By H. Jose Bosch
On this here site I argued the Tigers should try to acquire Roy Halladay. Unlike my Tigers exchange partner, I wasn’t antsy about mortgaging the future for potential glory in the present.
Even yesterday morning I would’ve green lit a deal for Halladay involving Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry and Wilkin Ramirez plus any player on the team except for Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson. That probably wouldn’t even be enough, but there’s a reason I’m writing for this site and not managing a Major League franchise.
But once I head of the Washburn deal and then read about its specifics I have to admit that I like it a lot. Right now Washburn is in the middle of a sick streak. In his last five starts he was 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in 36 2/3 IP. And even if he can’t keep up that pace, he’s in the middle of his best season in six or seven years.
Lucas French has been solid in limited action, but he’s still young and he didn’t last more than six innings in any of his starts. That’s critical when Leyland already had to manage Porcello’s inning during the second half of the year. I had never even heard of the other player in the deal, so I’m not too worried about him.
With Washburn the Tigers get to keep a lefty in the rotation and have a veteran with playoff experience to solidify the No. 3 slot in the rotation. Bump Rick Porcello and Armando Galarraga down a spot and you no longer have to be constantly shuffling the bottom half of the rotation.
Prior to this trade Jim Leyland would’ve been spot starting in Porcello’s slot to give the kid a rest and then going with the hot hand in the No. 5 spot (French, Willis again, Bonine or Minor). Now, barring injury, Leyland just has to worry about resting Porcello every few starts.
Of course no moves are made in a vacuum. As exciting as this was for Detroit, its two main competitors for this year’s crown also made interesting moves. Minnesota acquired Orlando Cabrera while the White Sox picked up Jake Peavy.
The Peavy deal could be a very shrewd move if the injured pitcher comes back to top form by the end of the season. But even if he doesn’t, he’s locked into a contract until 2011 with a club option in 2012, giving the White Sox a head start on the 2010 season and beyond.
As for Minnesota, it was a deal that benefited the team (they needed help up the middle) but it wasn’t a move that makes you go “Yes! They are now in it to win it!”
I admit to a possible bias but I think the Tigers are the winners today because they have the surest thing in Washburn; a healthy pitcher (knock on wood) who gives them the toughest 1-2-3 in the division.
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