Monday, October 29, 2007

Renteria Deal Could Go Either Way

It's funny. The last line of the Associated Press' story on the Tigers trade Monday with Atlanta for shortstop Edgar Renteria lists Gorkys Hernandez's statistics at Class A West Michigan in 2007. It made it appear as if he was almost a throw-in in the trade when, in truth, this trade was all about him from Atlanta's standpoint. It had to be.
Jair Jurrgens, the pitcher the Tigers also sent to the Braves in the deal, had some success in the major leagues this season, but probably projects out as a fourth or fifth starter. He throws relatively hard, but doesn't have much late life on his fastball nor real good off-speed offerings. His margin for error is limited.
Hernandez is an outstanding prospect. He is one of the fastest players in organized baseball, has good tools otherwise and power potential as he grows. Sure, he was caught in a numbers game behind Curtis Granderson and Cameron Maybin in the Tigers organization, but this deal could come back to haunt the Tigers. The kid was just 19 last season playing against virtually all older and more mature players. Renteria remains a very solid player, but is not the Gold Glove shortstop he was five years ago. His range is lacking compared to then. He hit for high average last season, but drove in just 57 runs. I was on the Tigers trip to Atlanta and he was decidedly underwhelming in that series.
I like the trade from the standpoint it does help the Tigers for next season. Renteria at short, with Carlos Guillen at first, is an upgrade from Guillen at short and Sean Casey at first. It is definitely a"win now" deal - and the Tigers should be thinking that way.
But they gave up a lot in this deal. Time will tell if Hernandez pans out and whether the Tigers win a title the next year or two.
It was a risk, albeit a calculated one by the Tigers, to the degree not that many people seem to understand.

Random Thoughts

- The Lions’ MVP on offense is obvious. It is quarterback Jon Kitna. Not only is he having a productive season and has cut down on turnovers, but he possesses obvious leadership qualities. If Kitna were to get injured, the Lions would be in serious trouble.
But what about defense? The Lions 5-2 start has been built as much on their defense as their offense. Particularly the last two weeks, the Lions defense has been very strong.
In my opinion, the Lions defensive MVP is defensive end Dewayne White. He has played brilliantly in three of the Lions’ wins - at Oakland, vs. Tampa Bay and at Chicago.
I’d say the next best candidate is Shaun Rogers. He is very disruptive in the middle of the line, often taking away the opposition’s running game. He has played better than anyone could have reasonably expected after the troubles he has had in recent years.
I have been most surprised by the Lions’ secondary. I had anticipated it would be a weak link, but rather it has been a strength. Matt Millen gets pounded for his bad drafts. And mostly it is justified. But rookie safety Gerald Alexander, a second-round pick, has played surprisingly well. So has veteran cornerback Fernando Bryant, who was brutal his first couple seasons with the Lions.

- My favorite major sporting event is the World Series. I can’t begin to explain how disappointed I am how it played out this year. I have no vested interest in it, but was rooting for a lengthy and close series. Instead, the Red Sox routed the Rockies - and it was boring.

- I’d still take Jason Hanson over any other kicker in the NFL. He still has excellent leg strength and he handled his special assignments on kickoffs Sunday to combat Devin Hester very well.

- All this Kobe Bryant to Chicago talk can’t be doing too much good for the Bulls’ team chemistry. Good for the Pistons


Blogger maddog52 said...

To me the MVP of the lions has to be who ever decided that running the ball could actually be a pretty good thing. Kitna can't be denied he is the leader that this has longed for a longtime. Jason Hanson is still as good as it gets when it comes to field goals. I mean dude only missed his 3rd field goal out of how many in the redzone. At the same time his accuracy has dwindled a bit on field goals. But still he is a top dog in the league which anytime would sign in a heart beat.

I would agree the world series really didn't have any drama to make it enjoyable. But The Red Sox is just that dominant of a team. I think they would of swepped through anybody they fast in the NL.

How about Hank Zetterberg? Is this guy the real deal or what. The Wings scouting department and Holland shuold really stand up as they found a true diamond in the rough. Nobody in the league including Crosby is playing better.

12:20 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Lions ability to run the ball the last couple weeks has made Kitna a much more effective quarterback. In a different situation, Hanson might be a Hall of Famer. He is that good of a kicker.

10:53 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book,

When do playoff tickets go on sale? Not for the Lions but the Tigers are "lookin' good" as Billy Crystal used to utter. Some are concerned that the Tigers gave too much but I don't figure how they could have given any less and made this deal. Maybin and Miller are not involved so I'm cool with it.

