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Thundercat, Go? Joyce Traded to Tampa

All the anxiety over the Detroit Tigers trading Matt Joyce can now be officially retired. Questioning whether or not he'll be included in a deal to Seattle for J.J. Putz is now a moot point. Why's that, you ask? I'll let FOX Sports' Ed Price explain:

The Detroit Tigers are set to acquire right-hander Edwin Jackson from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Matt Joyce, according to a major-league source.

Tampa Bay, with David Price on the way, had a surplus of starting pitching. Jackson, 25, was 14-11 this year with a 4.25 ERA.

In exchange the Rays get a 24-year-old, left-handed-hitting corner outfielder who hit 12 homers in 242 at-bats.

This past season, Jackson started 31 games for the American League champion Rays, finishing with a 14-11 record, 4.42 ERA, and 108 strikeouts (vs. 77 walks) in 183.3 innings. He's got good stuff, throwing in the mid-90s, and can mix that up with a slider and change-up. Jackson sounds like just the type of starting pitcher the Tigers could use next season.

But if Tampa dealt him because they had "a surplus of starting pitching," what exactly is Detroit faced with now? We could chuckle and say that the Tigers only really have three starters for next season (and that's if Jeremy Bonderman comes back healthy), but unless they do something with Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson, the Tigers have six guys bidding to be in the 2009 rotation. Seven, if you count Zach Miner (and I would like to).

I'm still trying to figure out what I think about this deal. I don't like giving up Joyce. I liked what I saw from him this season - a decent left-handed bat with power, with good defense in both left and right field - and think he would've helped the Tigers quite a bit next year. And do you see many young position players walking through the door at Comerica Park these days?

Plus, you know, Joyce rescues kittens. Who doesn't like that? I didn't want to see him go in a deal for Putz - and that move would fill a crying need on the roster - so that probably means I'm not on board with him being traded for Jackson.

What I'll tell myself as I sign off for the night, however, is that maybe this trade won't ultimately be judged by itself. Could this be the precursor to another move? Might Jackson be flipped in another deal? Did Dave Dombrowski do this, knowing he has something in the works for one of his other starting pitchers? Then this trade might make sense to me. Right now, however, it doesn't quite smell right.

(Hat tips to ThaWalrus9 and Blake from The Spot Starters for elbowing me awake with this news)

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