|Looking to shed salary and clear the way for Dontrelle Willis in the rotation, the Tigers traded veteran lefthander Nate Robertson to the Marlins for 22-year-old lefty Jay Voss, who pitched mostly in Double-A last season. Detroit also will send a reported $9.6 million the Marlins’ way. That amount would cover all but the major league minimum ($400,000) portion of Robertson’s salary.
Robertson cut his teeth with the 119-loss Tigers of 2003, and from there graduated to bigger things, such as a robust 155-strikeout season in 2004 and the nod for the third game of the 2006 World Series. Though his salary had grown to outsize his level of production, Robertson never failed to give Detroit at least 28 starts per year in the five seasons from 2004 through ’08. After serving primarily as a reliever last season, he’s situated to enter Florida’s exclusively-righthanded rotation. The Marlins originally drafted Robertson back in 1999.
|Jay Voss, lhp
Born: April 22, 1987 in Bresse, Ill.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 195. Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Kaskaskia (Ill.) CC.
Career Transactions: Selected by Marlins in eighth round of 2007 draft; signed June 10, 2007.
Voss has two distinct sliders, “a sweeping version for lefties and one with splitter action for righties,” we wrote in our 2010 Prospect Handbook. Working as a full-time reliever for the first time last season, he successfully conquered batters from both sides of the plate. In fact, Voss’ showing against righties (.205/.286/.273 over 88 at-bats) while with Jacksonville slightly outpaced his rates against lefties (.190/.277/.310 in 42 at-bats). In the Arizona Fall League, he continued to dominate lefties, but righties tattooed him for an 1.021 OPS. Marlins pitching coordinator Wayne Rosenthal helped to smooth out Voss’ delivery, but he doesn’t yet have much feel for a changeup. His fastball sits at 89-91 mph and peaks at 93, giving him average-to-above velocity for a lefthander. A career as a reliever awaits Voss if everything breaks in his favor, though it’s too early to tell whether he’ll have to settle for situational work.
|Nate Robertson, lhp
Age: 32. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $10 million (Tigers to send $9.6 million).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.