NASHVILLE–OK, so this is a little different than reading about the deal in ‘Trade Central,’ which the specifics of the Miguel Cabrera blockbuster deal will no doubt be broken down shortly and posted for your enjoyment.
This is just my own take. My initial reaction was something like "Holy crap . . . so what? Does Renteria hit eighth now?" The Tigers just loaded up. Big time. And getting Dontrizzle has an equally bombastic effect on the AL Central.
But still, this is the Marlins dealing their way into contention down the road . . . again. Landing Cameron Maybin is also huge; though he still has some developing to do. Andrew Miller, no matter how excited we at Baseball America get about him, still has command–and depending on who you talk to–makeup issues, but I can pretty much say with absolute certainty that this is nothing less than what we’d expect the Florida brass to pull off to deal established big leaguers. There is a heck of a lot of history behind it. All you have to say is Josh Beckett.
"In the Beckett deal when Florida landed Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez, that’s one of the few deals that, several years later if you asked both teams, they’d still do," said one front office executive from an American League club. "This could be another one. The Marlins are just so good on the pro scouting side that getting guys like Maybin and Miller . . . that’s going to help them down the road to possibly load up and make another run."
In addition to Maybin–the Tigers’ No. 1 prospect and the top prospect in the Arizona Fall League in 2007–and Miller, Florida also landed righthanders Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz and Dallas Trahern.
Of that bunch, De La Cruz is my personal favorite. I know he struggled in a handful of appearances in the big leagues this past year, but was solid in Triple-A and the reports out of the Dominican Winter League have been outstanding despite making just three appearances for Estrellas.
"Everything is hard and down," said one international scouting director from a National League club. "The velocity is plus and he has that rough breaking ball with a lot of late life. This is a guy who could pay immediate dividends in the big league pen in 2008."
Time will tell on the Marlins side, and Detroit is built to win now. If giving young prospects time to develop, taking chances and reaping the benefits of multiple World Series titles in the past is any indication, Florida just made their middle-of-the-road system a lot better, which will ultimately make their big league club a contender yet again.