Stop the trade rumors!

Hondo S. Carpenter

Stop the trade rumors!

By Justin Mangan


As we approach the All-Star break, the Detroit Tigers organizations haven’t experienced success like this in almost two decades. A team filled with young raw talent among the pitching staff, and veteran leaders to guide the way. Taking a glance at the young arms consisting of Justin Verlander, Zach Minor, Joel Zumaya, Jeramy Bonderman, Wilfredo Ledezma, and even Mike Maroth, comparisons can be drawn to the Oakland A’s pitching staff throughout the early 2000’s seasons. A staff that carved up hitters while featuring the arms of Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder. Despite all the success the Tigers experienced, what is bewildering about the organization is the eager and willingness to trade some of the young prospects and bring in old crafty veterans that have only a few years remaining in the big leagues. It seems that this win at all cost mentality could end up hurting the Tigers more then helping them if they do pull the trigger and start dealing.

It is understandable to want to break up a team for reason of salary cap issues, rebuilding youth, or if the clubs has a winning percentage that is barley over the Mendoza line; like the current Kansas City Royals. But for the Detroit Tigers of 2006, trade rumors are constantly brewing throughout the organization. First of all, why does a team leading the major leagues in wins so eagerly want to break up a team that day in and day out plays with so much fire? And the fire is not hard to see while watching the game. These guys play with passion, whether its Pudge staying in the lineup by playing first base, the pitching staff shoving their mouths full of big league chew to start a rally, or Joel Zumaya experiencing an adrenaline rush. But the funny part is this, name like Zumaya, Camrin Maybrin, and Mike Maroth, all guys capable of all-star caliber seasons for years to come, keep coming up in the trade market.

The most recent trade rumor consisted of the Tigers fire baler from the bullpen Joel Zumaya. The target of course, Atlanta Braves pitcher John Zmoltz. This trade can be analyzed in so many ways, and none of them make sense for the Tigers. Sure Smoltz was a great pitcher, reached the all-star team multiple years, won a Cy Young award, but he has been around the big leagues for a long time. For a guy who has had Tommy John surgery, and near the end of his career, why would the Tiger Organization want to send one of the brightest young starts of the majors for a guy with one or two years left, and maybe not even good years. I guess it has been the Tigers forte in the future to make trades that never actually help the organization. Rmember the Tigers once had players like Luis Gonzales, Jeff Weaver, David Wells, Juan Encarnacion, and yes even at one point John Smoltz. But in the pat few years it seemed that mistakes like these were over after bringing in stars like Ivan Rodriquez, Carlos Guillen, Placido Palanceo, and Kenny Rogers. Not to mention drafting bright young stars out of college like Justin Verlander, Camrin Maybrin, Kyle Sleeth, and this years top pick Andrew Miller. But back to the Zumaya rumors, this isn’t the first time that his name has come up in a trade. Several weeks back there were heavy rumors that he could be traded to the Florida Marlins for Dontrel Willis. Pitch for pitch Zumaya could still end up being the brighter star in seasons to come.

The trade rumors didn’t stop here as highly touted prospect Camrin Maybrins name also came up involving a deal for Barry Zito. To deal a prospect that contains all elements of the game necessary to dominate the game of years to come, the trade seems a little pre mature.

The general outlook on the Tigers willingness to trade seems too zealous. The organization cannot try to trade their young talent. They have built a team that is in contention for the first time since the ‘80’s, and even has a farm team with potential. Potential that needs to stay put. Potential that is the foundation for the Tigers future, and if they are dealt could end up making the Tigers organization of what has been for most of the ‘90’s. Remember how the Cleveland Indians dominated the majors for so many years in the late ‘90’s, that was because of their farm system.

The bottom line is the Tigers have an extremely competitive roster. A roster that includes a batting order that many consider the best, from top to bottom, in baseball. Not to mention a pitching staff that ranks among the top in the majors. And the thing is, these guys are having fun doing it. Remember the beginning of the season, the Tigers had a roster that looked decent on paper. Now manager Jim Leyland has them playing better than any other team in the major leagues. Sometimes all a team needs is comradely, and not million dollar players like the Yankees whose World Series drought continues to grow. For this 2006 Tiger roster is special and should not become victim to trades, at least not at a winning rate like this.


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