The Tigers didn't get the right offer for Ugueth Urbina in spring training after he returned to the club midway through the start up period.
So, rather than sell him off below his value, the Tigers held onto him, and it turned out to be the best move they could have made, as just weeks into the season, closer Troy Percival went down with a forearm injury, and Urbina shifted into the closer's role.
From that point on, Urbina was simply dominant for the Tigers. In the month of May, Urbina was a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities, including an ERA of just 1.38. It was that performance that earned him the Tigers Pitcher of the Month award.
But with Percival returning, Urbina was likely going to be relegated to setup duty again, something Urbina didn't want, and with the Tigers numerous holes, they couldn't really afford. The necessity to make a move was increased Sunday night when Urbina had a bit too much to drink and began fighting with teammates, as reported by Booth Newspapers Danny Knobler.
So, with Omar Infante struggling mightily and Carlos Guillen set to head to the disabled list, the Tigers made a move, bringing in infielder Placido Polanco in exchange for Urbina as well as infielder Ramon Martinez.
Polanco's role with the team hasn't been set just yet. But it's likely that Polanco will move into the role as the team's everyday second baseman, shifting Infante back into the utility role he filled for some of last season. Of course, that could change quickly, especially after Guillen had to be removed from the game on Tuesday night after pulling up lame rounding third.
Regardless, Polanco, who was hitting .316 in limited appearances with the Phillies, will likely become a fixture in the Tigers lineup and help strengthen a struggling offense.