Tigers trade Sizemore to Oakland for Purcey

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT — Scott Sizemore was the Tigers’ second baseman of the future a year and half ago, as Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said after the 2009 season. On Friday, he became part of the solution for the Tigers’ relief help of the present.
Detroit’s deal sending Sizemore to Oakland for left-handed reliever David Purcey was very much a here-and-now trade, as Dombrowski indicated when he talked with reporters. They don’t have a clear-cut replacement at second base at the moment, more like a group to platoon that now includes just-recalled Danny Worth. But they felt they needed to do something about a bullpen that has been bleeding runs lately and doesn’t have a clear seventh-inning order to it.

“The problem we have, of course, is that we’re trying to win games,” Dombrowski said. “We’re trying to help our offense. But one way I look at it is right now, [our scouts] all think that he can make our bullpen stronger. And as you know, we need to make our bullpen stronger. So hopefully, if this helps us with another step of that, and we get [Joaquin] Benoit throwing the way he’s capable of throwing, we’re [better].

“We’re in a spot that we do have other alternatives at second base at this time. And unfortunately, if he was out there hitting a bunch, I’m sure we would be having a different conversation. We just haven’t been successful in getting him going.”

They found their bullpen help with an arm Dombrowski said he had been pursuing since last winter. Purcey was a former first-round pick of the Blue Jays who tried and failed as a starter in Toronto before finding a home in relief last year. He posted a 1-1 record with a save and a 3.71 ERA in 33 games, but the secondary stats were more impressive.

Left-handed hitters batted just .163 (7-for-43) against Purcey last year. Right-handed batters didn’t fare terribly better with a .235 average (19-for-81). The ERA became elevated with help from 15 walks over 34 innings.

Purcey opened the season in a Jays bullpen that had an abundance of left-handed talent. After he gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in a third of an inning April 11 at Seattle, however, Toronto designated him for assignment, leading to a deal to the A’s.

Purcey found his better form in Oakland, where he limited opponents to a .191 average while scattering three runs on nine hits over 12 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out seven.

“He has an above-average arm, good breaking ball and a good changeup,” Dombrowski said. “We’re looking at somebody who can probably pitch in middle relief, seventh-inningish I would think, somebody that can fit in leading up to [Benoit and Jose Valverde].”

Purcey is expected to fly to Detroit Saturday morning and should be available for that night’s game. He’ll join another lefty-loaded bullpen, but Dombrowski said they see him as more than a lefty specialist.

Sizemore, meanwhile, is headed to join Triple-A Sacramento. It’s another stint for him in the minor leagues at a level where he showed in April he can hit. But it demonstrates a point Dombrowski made, that a return to Toledo made little sense.

Sizemore arrived from the Mud Hens earlier this month with a .408 average (31-for-76) over 23 games and enough extra-base potential that Detroit called up him to replace Will Rhymes at second. He went 3-for-4 with a double in his first game up, but hit just 11-for-59 (.186) in 16 games since. All of those hits were singles.

“Just couldn’t really find my stride,” Sizemore said. “I felt like I was starting to swing good for a couple days, then had a setback or two. Just couldn’t really get it to click, and that happens over the course of a baseball season. You’re not going to hit good forever. You’re going to have hot streaks. You’re going to be in slumps. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to carry out my hot streak long enough up here. I guess this is the result of it.”

Add it together, and his .222 average is two points lower than his average with Detroit last year, when he was coming back from ankle surgery.

“He had that nice short swing, hitting the ball to the opposite field the first day he was here,” Dombrowski said. “All of a sudden, it’s not the same swing — a little longer, taking some pitches on the outside part of the plate that he [once] drove. We’re not putting any pressure on him to drive the ball or anything like that. It’s just, I don’t really know the answer. We don’t know the answer. It’s just right now, I think if he would just settle in and be comfortable, then eventually it could happen for him. But we don’t have that luxury.”

For now, they’ll mix Worth with utility infielder Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn, both of whom has started at second in Detroit this year.


There’s got to be more to it than this. It doesn’t make a lick of sense otherwise. Purcey is coveted? Please. LH hitters are lighting him up to the tune of a .400 BA this season, and his career numbers are in the category of “a used ball bag.” Somebody got some ‘splainin’ to do. Meanwhile, “we just felt that Sizemore was ready to step in” had turned into David Purcey. Not that I was a Sizemore fan either, I was never impressed with him.
Did they bring up Worth to assure that Santiago remains on the bench?

