Since the off-season began, the Detroit Tigers have made some big moves. It all started with Jim Leyland resigning as the Tigers manager. Soon after that the Tigers decided to hire Brad Ausmus as their new manager. Then last month, they made a big move by trading Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Well if you thought that the Tigers would stop there, you better think again because in the last 48 hours, the Tigers have made even more moves. It started on Monday when they announced that they traded Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for NF Steve Lombardozzi, LHP Ian Krol and Minor League LHP Robbie Ray.
Now I personally have mixed feeling about this deal mainly because I am a fan of Doug Fister. While I understand why they traded Fister, I believe Tigers could have gotten more in return for Fister. However, I understand why Dave Dombrowski made this move. While the Tigers lose Fister, they still gain quality in the three players they acquired. When it comes to Steve Lombardozzi, he can play infield for the Tigers. He can also be a nice switch-hitter for the Tigers especially when going up against right-handed pitchers. Then you have Ian Krol who will be used out of the bullpen which will move Drew Smyly into the rotation for 2014. Krol isn’t the most amazing pitcher but he has five specific pitches in his arsenal including the curve-ball, fast-ball and mid-change up as well. Overall both these pieces should be able to help the Tigers.
When it comes to Minor Leaguer LHP Robbie Ray, I must say I am excited to see what this young man can do. He has a nice arm and a solid fast-ball but he is known to have issues keeping the ball in the strike zone. My hope is that he can learn from Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer who are both great power arm pitchers. Nonetheless, he is still expected to make an impact sooner than later but his growth will determine his timeline at this point.
Then early Tuesday, the Tigers decided to sign Joe Nathan to a two-year deal according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Nathan may be 39 years-old but he is one of the few players that continues to play and get better with age. I feel the Tigers have themselves a legitimate closer and true go-to-guy with this signing. Plus he makes the bullpen even more stronger. He’s been one of baseball’s best closers since 2004 and is a six-time All-Star. So I feel this is a great move for the Tigers and a great step towards competing for a World Series Title.
Overall, no one can deny that Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has been incredibly busy this off-season but he has also been extremely productive. I can understand why some fans may have mixed feelings about some of these moves but I think it goes back to trusting and believing in Dombrowski. However, the scary thing is that the Tigers are not done yet, there are still a couple moves we could see the Tigers make before the month is over, so just be on the lookout.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com