Perspective about what the Tigers got for being sellers at the trade deadline
But the degree the Tigers have helped their farm system can easily be overstated. In a sense, what general manager Dave Dombrowski did this week was recoup some of the losses from his previous trades that acquired veteran players for prospects.
Lefty Daniel Norris, who will start Sunday at Baltimore, replaces Robbie Ray, who the Tigers moved in a three-way deal that landed Shane Greene, who although not exactly a veteran, was supposed to provide immediate help.
Michael Fulmer, the right-hander the Tigers acquired in the Cespedes' trade with the Mets, replaces Jake Thompson, the right-hander, who was traded to Texas for Soria last season and then flipped by the Rangers to the Phillies in the recent deal for ace Cole Hamels. Both Fulmer and Thompson were taken at similar points in the draft as high schoolers, but Thompson is a year younger and has pitched longer in Double-A. Most scouts see Thompson as the better long-range prospect, but it's anything but certain.
Corey Knebel, traded in the Soria deal with Thompson and then flipped to Milwaukee during spring trainng, is having a pretty good season for Milwaukee as a depth guy in the bullpen. He has 2.96 ERA, a 1..244 WHIP and is striking out more than a hitter per inning in 24 appearances and 30 innings. More impressively, his average fastball has been 94.8. He is just 23.
Another pitcher from the Tigers' system who has turned into a serviceable MLB reliever is lefty Jose Alvarez. Traded for Andrew Romine, Alvarez has emerged in the Angels' bullpen this season. He is striking out eight hitters per nine innings and has a 1.143 WHIP. He is 26 and was not signed originally by the Tigers, but did represent their minor league pitching depth when called to MLB originally at 24 for spot starts.
The Tigers also traded 2013 first-round pick Jonathan Crawford to Cincinnati in the Alfredo Simon deal He has missed most of this season with a shoulder injury.
Willy Adames, traded to the Rays in the Price deal, is a far better prospect than the shortstop/utility player, Ja Coby Jones, they got in the Soria trade with the Pirates.
Matt Boyd (in Price deal) and Luis Cessa (in Cespedes trade) are fringe prospects, who have outperformed that status this season.
Also, the Tigers saved $12.3 million off the books this season, and obviously cleared salary for the off season to make moves.
It's painful in the sense this has been a genuine contending team for the better part of a decade, and this could get really ugly during the second half. The Tiger have not rebuilt anything yet, including their farm system. But it is a start in the right - and necessary - direction.
My column. Detroit Lions will only go as far in 2015 as these players taken them: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20150801/pat-caputo-detroit-lions-will-only-go-as-far-in-2015-as-these-players-take-them