That comes from nowhere. Many fans would like the same little patience with a couple of guys there

Magglio is supossed to play a couple of games in AAA. Does taking bp at Copa means he will be activated without rehab?

interesting to see how the latest saga at 2b plays out…does raburn get back into the mix there? does ramon become the primary guy with worth playing against lefties? thinking outside the box, could they move peralta to 2b and have worth step in at SS? is there another trade for middle IF in the works? when was the last time tigers had this much controversy at one position?

Losing Polanco was the worst move the Tigers have made in a while. Look at the hole it has left. He was just what the Tigers need now. A great contact hitter, good on base % and a knack for driving in runs. Oh yeah and a gold glover. Dombro spent the same money on Damon and resigned Inge that would have kept Polanco here. Tigers are going no where again.

Raburn at 2b is a disaster.

Just think of the trades possible once we finish cornering the lefty market……

Add another one on Raburn. He must have caught the foul.
Avila was wrong too. You dont try to catch that throw. You move your body to block the ball and keep it in front of you

I agree that Sizemore wasnt cutting it. He seems like he is a 4A ballplayer. Just cant get over the hump. But for someone who was the “cant miss” 2nd base replacement to Polly; it is awfully quick to give up on him. This guy was in the Futures Game 2 years ago.
And getting just Purcey is giving up. Being in Toronto, I have seen enough of him to know this guy is “just a guy”. Infact, I will predict he will drive many of us nuts because he goes into bouts of not thowing strikes. The Jays jettisoned him out very quickly this year.

I think he was a first rounder so maybe they think they can fix him but I dont know. We’ll see, but right now I dont think it was enough.
I hope they use the same measuring stick for other regulars who arent producing but that might be wishful thinking.
Go Tigers.
— Bob

Do you know who was in the Future’s All-Star game for the Tigers last year …… Wilkin Ramerez. Know what happened to him the next month…… released.

Rick had better start getting his pitches down – got a lucky break with Ortiz.

Plate discipline grinds pitchers down when their not used to it. Rick is starting to fall behind the counts. Ellsbury’s landed about 15 feet left from Ortiz’s foul shot.

My goodness, go to work, come home and all this stuff has happened. Feel for Scott, but maybe he’ll have better luck somewhere else. I’m thrilled for Worth. He can play 2nd, 3rd, and SS. Just very surprised they gave up on Scott. He wasn’t doing anything for us, however.

A 6-2 game, one out, Austin on 2nd and we have Raburn bunt? How is he batting 3rd with .106/.143 from his last 47AB’s during May?

BoSox are the biggest whinners in baseball. Gonzales and Youk crying at home plate over call 3rd strikes.

Good point Portwineland.
Nobody is guaranteed to make the bigs. But this management sold us that Sizemore was the answer to Polly and I dont think a full chance was given to him. I was never convinced he was the answer but we were told he was. I dont think he was done right by.
— Bob

Thanks Bob. I liked Sizemore…. but he was not going to be a game changer. I know nothing about the pitcher they got in return.
I used to think the Futures Game meant something, but after the Tigers just dropped Wilkin after he played in it, along with another team (AZ) trading the Futures guys for pretty much nothing I have begun to think that game is all hype.
How bout Charlie Furbush? Looks great.

I know the horse is already dead an buried but, Raburn struck out on 3 pitches. Why is he batting 3rd or better yet why does this defensive liability that strikes out way too much have a spot on the Tigers roster?

I don’t know. It just doesn’t make sense to me either. He’s (Raburn) had an awful spring.

Did anyone else notice the look on Victor’s face after he scored? Didn’t look very happy and then he was holding his right thigh in the dugout. He’s still hurt, evidently. They better be careful with him, if he isn’t already re-injured. ,

Polanco playing 3rd, batting 3rd, hitting .320, with 28 RBI’s for Philly makes this trade even more distasteful. They couldn’t come up with 8 mil or whatever to keep arguably the best complete player, and leader by example this team had? Polanco that is.
The trail of trades and FA signings the Tigers have made since 2006 has kept the team solidly entrenched at the .500 level. Meanwhile Cleveland unloads and reloads with farm talent and is competing again. I’m not sayin’ they’re for real yet but with 30% of the season in the books, they’re playing good baseball. Is it management?

