Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cabrera and Willis traded to Tigers

First reported on ESPN's Winter Meetings blog, the Tigers and Marlins have completed a blockbuster trade.

6:20 p.m., from Peter Gammons
• The Tigers have won the Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes. Detroit will get Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from Florida for six players -- Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo and three minor league prospects.

I like this trade for both teams. The Tigers, who quite clearly had the talent to compete in the AL even before the trade, are now probably the third best team in the league behind the Red Sox and the Yankees, with the Angels and Indians right behind the Tigers. The Tigers acquired probably the best young hitter to hit the market in several years who generates big numbers from a prime position at third base. Cabrera's fielding is nothing short of embarrassing, but it doesn't make that much of a difference when he makes up for it so easily with his bat. It also improves the starting staff quite a bit. Willis should slide into the number two spot into that rotation, behind Verlander.

For the Marlins, it gives them two young studs to build around in Maybin and Miller and a catcher for the future in Rabelo. Maybin projects as a good hitter with great speed, and was touted as the best outfielder in the 2005 draft. Miller (who I've always been a really big fan of) might have been the biggest piece of this deal. A hard throwing lefty with a good mental makeup, Miller is going to be a fixture in the Marlins rotation for a long time (at least until they actually have to pay him). His fastball sits in the mid-90s, but he dials it up into the high 90s with ease. His slider is an out pitch as well. Rabelo had a little bit of time with the Tigers this year in the majors but hasn't gotten much of a shot yet. I assume he will be the backup catcher for the Marlins behind Miguel Olivo, and will probably take over by 2009.

This is going to have a resounding impact on the market for all three big-name pitchers available, and will probably drive their prices through the roof. The Twins and the Red Sox are still very close on a deal that would bring Johan Santana to Boston, and that could happen at any minute.

The Mets are apparently having trouble finding a trading partner to acquire a pitcher, which is bad news for us.

There were several other inconsequential deals that happened today as well. I'll do a giant wrap-up at the end of the day and recap everything else. If you're really dying to know what happened, the ESPN blog is a good spot to check for rumors.

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