Tigers teammates react to trade
Can’t say what Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera — or Carlos Guillen, for that matter — think of the Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson trade, but got a sampling from a couple current Tigers.
Why does this matter, you ask? Because it matters to manager Jim Leyland.
“I think one of the big keys is how well our veteran players react to this,” Leyland said Wednesday. “If they react the proper way, with a positive attitude and the proper approach, I think this is gonna work out great. I really do.”
Catcher Gerald Laird, himself the subject of trade rumors this offseason, tried to put a good face on it. He talked with his younger brother Brandon, a Yankees prospect, about the talent coming over from New York.
“It’s tough to lose two guys like that, to lose one of your top of the rotation pitchers and your starting center fielder which was a big part of our success and a big face-of-the-franchise type guy with the community and the team,” Laird said. Obviously, it’s a tough trade because they’re two really good guys. But I’m sure Dave [Dombrowski] and the organization have their mind set on a direction they want to go, and I’m sure they’re making decisions they feel is best for the team.”
It’s a direction change Laird wasn’t completely foreseeing when the Tigers lost their AL Central tiebreaker two months ago.
“You look at it and, yeah, we didn’t get to where we wanted, but we felt like we had a really good year,” Laird said. “We felt like we had a really good core of guys. To lose those two guys, that’s when you think, ‘Wow.’ [Granderson] is a big time player, and he’s definitely going to help New York out. He’s a tough player to lose. The guy is a remarkable talent and a remarkable person. But I feel we have a good group of core guys that I think can help us win.
“It’s one of those things where guys are going to step up now. I’m sure Nate’s ready to bounce back and Bondo. I think we’re still going to be a solid rotation, but to lose a guy like [Jackson], it’s definitely tough.”
With the shift towards youth, Laird said, comes some added responsibility.
“It’s going to be up to the veterans to welcome these guys and help them out as much as we can. The better they fit, the better they’re going to be.”
Laird was playing golf when he heard the news.
“I kind of just shook my head and said wow,” he said.
Reliever Zach Miner, now potentially an elder statemen in a young Tigers bullpen, took a pragmatic look at it.
“I think all of us understand the way the business of baseball works,” Miner wrote in an email. “It would be
naive of any of us players to think we would have the same teammates all of our
career, and if management and the coaching staff feel this was necessary to keep our
team moving in the right direction, then we have to trust their judgment.
being said, it will be hard to replace Curtis and Edwin’s production for our
team, and in my opinion impossible to replace Curtis’ leadership in the
clubhouse, on the field, and in the community.”