I meant to add….Thank goodness Jhonny P. and V Mart are leading by example or we’d be under .500. To credit management, those two are very good signings but I’m worried about Victors legs. Watching him lumbering around 3rd is painful.

I love Polanco. He didn’t want to come back. Said so himself. So you all are complaining about a draft pick. I will say it again, Polanco was a FREE AGENT, he CHOSE to sign in Philly. Detroit could have offered arbitration, but if Polanco (who seems like a man of his word) is telling the truth, he wanted to play elsewhere, specifically his old team the Phillies.
Do you credit DD for the Polanco-Urbina trade?
Polanco pales in comparison to his worst move, trading Jurrjens for Renteria.

That’s all true. But why not offer arbitration to obtain a draft pick? And why feed us a line about “we just felt Sizemore was ready to step in”? Were we acting in good faith to Polly by making it easy for him to sign with his chosen team? Were we acting in good faith to our own fans by lying about the reason? The Polanco-Urbina trade was a good fleecing, brought about by Philly wanting to make room for Chase Utley and us getting rid of a guy who had just started a fight on the team plane or something.

I’ve always believed that are deals made behind closed doors we know nothing about.

Maybe he promised not to “talk” about the team to get what he wanted.

QUESTION ONE: Why did Lamont send Martinez home when we’re trailing by four runs with one out in the 9th? Victor barely made that.
QUESTION TWO: Whose idea was it for our #3 hitter to bunt a man to third with one out and trailing by four runs? Or was that a weak attempt to bunt for a hit?
IMPRESSION: This team looks totally dysfunctional from top to bottom. The only one I see doing his job correctly is Paws.
I’ll be glad when Boston is gone and we can go back to being the .500 club we’re supposed to be.

Don’t get me started on Gene Lamont, Rich.

it looked like a personal bunt in order to go on base. he almost made it

BTW–as to Sizemore’s D—the guy can make some great plays going to his left. To his right is a whole other story and the relays on the DP shows signs of fear and apprehension. He will improve—not for us. Our starting 2B (what a joke that whole charade was) of 2010 is no more.
Shame on the DD for the whole Polanco/Sizemore episode.
He did nothing right in this affair.

Up the middle would be not so bad with Worth, Santiago, Avila, Jackson.
Peralta can play 3rd.
Of course the question mark becomes 2. Can Worth AND Santiago hit will enough?
Hopefully DD has some other plan to get us a 3rd baseman or shortstop.
Worth is a guy who needs to be given a look. I have no positive feelings regarding Iorg.

I just read that ryan Raburn has ascended to the throne we know as 2B
Oh my. A JL/DD “Hope & Dream) move once again. Place an untested player at a pivotal position thinking that he will be able to handle the job PLUS will be reinvigorated and magically empower his bat at the same time.
Remember when Sheffield said the reason he wasn’t hitting was because he needed to be playing defense. And management bought into it!
This is a desperation move. DD could not save face demoting Sizemore after the fiasco of appointing him twice to the job. Bye-bye Scott.
Meanwhile veterans are allowed to stink at the plate aal the while essentially saying they are not going to change the way they play (hit).
Our 3 top starters have not pitched well this rotation. How far can this team possibly go unless these guys wind 70% of their games?

We’re going to hang around .500 IF we don’t have that second half nosedive. The one thing that could improve that is IF we acquired a guy who invigorated the team. Problem with that is, you can’t just go out and choose that guy. Those things just happen of their own accord. Two divergent examples: we picked up Polanco in the middle of 2005 but the team actually got worse. The 2005 A’s picked up Jay Payton and that put them on a roll. Go figure this stuff.

What are the chances of getting a win to stop another streak starting?
The A’s apparently want to convert Sizemore to being a 3rd basemen.
Sounds familiar.
Will be interesting to see how that pans out.

I had been a big fan of Ryan but a player that doesn’t turn up until July should never be your main game.
Unless you have signed him for 2 seasons.
He is now our everyday 2nd basemen and hitting 3rd? Dumb and dumber.
When will the SOC realise he has no reliable 3rd whilst Maggs is injured and just move Miggs up?

