Point-counterpoint: Best MLB offseason move

first_imgMike AckersteinThe offseason gives teams a chance to rebuild and restock their rosters in hopes of improving the performance from the previous season. Unfortunately, many moves franchises make bring unwanted pressure upon them, as fans expect big returns from investments made by the signed free-agents and the traded players. Instead of adding more pressure, however, one organization used the offseason to take it away.The Florida Marlins’ trade with the Detroit Tigers that sent Marlins star hitter Miguel Cabrera and attention-whore/pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers is the best move since the season?s end because it means the Fish won?t have very high expectations going into 2008.In trading away Willis and Cabrera, Florida has effectively killed any chances that pundits and fans will expect a finish higher than fourth place in the NL East. Because the goals won?t be so lofty, the atmosphere should be relaxed, creating perfect conditions for the young Marlins and the centerpiece of the deal ? former Tigers first round selection, pitcher Andrew Miller ? to grow at their own pace.Instead of dealing with questions about why they aren?t winning more games or what moves they need to make for a playoff run, the Marlins can allow their cheap and youthful lineup a chance to flourish under the radar. While this should certainly help the team win games in the future, it may even give them a chance to sneak up on opponents late in this season, giving them the opportunity to make a year-end playoff push as Florida has done in years past.No pressure? No problems. Marlins for the win.Tyler MasonRaise your hand if you have heard of two or more of these players: Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz or Dallas Trahern.I don’t see many hands in the air.Those are the players Florida got in return for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. To me, the level of talent doesn’t balance out, despite the disparity in the number of players each team acquired in the trade.This deal puts Detroit in the AL Central driver’s seat. Adding Cabrera to an infield that already boasts Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria and Placido Polanco is scary. And when you throw outfielders Magglio Ordonez and Curtis Granderson into the mix, things get even scarier for opposing pitchers.This wasn’t even the best move in the Tigers’ division, however. That would belong to the Minnesota Twins.Now, looking at the off-season transaction reports, you will note Minnesota hasn’t made any big trades. Yes, they got Craig Monroe, the hot-tempered Delmon Young (yes, the same Delmon Young that threw his bat at an umpire in a minor league game) and veteran infielders Adam Everett and Mike Lamb. But perhaps the best move came through inaction.The Twinkies’ pride and joy, left-handed ace Johan Santana, remains a Twin (for now), signaling a victory for Minnesota. During the hottest parts of the hot stove season, Santana remained the biggest name in trade rumors. Yet here we are, in late January, and Santana hasn’t moved. Minnesota GM Bill Smith was faced with a tough situation after his predecessor, Terry Ryan, jumped ship. So far, though, Smith has stuck to his guns and not backed down when discussing trade options with the always-influential Steinbrenners in New York, as well as the Red Sox and Mets.Without Santana, the Twins are hopeless. Put him together with fellow ace Francisco Liriano, and this team could give the Tigers a run.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *