At 4:00 pm on July 31st, major league baseball's non-waiver trade deadline will have passed. That doesn't mean that players can't be traded after that time, it just means that they'd have to either clear waivers or be traded to the team that has the priority claim on them. The Tigers got Aubrey Huff and Delmon Young in such a manner in the past two seasons. The real values, though, are much more likely to be found before midnight on Tuesday, while there are no restrictions on clubs trading players.
The Tigers already made one big deal, acquiring Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante for prospects Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly, and Brian Flynn. But Dave Dombrowski is not done shopping yet. There are reports that the Tigers have been looking for a right handed bat, preferably an outfielder, such as the Mets' Scott Hairston.The reason is apparent when one looks at how several key hitters in the Tiger lineup have fared against left handed pitching.
|Player||2012 Avg, OBP, SLG, OPS vs LHP's|
|Delmon Young||.278 .297 .478 .775|
|Brennan Boesch||.243 .291 .320 .611|
|Jhonny Peralta||.234 .327 .426 .753|
|Quintin Berry||.224 .240 .367 .607|
|Andy Dirks||.208 .367 .333 .700|
|Alex Avila||.204 .333 .296 .630|
|Ramon Santiago||.174 .264 .326 .590|
|Gerald Laird||.172 .258 .345 .602|
|Ryan Raburn||.167 .222 .262 .484|
|Omar Infante||.309 .320 .526 .846|
There is no urgency for a selling team to make a deal until the last day before the deadline. They may as well wait and be sure that they get the best offer for the players they're trading. So it's not uncommon to see the prices, in terms of trade value, remain too high until the last minute. This is especially true of a player on a non contending team that will be a free agent after the current season ends.
All that being said, I have created a short list of players that Mr. Dombrowski might pursue before the trade deadline.
|Player, Team||2012 Avg/ OBP/ SLG/ OPS vs LHP||
Josh Willingham, Twins
||.274 .386 .789 1.175
||.249 .368 .514 .882||$ 7 M/ Year thru 2014|
Cody Ross, Red Sox
||.305 .383 .720 1.102||.272 .342 .521 .863||$ 3M/ Free Agent after 2012|
|Scott Hairston, Mets
||.308 .341 .617 .958||.272 .332 .444 .776||$ 1.1M/ Free Agent after 2012|
|Mike Cuddyer, Rockies||.260 .355 .583 .938||.300 .389 .569 .958||$ 10.5 M/ Year thru 2014|
|Shane Victorino, Phillies||.320 .396 .567 .963||.315 .394 .527 .921||$ 9.5 M/ Free Agent after 2012|
Martin Prado, Braves
||.348 .394 .525 .918||.274 .344 .435 .779||$ 4.75 M/ One Arb year left
Reed Johnson, Cubs
||.333 .379 .543 .923||.308 .347 .475 .822||$ 1.2 M/ Free Agent after 2012|
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
||.253 .320 .517 .837||.257 .330 .470 .800||$ 19M/ Year thru 2014|
To be perfectly honest, I don't even know if all of the players on this short list are available, but they are all on teams that are out of contention or on the bubble. Prado can also play in the infield, and the Tigers reportedly tried to get him before the season began. There are rumors circulating about all of these players, and more.
Soriano is not worth nearly the amount that he is making, and the Cubs would have to eat a lot of his salary in order to deal him. Victorino has little, if any, surplus value in his contract. Several clubs have reportedly expressed interest in Willingham, but the Twins are not willing to trade him at least so far. Boston has resisted the idea of becoming sellers, being just 4.5 games out of a playoff spot with just two months left. There are always a few clubs that wait until the last hours before the deadline before they throw in the towel on the season. The Phillies are one such club this season.
Players acquired after the trade deadline are typically veteran players with fat contracts, and their current clubs are looking to dump their salaries. Young and Huff would fit into that category. The Tigers may be able to find a DH/ corner outfielder in that group, but the more popular players will have difficulty clearing waivers after Tuesday's deadline.