Five successful Dombrowski-era trades

BY foxsports • July 27, 2012

It appears that the Tigers have made their pre-deadline trade already this year, acquiring second baseman Omar Infante, a former Tiger, and right-handed starter Anibal Sanchez from the Miami Marlins for rookie Jacob Turner, catching prospect Rob Brantly and minor-league pitcher Brian Flynn.

It finally answered the season-long debate of who is going to play second base and gave the Tigers a veteran starter for the rotation.

At this time of year, it's worthwhile to revisit some of the trades made during president and general manager Dave Dombrowski's tenure.

Today we look at five trades that worked out for the Tigers.

1. January 8, 2004
: Acquired infielder Carlos Guillen from the Seattle Mariners for infielders Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez.

There is no question that this trade worked out really well for the Tigers and not so well for the Mariners. Guillen arrived in Detroit right after the Tigers had lost 119 games in 2003. Guillen had a flair for the dramatic, whether it was winning a rain-delayed, extra-inning game with a walk-off home run at 3:30 in the morning or making Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver pay for disrespecting Magglio Ordonez. Guillen became a leader in the clubhouse and was instrumental in helping the Tigers reach the World Series in 2006.

For the Mariners, it was a total loss as Santiago returned to the Tigers and has been an important role player. Gonzalez -- no, not that Juan Gonzalez, never reached the major leagues and last played in the Dutch Major League in 2011 at the age of 29.

2. June 8, 2005: Acquired infielder Placido Polanco from the Philadelphia Phillies for right-hander Ugueth Urbina and infielder Ramon E. Martinez.

Polanco spent four and a half seasons with the Tigers and was also a pivotal member of the team that reached the 2006 World Series, earning ALCS MVP honors. Polanco batted .338, .295, .341, .307 and .285 with the Tigers.

Since the trade, Martinez has spent 33 games with the Phillies, 149 with the Dodgers and 19 with the Mets, finishing his career in 2009 at the age of 36.

Urbina is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence in Venezuela after he was convicted in the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch in 2007.

3. December 5, 2007
: Acquired infielder Miguel Cabrera and left-hander Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins for right-handers Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz and Dallas Trahern, left-hander Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo and outfielder Cameron Maybin.

The rule of thumb with trades is that whoever gets the best player wins the trade. In this case, there's no question that the Tigers win simply because they ended up with Cabrera, one of the top hitters in baseball and a perennial MVP candidate. Manager Jim Leyland says it all the time: Cabrera is a superstar and he does special things.

Willis did not work out, but not because he didn't try. Whether it was an anxiety condition or just that he lost his stuff at an early age, Willis wasn't as effective as he was with the Marlins. Willis recently retired.

As for the players that went to the Marlins, Badenhop is currently pitching for the Marlins and is 1-2 with a 3.46 ERA this season.

De La Cruz pitched in 26 major league games, 11 for the Milwaukee Brewers last season. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs in March.

Trahern never pitched in the big leagues. Last season he was with the Marlins' Triple-A team in New Orleans, where he went 2-2 with a 7.32 ERA.

Miller, 27, was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 2010. He's spent time in the minors but is now with the big league club, pitching in relief. He's 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 30 appearances.

Rabelo, who played in 86 major league games for the Tigers and Marlins, played in his last game June 22, 2008.

Maybin, 25, the Tigers' first-round pick in the 2005 draft, was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2010. He's batting .221 with four home runs and 26 RBIs in 89 games.

4. July 30,2011
: Acquired right-handers Doug Fister and David Pauley from the Mariners for outfielder Casper Wells, left-hander Charlie Furbush, infielder Francisco Martinez and right-hander Chance Ruffin (the player to be named).

One of the key factors in this trade was the fact that Fister, 28, would remain under Tigers' control for several years. Fister, who was 3-12 despite a 3.33 ERA with the Mariners, was even better than the Tigers had hoped, going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA, helping them reach 95 wins and the ALCS. In the ALCS, he won his only start, allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings.

Pauley never really settled in and was released in spring training this year.

Wells, 27, is batting .253 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 59 games with the Mariners. Furbush, 26, recently landed on the disabled list but was 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 34 appearances.

Martinez is just 21 and is playing for Seattle's Double-A team. He's batting .254. Ruffin, 23, is pitching for Seattle's Triple-A team. He's 0-4 with a 6.99 ERA in 39 outings.

5. July 28, 2010: Acquired infielder Jhonny Peralta from the Cleveland Indians for left-hander Giovanni Soto.

The quiet Peralta found a happy home in Detroit, returning to his natural shortstop position. Last season was a career year for Peralta, who hit. 299 with 21 home runs and 86 RBIs. While Peralta is not hitting quite as well this season, batting .266 with six home runs and 33 RBIs, he's heated up after a slow start. He batted .299 in June and is hitting .288 so far in July.

The jury is still way out on Soto, who only turned 21 this year. He is currently with the Indians' Double-A team in Akron and has a 6-7 record and 4.08 ERA in 20 starts.


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