I'm with you about the fact that Gorky Hernandez was the player that Atlanta was targetting to agree to this trade. I wouldn't be surprised if he is a September call-up for the Braves next season. Jurrgens is in this trade so that Braves have someone on their roster to start the season from this trade. Also, Tiger fans shouldn't panic if Edgar starts slow in April and Jair gets a couple of quick wins in the first month. By the All-Star break, I believe that Tiger fans will be happy with the trade.

The World Series did turn out to be anti-climatic after the Bosox and Tribe classic ALCS. Similar to the Stanley Cup final after the Ducks and Red Wings conference final. Those are my two favorite finals championships. And if you put a gun to my head, I'd be dead because I could never pick one over the other. That would be equivalent to choosing one of my kids over the other. No can do.

I concur with the Maddog's assessment of Zetterberg's value to the Wings and prominence in the NHL. Like a diamond, his brillance appears after careful, skillful preparation.

9:48 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, it look like the Tigers gave up a lot but what do you do when you desperately needed a SS. Yes the Tigers overpaid but we needed a SS. Tigers probably got the best one on the market and Renteria is not signed long-term. This deal will not mean anything unless they sign pitching or the young guys develop before next season. I like see Tigers resign Rogers and go after Scott Linebrink or if Rogers retires go after Cordero and Linebrink and move Zumaya to your 4 or 5 fifth spot in the rotation. He should easily excel in the 4 or 5 slot.

9:48 AM 
Blogger mznvz8 said...

Hey Pat, I realize why everyone is worried about giving up Hernandez for Renteria. But, if I am doing the math over the next few years correctly...we have Granderson in Center field for years to come...Maybin will be in left within a year or two, surely ahead of Hernandez, and we still have to keep Mag's out in Right at least another 2 years cause of Sheffield being the DH. When would Hernandez realistically every make the team?

And to your point, if this trade comes back to bite the Tigers in the next year or so, that means Maybin did not turn out to be the Phenom everyone thought he would be. Thus, the Tigers have much bigger problems than facing Hernandez possibly in inter league play, or the World Series. And if it is the World Series, there isn't much of a problem with the trade, now is there?!

2:19 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...


I was hoping for more for shortstop. I don't think this guy Rentiera is the answer. Maybe a kleenex until they can find a band aid. I bet this deal really went down when they traded the Braves Maroth, and this was the effective date.

But I do trust Dumbrowski. Completely.

As for the World Series, after such great drama through the playoffs. That series was not good for baseball.

As long as I keep denying the Lions their due this season, they will keep winning. Therefor I declare - for the good of all fans - the Lions stink.

Thank me later.

Stuck in week 2 in Toronto. Help. I went to a Leafs game last night - blown out by the Caps. Why do I root for these bums. Grapes says hello.

Take care Pat. Go Wings.

9:26 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
There is no answer yet to whether this is a good deal or not. Time will tell. We could tracking this trade for a long time. It's on Renteria. If he plays very well the next two years, especially if the Tigers get to the postseason, it can't be classified as a bust. The only wildcard to the deal is if Hernandez becomes a big star. That's a longshot. My point has been, this guy does have a chance to be that, although the percentage is low. And it is unusual that "high-ceiling" prospects are moved in deal like this. So there was risk involved.

2:43 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I am with you on Zumaya, although we are obviously in the minority on that. I see him becoming an incredible starter because he does have three pitches, and it smooths out his motion. I like both Linebrink and Cordero.

2:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I am with you on Zumaya, although we are obviously in the minority on that. I see him becoming an incredible starter because he does have three pitches, and it smooths out his motion. I like both Linebrink and Cordero.

2:45 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

That's true. The Tigers did deal from a position of depth in center field. However, Hernandez does have a stronger arm than Granderson and, certainly, Maybin. Right field might be a spot for him when Mags is done. I didn't necessarily hate the deal. I want to see what Renteria brings to the table. But I was just pointing out to people it wasn't like the Tigers gave up nothing.

2:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I agree with you about Dombrowski. To me this is about Leyland and him managing the next two years and them going for all the gusto in the next two years and worrying about the future when it happens. It seems like the thing to do, but I'm pointing out they paid a steep price in value for Renteria.

2:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a UofM fan or a Lloyd Carr fan but your recent article about him almost brought tears to my eyes. Even when I haven't agreed with you I have enjoyed your emotion and this article helped me to remember why I love sports. By the way, does the paper archive your articles. My father would truly love to read your article about Al Kaline done last summer. Thanks again. Matt Shankle

10:19 AM 

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