Dave Dombrowski, longtime president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers, has been known to make a splash around this time of year. He has done some of his best work as the MLB non-waiver trade deadline approaches, acquiring a number of players that have contributed to the Tigers' recent dominance over the AL Central. Dombrowski will need to work his magic again this month if the Tigers are going to make a playoff run in 2015. Here is a look at his best and worst moves in the month of July during his twelve seasons in Detroit.
1. 2011: Acquired Doug Fister and David Pauley from the Seattle Mariners for Casper Wells, Francisco Martinez, Charlie Furbush, and Chance Ruffin.
Doug Fister was one of the top pitchers in the American League during his time with Detroit, according to fWAR, ERA, or FIP. Pauley pitched very well in Seattle, but he did not get much work in Detroit and was ineffective when he got a chance.
Furbush has been a very serviceable left-handed relief pitcher in Seattle. Wells bounced around the majors with various clubs and found himself back in the Tigers’ organization earlier this season, but was released from Double-A Erie. Martinez also is back in the Tigers’ system at Advanced-A Lakeland. Ruffin, a former supplemental first round pick, struggled in only 27 innings of major league work.
2. 2013: Acquired Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox for Avisail Garcia and Brayan Villarreal
This was a three-team trade, with Garcia going to the Chicago White Sox and Chicago's Jake Peavy going to Boston. Red Sox fans won’t complain, as they went on to win the World Series with the rental of Peavy -- not to mention a talented young shortstop of their own in Xander Bogaerts -- but the Tigers have an All-Star shortstop who will be with them for four more seasons. Garcia has shown promise in Chicago, but has yet to put his game together.
3. 2006: Acquired Sean Casey from the Pittsburgh Pirates for relief pitcher Brian Rogers
Sean Casey took over at first base for Chris Shelton, who went from red-hot to ice cold to the minors in one short season. Casey hit .529 with a pair of home runs for the Tigers in the 2006 World Series when the other Tigers bats went silent. He hit .353 in the ALDS and .333 in the ALCS that season. The Tigers re-signed him as a free agent after the season and he returned to post another solid year with a .353 on-base percentage and .749 OPS in 2007.
Rogers was called up to the majors for the Pirates in 2006 and 2007, but worked only 10 innings with a 9.28 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.
4. 2012: Acquired Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from Miami for Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly, and Brian Flynn
Anibal Sanchez made three postseason starts for Detroit in their run to the 2012 World Series, giving up just four runs in 20 innings. Although they had to re-sign him as a free agent the winter after the trade. has been a mainstay in the Tigers’ pitching rotation and is under contract for three more seasons. He won the American League’s ERA title in 2013 with a 2.57 ERA in 182 innings. Infante was the Tigers’ regular second baseman for the next two seasons, plugging a hole that remained since Placido Polanco left after the 2009 season.
Turner, the Tigers’ first round draft pick in 2009, has pitched 300 innings in the major leagues with a 4.97 ERA. He is currently in the Cubs’ minor league system. Brantly has caught 98 games for Miami and is now in the White Sox’s farm system. Flynn has pitched 25 innings for the Marlins over two seasons with an 8.64 ERA. He was traded to the Royals for Aaron Crow over the past winter but has only made one appearance for their Triple-A affiliate this season.
5. 2010: Acquired Jhonny Peralta from the Cleveland Indians for relief pitcher Geovanny Soto
This was a pure salary dump by the Tribe, as they even agreed to pay Peralta’s salary. The Tigers and Peralta took a liking to each other, even as the Tigers were headed for a .500 finish in 2010. Detroit declined Peralta’s contract option at the end of the season and then signed him to a three-year contract. He was one of the better shortstops in the game in Detroit. He was a two-time All-Star and batted .275/.332/.433 with 53 homers with 242 RBI in 460 games in Detroit.
Soto was a 21st round draft pick who has never made it to the major leagues. He is still in the Indians’ farm system.
Dombrowski's worst July move came in 2009, when he acquired Jarrod Washburn from Seattle for pitchers Luke French and Mauricio Robles. The fact that this is his worst deadline deal is a testament to how good his July moves have been. The trade looked good when it was made. Washburn had a 2.84 ERA in 133 innings with the Mariners before the deal. The Tigers won four of his eight starts, but he posted an ERA of 7.33 and went on the disabled list for the rest of the season on September 15. He would not pitch again in the major leagues.
There are some post-deadline deals that are not included here, such as picking up Delmon Young from Minnesota, or Aubrey Huff from Baltimore. But when it comes to July's deadline deals, Dombrowski has a stellar track record.
One thing that most of these deals have in common is that the players acquired remained with the Tigers for multiple seasons. The Tigers were also not afraid to trade top prospects or players with some major league experience in order to get the talent they needed to stay in contention.