Follow-up on Huff trade

To go over some quick nuggets from the Huff press conference earlier:

Dombrowski confirmed the Tigers had interest in him for quite a while. However, he said they were not close to getting him prior to the July 31 nonwaiver deadline. It’s believed the asking price changed drastically from July to now, from number of prospects to ranking of them.

How is he going to be used? Good question. As I wrote in the article, the Tigers cited his capability to play 1B, 3B and LF. Obviously, he isn’t going to be the regular at first or third, and Guillen is currently rooted at DH until and unless he can play 3B or LF. And since they’re LH hitters, they’re pretty much going to be in the lineup on the same days. Could that leave LF? Wherever he plays, he will be in the lineup a lot, according to Dombrowski.

Where will he hit in the lineup? Not sure. If he hits third, the Tigers can keep going L-R-L-R-L-R through the top two-thirds of their order. Some of that, though, might depend on what position he plays and who he displaces.

The Tigers still have to announce their roster move to make room for Huff on the 25-man roster. However, Dombrowski confirmed, it will NOT involve Magglio Ordonez. With Magglio now less than 90 plate appearances away from having his $18 million contract option vest for next season, it appears the Tigers are willing to keep going with him now that he’s producing more than he had. Still obviously not at previous levels, but better than their other options at this point.

UPDATE: Almost forgot to mention that while Dombrowski didn’t eliminate the possibility of another deal, he said he doesn’t have anything else going on.

“I don’t have any other [deal] that I’m working on right now,” Dombrowski said. “But we still have six weeks to go in the season. We’re trying to do anything we can to win within reason. Mr. I has been very supportive of us. You can see we’ve picked up a significant amount of payroll since July 31 in a very tough economy. I don’t have anything else going on. I think we’ve addressed a lot of our needs. We have done quite a bit, but are we in a position where we’re done? I can’t answer that.”

11 Comments

The nuggets. Oh, man, I’m loving this. Aubrey says he’s very excited to be coming to the Tigers as he’s mostly played on last place teams. He was very tactful about leaving Baltimore and the young players they are assembling, but he sounds like a happy camper to me.

Who cares if he is happy! He’s a couple of month rental who will do nothing to diminish his value for next season!!

Quite obviously an excelllent addition at this time. There really is no point in analyzing what we gave up, as we got far more critical help than we gave up.
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LH power bat, run producer, can hit for average and though average in the field, very versatile for us in that he fills the right holes.
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I know Thomas has been struggling but he does run the bases and field the ball better than Raburn. If we need a RHB, Thames and Ordonez should fill the bill. I’d keep Thomas, though I know they are thinking they have Avila, Guillen and Huff as LHB additions since they recognized the neccessity for a LHB.
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Nice work DD. I think you have now done your part and, Illitch, for that matter.

Who cares is he is happy. He is a stretch run rental who will do nothing to diminish is free agency value for next season.

Huffs stats of .253/.321 hide his real value and that he is hitting .324/.411 for RISP, and producing all year with .329/.413 before and .313/.405 post break.
The O’s have normally batted him at 4. I would have Huff come in initially at 3 with Carlos remaining at 5 in his current tear.
As GK’s earlier figures for RISP indicate, a team RISP average of only .20 would have to be one of the lowest on record for a team in first place.

Some people will wonder if Huff is eligible for the playoffs.
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Yes, he is.

80 plate appearances for Magglio’s option to vest- to be exact.
If he is put in a straight platoon, he won’t vest. If he plays half of the remaining games, he will. If I were running the team, he would not. But then, I’d want to reallocate that $ 18 million, and we have a GM that has spent less on free agents the past three years than any GM in the league.

Re whether Magg’s option kicks in or not, Mr. Ilitch is in control and his loyalty to Maggs might be bigger than 18 M. This is one call that is entirely out of Leyland’s hand. Mr. I. might think that Maggs was the true star who brought credibility back to the old English D, even if Pudge was the original “big name’ ahead of Maggs. In a strange sense, this might be more of a baseball decision than an economic one. That would be a true irony.

Greg

Economic times being as they are today and for the foreseeable future, $80-85MM in revenues and $115MM in payroll would make that an emotional decision instead of a logical one. Would be nice to see Maggs turn it up several notches and hit .300+ the remainder of the season and possibly make his contract vesting a moot point. Or as has been posted previously by others, offer to renegotiate for a more reasonable amount and an extension. Maggs looks foolish standing there with 2 strikes and watching strike three go by with a man on scoring position! He gets paid to swing the bat and make something happen.

Jim

Interesting move – glad to see we acquired someone whose rbi’s seem to hold up – something we desperately need. But whenever you bring in a position player and remove a pitcher, I wonder now where does Huff fit on our team? Who stops playing for Huff to start playing? Not saying we don’t need him, but am curious – will he take over the Thomas/Raburn duo?

Figures the Sox win on our off day…

Here is why Ordonez should not be benched:
1–Tigers will have to pay millions in a grievance suit
2–Great player morale vs low player morale
3–They need his big bat right now this year, and it appears that he will still be pretty good next year

add it all up, and it is the difference between paying $3M buyout plus $5M grievance + $5M for replacement FA
OR pay $18M, get a nice morale boost, and maybe have a very good hitter next year

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