Dombrowski explains "adjustments"
No fire-sale terminology, no direct reference to the economy. But in explaining the trade that sent Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson out of Detroit and brought in four young players, Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski conveyed the idea that this was a move that had to be made.
“The reality is, no matter what, we needed to make some adjustments,” Dombrowski said. “In almost any scenario, it’s a necessity. But it’s also one of those where we’re in a very good situation with a quality owner that projects to have a really solid payroll as we go forward. But at some point, adjustments needed to be made, and this was the time to do it for us.”
Part of the necessity, while the Tigers won’t talk about it, comes from the Michigan economy. But the other impetus, which Dombrowski admits, came from a huge payroll over the last two years and contracts that have weighed down the organization.
They were very revealing remarks, and they set up this move as the counterbalance to the trade for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis that came out of the Winter Meetings two years ago in Nashville.
“We made a lot of trades over the recent years where we traded a lot of young players for guys to help our big league club,” Dombrowski said. “The Cabrera deal, we traded six young guys. [For] Sheffield, we traded some. …
“When you come on board, you try to turn a franchise’s philosophies around. The Tigers lost for a lot of years. I don’t think people sometimes realize how difficult that can be to do. When you’re losing, there’s usually reasons behind it. One of the things is that you need to upgrade your talent, and our scouts have done a tremendous job at that. But while you’re upgrading, you don’t have the flow of free agents to help your big league club, so you sign some free agents. We made some trades.
“I know myself the last few years, I think what we’ve done well through our time is bring in young players and develop them and bring them up. We kind of got away from it, because we were just in a position where [we asked] what can we do to get this final piece. And I think that this gives us an opportunity to go back to building like we would like and set the foundation.”
He’s ready to take the criticism for trading the known quantity for the unknown, as he put it. But he’s also ready to take the criticism for some of the contracts they made to try to win now.
“Hey, we made some signings that haven’t worked out for us,” Dombrowski said. “And we’re almost through it. But at the time, people thought they were good signings. And sometimes, when you’re making adjustments, unfortunately, they affect you in a different way. Everybody has bad signings on their books, but we’re in a position where some of it’s due to injury.
“I’ve seen it written: Jeremy Bonderman — bad signing. Jeremy Bonderman was one of the best young pitchers in baseball at the time. Now, there’s others that haven’t worked out as well. But really, what ends up happening is, we’re working through that, too, but we’re one year away from working through it real well. And this sets us up to do it.”