Fallout from Robertson trade

By now, you’ve heard about Nate Robertson being traded to the Marlins (with cash) for Jay Voss. Just came out of a gathering with Dave Dombrowski to talk about it. Here’s what it means:

  • Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman are in the rotation. Willis will start the series finale at KC on Thursday, April 8. Bonderman, who can’t start that game because of his suspension, will start against the Indians on Saturday, April 10. While Dombrowski stopped short of saying Dontrelle and Bonderman had beaten out Robertson for the spots, he said they would’ve put Robertson in the bullpen had they not been able to pull off the trade. In other words, Bonderman and Willis were in the rotation regardless, according to Dombrowski.
  • With no starter needing to go to the bullpen, the bullpen is now set. Eddie Bonine and Brad Thomas are both on the team along with Jose Valverde, Joel Zumaya, Ryan Perry, Phil Coke and Fu-Te Ni.
  • Tigers have one more roster decision to make for the final position spot between Don Kelly and Clete Thomas. That decision will be announced after the game Wednesday or Thursday. The Tigers were originally saying they’d announce it after Tuesday’s game, which makes you wonder how much Thomas’ shoulder injury is forcing the delay. If the answer is quite a bit, that makes you wonder whether Thomas is the guy.
  • Here’s how unclear the Tigers’ rotation competition was for other teams. One longtime scout suggested earlier this month that Robertson would be the easiest for the Tigers to trade based on performance. Then another scout told me recently that Bonderman was the guy more teams wanted if the Tigers were willing to deal him. That was before the Robertson trade came down. Then there was supposedly a team that had a scout in attendance at Tuesday’s game specifically to watch Willis — not sure whether it was to gauge potential interest or simply assemble a scouting report on him for opposition purposes.

19 Comments

Did Willis find out about the trade right after the third?

I can just hardly believe all this happened. Kept checking the score and Willis gives up 4. Then Miggy hits a bomb. Sure hope this works out for everyone involved.

I have faith in the D-train. Hel’ll have his ups and downs, like the other pitchers, but he seems to have gotten over the worst.

I kinda figured Nate would be dealt. Not the deal I would have suggested but it at least determines the rotation now. I actually feel Nate might have been more dependable than Dontrelle. Dontrelle is certainly more gifted but prone to sudden fits of wildness. I am happy for Dontrelle, let’s hope he can find his former self and end up in double digits for wins and chew a bunch of innings for us.
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I still see Clete as the better choice for the last spot. Kelly just cannot patrol the OF like Clete can. Kelly’s versatility is a plus for him but the downside is it would impact Raburn’s time more than Thomas would.
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I also think they did the right thing with Avila–now give him 35% of the playing time to let him develop too.
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DD unloads another one of his “mistakes”. He sure made some inopportune signings after the WS year.

Let me add on to my first bit of sarcasm. I too am happy for Dontrelle. I hope this works out. It seems to me, though, the Tigers may have thinned out the herd too soon. We will see. 6 days! I can’t wait!

Well it seems they think Bondo can start for them. I have my doubts. I think he has been very unimpressive this spring and expect him to get tagged pretty good by AL hitters.

Donnie Kelly just hit a HR.

How much are we paying of Nate’s salary?

Well, Kelly keeps producing and Clete does have a sore arm. It could well be Kelly’s turn. Lots of outfielders in Toledo.
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3 southpaws in the pen–Brad Thomas must have loved that trade!

9,600,000. Sickening!

IF they were going to release Nate, then this deal makes sense. May as well get a prospect while paying Nate’s salary. IF, however, they would have put Nate in the pen as DD said, well, I get a bad feeling here. I fully expect that we’ll end up needing Robertson before all is said and done. I preferred to put one of the trio in the pen and see what shakes out. What was the rush?
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From a people standpoint, it’s a darned shame they traded a guy who makes his home in the Detroit area.
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Nate will probably thrive in the NL.
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–Rich

Rich, you took the words right outta my mouth! I really dont see this working to our advantage. Both Dontrelle and Bondo are very unpredictable. Not that Nate was the most reliable, but we should’ve kept all three to see what happened. I personally will miss Nates personality. I know that does’nt make a ballplayer, but it does make them more fun to watch. Good Luck Nate!!!! GO TIGERS 2010!

You don’t have to sell me on Ann Arbor, Pup. I lived, worked, and played there for 50 years. Love the place. It will always be home, no matter where I go.
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I know Nate would be unhappy in the pen, but I’m not convinced he would have been there long. I was all for giving Dontrelle a chance, but not yet handing him the keys to the kingdom. Nothing’s been proven yet. All three of those guys were in the final year of their contracts, so why not try and get some use from all three?
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Looks like, from reading my own posts, that I’m not in favor of the trade. So I’ll stick with that position. It’s a bad move. Memories of Figeroa starting game 161 are fresh.
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–Rich

He’s not the only Tiger to live in Detroit anymore, Rich. Inge just announced he and his wife are permanently moving to the Ann Arbor area because they love the school system there. Nice town.
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AS far as Dontrelle, I so wanted to see him pitch more innings earlier. Stated that he needed to go 5 innings to see what we’d get. Well, he was good for 3.

DD has now paid out over 25 million in salary to players on other teams. (Nate, Sheff and Renteria). Wonder if Illitch still picks up the tab for dinner?
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I gotta think Larish is hoping for a trade. He just is not going to be able to play here.
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Interesting that Bonine made the cut. He’ll be in the rotation before Memorial Day.
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Dlugach got some major encouragement from Mr Tiger recently. He’ll be ready next year. and we’ll see more of him in 2010.
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It comes down to Nate unhappy in the pen and losing Brad Thomas. Looks like Thomas gets to show if he is ready for the big leagues again, if not there will be some AAA pitchers waiting. Bonine is the only reliever that can go long. They should have stretched Coke out more in the Spring.
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Zumaya has looked really good since missing time with the flu. Perry has been touched for a few homers and hopefully he will develop more consistancy. Ni deserves to be on the team. Valverde has looked good.
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I am ready for the season.
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Mark

Thanks, Nate for those bubble gum moments. You will fit right in on National League turf. Again, my heart gets in the way. I could never be a Big League GM. I just wish Tigers would always be Tigers. Thanks Al Kaline, Sweet Lou, and Tram. Time to get rolling for 2010.

Greg

Well I like you DavidTiger could never be a GM. I think that we all forget that it is a business, and we put our hearts into it. I have always liked Nate and I am sure that he will do well, he was an upstanding citizen. I can’t help but be nervous about this I believe Dontrelle earned the right to get to start, but I still don’t have a lot of confidence in either him or Bondo and Scherzer really. Anyway I am not crazy about it really.

I can understand looking out for a trade and a chance to dump some salary but picking up $9.6 of the $10m as rumored is dumb given the high risks with all three. Holding out for $3-5m would have allowed some payroll flexibility into the season.
Eddie appears to be the only insurance policy now available for the likely injuries and hiccups that will occur thru the season.
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Regardless of Clete’s minor injury, Kelly has to be given the first shot being out of options and will likely be picked up. Our outfield depth is far greater than infield particularly if Raburn struggles defensively and looses confidence again in the IF, a possibility with his limited appearances.

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