With Monday’s Major League Baseball’s trade deadline looming, Sports Illustrated decided to select each team’s best deal of all-time.
Hard to pick the Tigers’ ultimate swindle, err, trade, isn’t it? The full story is here.
If you selected the 2007 exchange with the then Florida Marlins that brought Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit for prospects Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop, Mike Rabelo, Frankie De La Cruz and Dallas Trahern, you win the prize.
Of those hopefuls, only Maybin and Miller accomplished anything and that was after they left Miami. Meanwhile, Willis washed out in Detroit.
SI Fansided's Joshua Sadlock writes, “With the Tigers, Cabrera has been a virtual lock to contend for the AL batting title and MVP award. He won the Triple Crown in 2012, led MLB in all three categories of the triple slash in 2013 and has three MLB batting titles. Cabrera is a lifetime .319/.397/.557 hitter who will eventually top 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.”
The lesson to be learned, Sallock concludes, is that a dealing an elite talent like Cabrera rarely brings a team equal value.
However, the Tigers come out on the minus side of the ledger in their 1987 deal that jettisoned future Hall of Famer John Smoltz to the Braves for Doyle Alexander. While Alexander was instrumental in helping Detroit clinch the AL East crown, going 9-0, Lansing Waverly's Smoltz went on to win a Cy Young and World Series with the Braves.