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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Tigers - Acquired Sheffield
Detroit Tigers - Acquired DH Gary Sheffield from the New York Yankees for P Humberto Sanchez, P Kevin Whelan, and P Anthony Claggett.
The Yankees sure managed to shed Sheff rather quickly after picking up his option, didn’t they? If I’m the Tigers, I do this trade if I can get Sheffield to come to Detroit without extending his contract. If he doesn’t, then I’d probably walk away from this trade. The whole benefit of trading for Sheffield is to get less years/less risk than signing Drew or Lee but if I’m having to lay out 3 years worth of dough, then I start wondering exactly what I’m doing making this deal. Yes, J.D. Drew’s missed a good bit of time over his career due to injuries, a few of the freak variety, but he’s also not going to be 38 on opening day and never missed as much time as Sheffield did in 2006. Plus, he has defensive value and has been a better offensive player than Sheffield each of the last 3 seasons.
Now, obviously, the hard part is getting J.D. Drew to come to Detroit; you can’t just go to the grocery store and add a Drew to your cart. I think the risk of not getting Drew or Lee or someone is worth not giving up Sanchez and risking a ton of dead money in years 2 and/or 3.
Sanchez, of course, has concerns about his arm, but he’s also a very talented pitcher who could really come to bite the Tigers like the Liriano trade bit the Giants (though in fairness, Liriano was more injured and not as advanced at the time, so wasn’t as big a risk). Both Whelan and Claggett could develop into solid relievers, but I’m less concerned about them. If you have to trade some of your minor leaguers, trade the promising low-level relievers and don’t think twice about it.
It’s a nice haul for the Yankees. They not only didn’t have to bribe someone to pick up the last year of Sheffield, they got a nice young arm. If it works out, Hughes-Sanchez-Wang could be a solid rotation core in a couple of years and, as hard as it is to believe from the Yankees of the last 5 or 6 years, cost-efficient.
I don’t think this will turn out terribly for the Tigers - Sheffield’s a talented hitter and hopefully will accept DHing in Detroit. Plus, a big money deal for Sheff could keep the Tigers from giving out good money for the now-incredibly overrated Craig Monroe.
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