If I could choose one word to describe yesterday's trades in short succession, I would choose "whirlwind." Within minutes, the Tigers executed a pair of deals that significantly impacted their 2015 season with surprisingly little long term impact. Add in the usual chaos that goes along with covering such events on our end, and my head was spinning for most of the day.
As you might expect, the reactions to these deals were all over the map. Some loved them, some hated them, and some had jokes. There were hot takes everywhere, and it took a few hours before everyone was calm enough to properly analyze what had happened.
MLive's Chris Iott took a similar stance to the one I wrote about last night, but he's not as optimistic about their overall improvement.
Are the Tigers better equipped to win their fifth consecutive division title and compete for a World Series championship now than they were on Wednesday? That answer appears to be "yes."
But are the Tigers better equipped to the World Series in 2015 than they were in 2014?
That is definitely debatable. As things stand now, the Tigers appear to be about as formidable -- not substantially more or less so -- than they were in 2014. Despite the big splash the Tigers made Thursday, several other American League Central Division teams made improvements during the winter meetings.
After the dust settled, Lynn Henning was praising the newfound balance of the Tigers' roster.
That's the tradeoff, in a nutshell. The Tigers no longer frighten you with their starting arsenal as was the case during the height of the Scherzer-Verlander days when Detroit's rotation carried it alongside the bats of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.
Now, though, the Tigers are willing to bet that a little less pitching and a tad more offense, as well as defense in the outfield, will combine with a yet-to-be-polished bullpen in Dombrowski's and Ilitch's bid to craft another contender in 2015.
He wasn't quite so stoic on Twitter, though.
Tigers must be banking on signing Scherzer to part with Porcello. Otherwise, last July's Price trade makes even less sense.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) December 11, 2014
If the Tigers sign Scherzer, then I'm fine with the trade. If not, they better be getting another piece.— Dave Hogg (@Stareagle) December 11, 2014
Oh, lord ... Simon cost the #Tigers Suarez and Crawford? Yikes.— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) December 11, 2014
If it's Cueto, cool. If it's Leake, sure. If it's Simon, we throw things.— Neil Weinberg (@NeilWeinberg44) December 11, 2014
Guys, Yoenis Cespedes is the Tigers' new left fielder. That is awesome.— Cameron J. Kaiser (@TTownTiger) December 12, 2014
Ah, youthful exuberance. Cameron wasn't the only optimist, though.
Not sure the Tigers got better, but they did get a heck of a lot more interesting.— Braindeer (@PhilCokesBrain) December 11, 2014
One good thing that will come out of today's trades: we get to hear Dickerson call Cespedes bombs all year.— One Hook Open Slide (@HookSlideBYB) December 11, 2014
It is funny that people are bemoaning Porcello and discarding Simon. Simon consistently outperforms peripherals. Porcello underperforms.— TigersProspectReport (@TigersProspects) December 11, 2014
Hell, he spent two years as a groundball pitcher with Fielder and Cabrera on the corners. It's a miracle he's not out of baseball entirely.— OverTheMonster (@OverTheMonster) December 11, 2014
Wait, how did that get in there?!
Tigers grade: B+
Reds grade: B-
There's no way to evaluate this deal for the Tigers without the one below it, but Suarez and Crawford don't seem like a steep price for an averageish pitcher with one season left on his contract. Simon's strikeout rate and slow finish were both red flags, though, and I'm skeptical about his ability to repeat his 2014 season.
Tigers grade: A
Red Sox grade: A
Everyone's a winner! Hooray!
Think about the transaction string for the Tigers: They downgraded their rotation, but improved their lineup while reclaiming some of the prospects they dealt. Cespedes might not be the star it looked like he was going to be in his rookie year, but he's still a player with power, and those are rare creatures right now. Cespedes + Simon helps the Tigers more than just Porcello would. It was a nifty juggling trick.
Finally, the evil geniuses behind the Cespedes Family Barbecue chimed in with a musical interlude.
Welcome to Detroit, indeed.