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Afternoon prowl: Reaction to the Nate Robertson trade

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With Kurt waiting for his emotions to simmer down before he posts (Trust me on this. Here's Kurt's words about his feelings at the moment over today's events in a short email, "it's complete disgust"), let's see what the rest of the baseball world has to say about Nate Robertson being sent to the Marlins, and Dontrelle Willis' elevation to the starting rotation.

John Lowe at the Free Press has the reasoning behind the trade from Dave Dombrowski, along with thoughts on everyone involved:

On the trade: "We knew we had to make a decision as far as the starting rotation. We’ve had three guys battling for two spots, and even though we were prepared to put one of them into the bullpen if we needed to, we felt it would be better if (the pitcher that didn’t make the rotation) went out and pitched.

"All three of them continued to throw the ball well, and clubs were watching."

Rogo from the aptly named DesigNate Robertson has mixed emotions about his blog's namesake leaving Detroit:

In other words, he sucked. And he is namesake of this blog due to being so terrible, yet almost universally loved by Tiger fans along with Brandon Inge and Clete Thomas.

However, Robertson was capable of eating innings and at times showed signs of being a decent middle-of-the-rotation starter. Nate was always described as a great guy off and on the field.

John at Tiger Geist makes arguments for the trade:

Bonderman is the only pitcher who has a chance at being with Detroit in 2011; so he wasn’t going to be traded. I felt he could have been decent in the bullpen while the team figures out whether or not Robertson or Willis could actually pitch. Detroit probably feels that Eddie Bonine is better in this role.

Samara at Roar of the Tigers looks back at Robertson's career (and facial hair) with the Tigers:

Nate Robertson has been traded to the Marlins. Pretty sure this means Bondo and Dontrelle are in the rotation. PAWS PRESERVE US.

Nate has given us plenty to remember him by: Gum Time, the Pitching Goggles of Great Majesty, a certain tendency to overfeed gophers, the many varieties of facial hair, etc. He’s been with the Tigers since 2003 and I am sure there will be some Tigers fan, somewhere, who will deeply miss him.

More reactions, after the jump...

Mike at The Daily Fungo says the trade makes sense...looked at in a certain way:

Bottom line? The Tigers were going to get bubkus in a trade for Dontrelle Willis so they moved the most marketable major-league pitcher they had. In that regard, this trade makes sense.

Of course, now the question is: Will the 2010 model of the D-Train be a local or an express?

At ESPN, Rob Neyer doesn't think Willis is going to amount to much, and says Voss' upside is as a LOOGY...in 2-3 years (as if the Tigers don't have enough of them...):

What's a little odd is that Robertson's outpitched Willis this spring, at least statistically. In 20 innings, Robertson's struck out 19 and walked seven. In 15 innings, Willis has struck out 10 and walked eight (both of them have plunked two hitters).

I certainly wouldn't suggest those numbers are particularly meaningful. But considering Willis' recent history, you'd like to see a little more progress in the walks column.

So I suspect that Bonine (and eventually Armando Galarraga) will get more than a dozen starts this season.

At Mlive, Rob Otto calls the deal a smart move:

Bonderman has been solid enough to lock up one spot, and with Willis showing signs that he can be a decent option in the final spot, there was no room for Big Nate.

Beyond the Boxscore gives the Marlins POV, saying they may have found themselves a good reliever in Robertson. Hmmmm...

But today, I think that the Marlins may have landed their next quality short-term relief option in former Tigers left-hander Nate Robertson, assuming that the Tigers are covering the vast majority of Robertson's 2010 salary. Robertson started off his career in Florida and was dealt to Detroit in the 2003 Mark Redman deal, and his solid work earned him a three-year contract extension after the 2007 season. In his first two seasons since signing the extension, he's posted a 6.14 ERA in 218 innings, with a poor 1.59 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

But Robertson has continued to do one thing well throughout his career, and that's dominate left-handed hitters. Robertson has faced over 1,100 lefties in his career, posting a 3.34 FIP and 3.49 xFIP against them, compared to 5.21 and 4.72 marks against righties, respectively. Against left-handers, he misses more bats, walks less guys, and induces more groundballs, making for a significantly better pitcher all-around.

Expect Kurt to chime in late in the day. I'm as curious as you are to read what he has to say!