Trout, whom is the best all around player in baseball (hard to argue that), Josh Hamilton, Peter Bourjous, Kole Calhoun, Colin Cowgill, and J.B. Schuck. Mike Trout isn't going anywhere; he's the baseball version of the Rock of Gibraltar. I'm going to say that Hamilton's season last year was a fluke and he'll bounce back and continue to be the starting RF. J.B. Schuck is good, but not really an everday player, which is why Dirks could be platooned perfectly in LF with Schuck. Kalhoun and Cowgill could be regulated to bench duty without much complaining from the Halo's fan base. Once again, Rick Porcello would compliment the talents of C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver and fit like a glove into the team's rotation.
As for Trumbo coming to Detroit, he would be quite the upgrade compared to what we're used to in LF. This guy can hit the tar out of a baseball. And while his speed is lacking as is his defense at times, he can fit the role. Trumbo would most likely bat fifth in the Tigers lineup as Cabrera would bat third, and Victor Martinez would bat fourth. Or if absolutely necessary, Trumbo is a guy that can move down the lineup and still be a major contributor. Another upside of Mark Trumbo is his versatility in the field. He can DH if Martinez is moved around a couple of times and even play first base. He's not a superstar, but one of those guys that plays everyday and does his job (which is what this team could use at times).
Any of the trades probably could have helped the team in some way. And while it would hurt to give up names like Nick Castellanos or Rick Porcello, what the Tigers would be getting in return would be huge for the club. Any of those four players would look good in the English D.
Now who says a fan can't dream...