Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Contrary to some trains of thought, it is acceptable to overpay for a certain player or position in certain situations. The 2009 Tigers however were not one of those situations. While this has been a welcome return to competitiveness and the organization should be very pleased with the progress made - this is still a very flawed team, and the fact that they're in first place should not overshadow the fact that they're only six games over the .500 mark, and have two teams within a few games of them for the division lead. Could a bat, specifically a corner outfielder, helped? No question about it - this team is struggling to generate offense and beyond Miguel Cabrera the team doesn't have an everyday player hitting above .270. But mortgaging the future with such a flawed team is not the right move in this case - the Tigers are not one player away from being a legitimate World Series contender, nor do they have a stacked farm system that the Tigers could deal from and not be affected by it. If the right deal came up (like the Washburn trade), the Tigers should have absolutely pulled the trigger - but that deal never came, and ultimately the Tigers were wise to sit tight.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Though a bat is desparately needed to compete down the stretch this year, I do not believe it would have been wise to overpay at the deadline. Despite beliefs to the contrary, this year is actually quite similar to 2006, in that we're still ahead of schedule. This organization is still in a building mode, coming back from an abysmal state. Mortgaging some of the farm system for a bat at the deadline -- and likely not getting value in return -- is something they simply can't afford to do at this point in their organizational development. Unless you were looking at a situation where a young player is coming back in return -- much like the Cabrera deal -- then the Tigers needed to avoid that scenario. As it stands, they were able to shore up the rotation, and stand firm in a belief that pitching, defense, and a mediocre offense just might get them to the playoffs, where anything, and I mean anything, can happen. This team is still on track to win regularly down the line. With Verlander, Jackson, Porcello, Cabrera, and Granderson already established or on their way towards that, they have the core to build around, and you can't build around that core by overpaying at the deadline. Good move by the front office to stay the course on the long term development of the organization, while still swinging a deal to improve the club down the stretch.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
While it would've been nice to acquire a bat, you don't do it at the expense at giving away your best prospects for players that the Tigers profiled as DH-types. The Tigers reportedly were looking at Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham and Luke Scott, and they also talked to Oakland about Matt Holliday before he was sent to St. Louis.
The Nationals were reluctant to deal Dunn and Willingham unless they got an offer they couldn't refuse, and Scott's bat has gone south since a blistering May, so I can see why the Tigers didn't want to part with their best prospects for him.
I do believe the Tigers will be able to get a bat during August, especially if more teams fall out of contention and it becomes more of a buyer's market.
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