Dombrowski embracing chance to restock farm
Tigers president/GM acquires six of club's Top 15 prospects in Cespedes, Price, Soria deals
Dave Dombrowski recognized a challenge, embraced the opportunity and took a step in the right direction in the days leading up to Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The president/general manager of the Detroit Tigers knew his team was technically still in the American League Wild Card race, but the idea that the club would win a World Series, even if it did advance to the postseason, wasn't realistic, so he decided to undertake a major "reboot," as he put it.
It's not a time for celebration, but it also isn't time to mourn.
Aware that the Tigers' farm system had become short on talent because of the ongoing effort in recent seasons to add superstars by giving up top prospects, Dombrowski began to restock.
He dealt ace left-hander David Price, closer Joakim Soria and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, but all three are eligible to be free agents at season's end. And in return, Dombrowski got an influx of young talent, acquiring six prospects who rank among the Tigers' Top 15.
The list is headed by lefty Daniel Norris, who immediately went to the No. 1 spot, according to MLBPipeline.com, after coming over from the Blue Jays as part of the package for Price. Norris will start on Sunday for the Tigers in Baltimore. In addition to Norris, the Blue Jays wanted Price badly enough to give up lefty Matt Boyd, who ranks as the eighth-best Tigers prospect, and right-hander Jairo Labourt, who is No. 15.
To acquire Cespedes, the Mets sent the Tigers right-handed pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, who now rank as the fifth- and ninth-best prospects in the Tigers' system, respectively. Shortstop JaCoby Jones, acquired from the Pirates for Soria, is rated No. 13.
• The Phillies' revamping led to them acquiring seven players who rank among the Top 30 prospects in their system, including a package from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade that included right-hander Jake Thompson, outfielder Nick Williams and catcher Jorge Alfaro, who rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively, on MLBPipeline.com's list.
• The Mets parted with five Top 30 prospects in their deals for reliever Tyler Clippard from the A's (right-hander Casey Meisner), infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Braves (right-handers John Gant and Rob Whalen), and Cespedes from the Tigers (Fulmer and Cessa).
• The Blue Jays gave up the most prospects. In acquiring Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies, Price from the Tigers, reliever Mark Lowe from the Mariners, and outfielder Ben Revere from the Phillies, the Jays gave up 11 prospects, nine of whom rank among the Top 30 prospects in the organization they joined.
Deals not done
While the non-waiver trading period ended Friday, teams can still swap players through the waiver system.
Notable players involved in August trades when they were prospects include: John Smoltz from the Tigers to the Braves for Doyle Alexander in 1987; Jeff Bagwell from the Red Sox to the Astros for Larry Andersen in '90; and Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson from the Blue Jays to the Mets for David Cone in '92.
The Cardinals acquired Larry Walker from the Rockies in August of 2004, and the Rockies used the savings on Walker's salary for the signing bonus of Draft choice Dexter Fowler.
And three years ago, it was in August when the Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox for Jerry Sands, Ivan DeJesus, James Loney, Allen Webster and Rubby
• Monday is the 94th anniversary of Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspending the eight Black Sox, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, for gambling during the 1919 World Series.
• Tuesday is the 67th anniversary of the big league announcing debut of Ernie Harwell, who Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey acquired by trading Minor League catcher Cliff Dapper to the Atlanta Crackers.
• Thursday is the 42nd anniversary of Roberto Clemente becoming the first Latino player inducted into the Hall of Fame.