I’ve just completed a round of taking the fan’s temperature, that is, reading some discussion boards. It’s no surprise that they’re unhappy and frustrated, bordering on mutinous. The latest hoo-raw surrounds putting Raburn at secondbase, and here I think many are missing some things. Raburn, although hitting .200 right now, is not a .200 hitter. Inge is a .200 hitter, but not Raburn. Ryan will begin to hit more soon. Regarding him being a defensive liability, that’s true, but his original position was secondbase and if he’s to play at all, that’s where it should be. This is the reality of it at this point in time. And I stress at this point in time. My only problem with this move is if JL bats him third. It’s not the time for that, and if JL can’t see his way fit to move Cabrera and Martinez up a slot, we’ll continue to flounder offensively until and if Ordonez returns looking like his old self.
The bigger issue I see is that this fly by the seat of the pants approach we’re seeing is out of a desperate need to win this year. We seem to be going from a club that’s trying to win while developing players to a club that’s just trying to win somehow some way. That’s a dangerous place to be in the long scheme of things.
I’m going to have to stick with my position that the majority of the team’s problems stem from the on field management staff. With a nearly complete personnel changeover in the past six years, we continue to look like the same club. That’s management, or as I call it, team culture.

Meanwhile Boston is making a mockery of the top two teams in the Central division. The road to the World Series will definitely have a stop in Beantown. They don’t do it all with money either.
I looked at our results so far and it looks like some 42 or 43 of our games have been in losing or winning streaks. That’s out of 50 played. Kind of eye opening. We go W-L-W-L about once every full moon.

Actually Rich, Cleveland is 4-2 vs. the Red Sox this year. We’re the ones who haven’t been able to beat them this year, yet. Agreed, Boston’s looking like the team everyone thought they would be.

Cleveland also had Boston at the beginning of the year when Boston couldn’t do anything or win anything. We are getting Boston on their upswing, bad timing fr us.

I have this awful feeling that Oliver is not going to fare as well as Charlie and Wilk did.
I think it is unfair but for this team to really become successful they need AJ to perform up to ALL Star material. And they need Brennan Boesch to become a thumping machine and a difficult out. When these two guys are playing up to their potential it is a much better team.

I like Rich’s assesment of things. I am not one to ‘hope and dream’, I believe too much in personal responsibility. I am watching the team and listening to Leyland tell me that the ‘youngsters’ are nervous about their jobs. He is probably right, in that they need to just relax and have as much fun as possible playing as hard and fast as they possibly can. Hit the ball, hit the ball run! run! (me cheering on the 4 year old)

Cleveland plays Boston TEN times. This schedule is nuts. We’ve got 9 games with Seattle and, unless I read it wrong, we play Oakland 9 times with only 2 of the games being in Detroit. Interleague play causes this? If it does, it needs to go. I thought only the NFL had easy and tough schedules. Oh I forgot, Selig wants MLB to be just like the NFL.

Nobody looks at who you beat or when, gk. When October rolls around, the only thing that matters is who won more. By the way, when Cleveland was beating Boston in April, we were losing 4 out of 6 to Seattle. We may have caught them on an upswing, but we got them at home. You gotta at least hope to split with them.


Both are true. Bad timing for us and you have to at least split with them at home. At this point, I’ll take one. Talking about Boston caused me to compare their start to our 2008 club. Both teams started out 2-10 but the comparison ends there. While Boston has gone 27-12 since, our guys went 19-20 over the same timespan. Our season wasn’t lost in the first two weeks, it was lost when they couldn’t shake off the first two weeks.

You know the old saying it’s not about who you play it’s when you play them.

Sorry I commented. But while it is true we lost a bunch to Seattle, Tigers are not all that great, and are as streaky as they come. Still Boston lost most of their games the first three weeks and Cleveland beat them then. Teams go through ups and downs and Cleveland was up then and Boston was down. So I don’t agree it can make a difference.

in my opinion should have sent raburn and sizemore in a package deal just to get rid of useless players all together i mean come on raburn is no 2nd baseman he belongs in the minors and sizemore will succeed elsewhere hes got talent unlike raburn.

oh yeah, VMart did look mad, figured he was mad he was sent home and yes, did notice his slight grab of the leg. He isn’t fully healed but we need his bat. His run meant squat if no one else scored, another silly call by our 3b coach.

Tigers are a mess. Too many strikeout hitters. Dombro should have spent all the money that was wasted on Damon and Inge and kept Polanco. He’s a high on base% guy who had a knack for knocking in runs and a gold glove 2nd baseman. Letting him get away has left a huge hole in the lineup.
Coke’s got to go back to the bullpen. Let’s hope Oliver stays and does a good job.

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