Strike One: Scott Harris Botching The Trade Deadline
Whenever you get a new executive on a professional sports team, you have to give him or her the chance to succeed or fail. One good trade doesn't mean overall success, and one bad trade doesn't guarantee ultimate failure.
But with the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) trade deadline now passed. Detroit Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris has made his first mistakes since joining the organization last year.
It is inexcusable for the Tigers not to get anything of significance for the impending free agents that the Tigers had on their roster before yesterday. Let's start with the obvious:
NOT TRADING E-ROD IS A HORRIBLE MISTAKE
It's one thing for the fans and media not to know that Eduardo Rodriguez (pictured above) had a modified no-trade clause. I didn't know that he had a limited no-trade clause until I heard the news that he nixed the proposed trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But if Scott Harris didn't know that the Dodgers were on E-Rod's no-trade list (how could he not), he should have. Why go through all the work to set up a trade with a team that Rodriguez doesn't want to play for? And why didn't Harris know to send him to a team that wasn't on E-Rod's list?
The Tigers had to trade Rodriguez. Barring an injury, he's going to opt out of his deal and hit free agency this winter. You can't afford to let him walk and not get anything for him. The Tigers are going to do just that...strike one.
YOU COULD'VE GOTTEN MORE FOR MICHAEL LORENZEN
The Tigers at least sent their All-Star pitcher to a contender, the Philadelphia Phillies. But they only got ONE prospect for him, ONE. He is minor-league second baseman Hao-Yu Lee. At least the team got a position of need. But they should've gotten more for an All-Star pitcher.
YOU COULD'VE GOTTEN SOMETHING FOR SHREVE AND CISNERO
Jose Cisnero and Chasen Shreve are also free agents after the season. And not trading either of them is a mistake, too. Contending teams always need bullpen help and getting something for both of them would've been a good thing. They both have experience and Shreve is left-handed. Maybe one or both of them will be back next year, but not moving them now is a mistake, IMO.
BAEZ, BOYD, AND CABRERA DON'T COUNT
I don't count impending free agents Javier Baez, Matthew Boyd, and Miguel Cabrera. Miggy is retiring and the team is planning to celebrate his Hall of Fame career in September. Baez is almost certainly not opting out of the last four years and $98 million on his deal (An Al Avila mistake, but a big one). And no team is dumb enough to take on that contract in a trade. And Matthew Boyd is out until probably 2025 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has no trade value.
The jury is still out on whether Scott Harris will be able to rebuild the Detroit Tigers into contenders. He's only been here one year and has drafted only a year's worth of talent. He deserves a lot more time. But I'm a lot more skeptical after the failures that I've seen in the last couple of days.
How could you not trade Eduardo Rodriguez? HOW???!!!