Tigers Considering Old Man, Beer League Softball Style: Four Outfielders?

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , ,

Detroit is overstocked at the outfield position with Guillen, Granderson, Magglio, Sheffield, and Thames; and then there's Timo Perez, Jeff Larish, Ryan Raburn, Clete Thomas, and Brent Clevelen who have all seen time in the bigs as well. The Tigers need another outfielder about as much as this world needs another Fast and Furious movie.

Well, another outfielder is exactly what the Tigers received from Atlanta on Monday. The Tags acquired Josh Anderson, a speed guy from the Braves in return for minor league sidewinder, Rudy Darrow. The lefty swinging Anderson apparently lost the battle for the center-field job in Atlanta to Jordan Schafer and immediately became trade bait. The Tigers bit.

Anderson hit .294 with 10 swipes in 40 games last year for the Braves and has averaged just over 45 stolen bases a season in his six-year Minor League career. The dude can fly, there's no question about that. But how often will he be given a chance to get on the base paths and what will become of the rest of the Tigers outfielders?

For starters, Brent Clevelen and Timo Perez are out of Minor League options so they'll be the last to ride the short bus out of town. Larish and Thomas will probably wind up back in the Minors with Raburn potentially still making the 25-man roster as a utility player.

Marcus Thames may be another odd man out as his $2.7 million contract will be guaranteed if he's still on the team come Wednesday at 2 PM. He would only make roughly $500,000 if he's not. Thames has a powerful bat that I'm sure a lot of teams would love to have, so I would not be surprised if he's shipped before the Wednesday deadline. Otherwise, he's gone too because I'm sure the Tigers would love to have an extra $2 million lying around.

The Tigers could conceivably make another deal that involved, say Larish for a potential starting pitcher to fill the No. 4 or No. 5 spot in the rotation similar to the Matt Joyce deal that landed Edwin Jackson from the Rays. I doubt the Tags would get that lucky again, though.

One thing is for sure and that is that Josh Anderson will be on the 25-man active roster when the Tigers board their plane and travel to Atlanta for their final two Spring Training games before Opening Day. Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski are excited about the wheels this kid possesses and I'm sure skipper will find plenty of opportunities to showcase them. I imagine Anderson will be a regular pinch runner for Carlos Guillen during the latter half of games and will get starts when Guillen, Granderson, or Ordonez need days off.

Overall, I don't think this is a terrible deal at all considering the Tiggers definitely needed some more speed. I just figured since we were so packed with outfielders, our main focus would have been landing a starting pitcher or perhaps even another reliever. While I still feel like another trade could be in the works, Dombrowski says it's, "possible," but "not likely." I guess we'll see what happens as the week unfolds.

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous   says 5:10 PM

Wouldn't that be something


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