It had been talked about all year. The Detroit Tigers needed to amp up their bullpen before the trade deadline. So they did that by sending 19-year-old Single-A prospect Danry Vasquez to Houston for reliever Jose Veras.
General Manager Dave Dombrowski had to act quickly when he heard it was likely that SS Jhonny Peralta would be suspended this week. He took care of that too, getting upstart SS Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox.
Peralta is expected to be suspended this week in connection with the Biogenesis Clinic. While there were preexisting options within the organization to replace him, the Tigers nabbed Iglesias, who is one of the top prospects at the position in the league.
Detroit parted ways with Avisail Garcia (to Chicago White Sox), the rapidly rising outfielder, and reliever Brayan Villareal (to Red Sox). Boston received Chicago’s highly-touted, but highly inconsistent Jake Peavy in the three-team deal.
Detroit receives Iglesias as they sit 16 games above .500 with a 2.5 game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central.
Iglesias had a .330 batting average this season with Boston, very appealing. But he also had a .270 average over parts of four season in the minor leagues; not so appealing. He has just eight career home runs to show – six of which were in the minor leagues. His OBP isn’t even that great, at just .333.
Iglesias’ glove, however has been compared to that of SS greats like Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel. He has an unreal range, and will certainly help guys like Fister and Porcello, who get a lot of ground ball outs.
Veras comes from a struggling Houston team, and could be the answer to the Tigers’ bullpen problems (along with the departure of the reeling Villareal). Veras had a 2.93 ERA and 44 strikeouts with Houston. He could possibly be the missing piece in the bullpen, complimenting Drew Smyly as a setup man for a man finally settling into the closer’s role – Joaquin Benoit.
So, how did the Tigers do?
Jose Veras trade grade: A-
Veras was a solid pickup. He already proved that, getting a 1-2-3 eighth inning in Tuesday’s win over the Nationals. He should settle in well. They also get brownie points for helping out the new guys in the AL with a young but promising prospect.
Jose Iglesias trade grade: B-
Iglesias is a great fielder. Or so they say. But his bat is a little shaky when you size it up against what was given away. Garcia (“Mini Miggy”) showed signs of greatness last year when he was first called up, hitting .319 and playing a role late in the season, including the playoffs. This year he was down, at .241, but there is so much potential that giving him away, especially to the hated White Sox, brings this trade down to a C+ caliber. The reason the trade gets a B- overall is because Villareal is gone, and Jake Peavy is out of the division.
Tigers trade deadline grade: B+
With the given circumstances of the Peralta situation and the improvement of the bullpen, the Tigers made out pretty well, considering that they made two of the biggest trades at this year’s deadline. Two moves that could have earned an A would be either Joe Nathan or Jonathan Papelbon, or the acquisition of former Giants closer Brian Wilson (free agent signed by Dodgers) for the future.
All in all, the Tigers made the right moves, and likely boosted their chances of taking the next step that fans are begging to see: a World Series title.