Best Deals in Tiger History?

Well, now that we've looked at the worst, let's get to the best (and thanks to Tom Hagerty for doing most of the research on this.)

Maybe the most spectacular was sending Denny McClain (who had racked up a lot of victories and a lot of innings for the Tigs) along with Don Wert and Elliot Maddox to the Senators for Aurelio Rodriguez, Eddie Brinkman, Joe Coleman and Him Hannan.
Tom contends that sending the very young John Smolz to Atlanta for the experienced Doyle Alexander was one of the best deals, not one of the worst, like we suggested last week. We got a steady hand in the playoffs that year, and for many years to come.
Some other significant acquisitions include:
  • Sean Casey for Brian Rogers

  • Frank Tanana for Duane James

  • Todd Jones and Nate Robertson for Mark Redman

  • Milt Wilcox for cash

  • Damian Easley for Greg Gohr

Tom found a list of many of these deals at that will give you more detail.

They include what they claim to be the most "significant" trades. I don't think all of them were all that good. Like, sending Cecil Fielder packing for Rueben Sierra and Matt Drews, Jason Thompson for Al Cowers, and who the heck dealt away a young guy named David Wells? Yeah, that David Wells.

So cast your vote at right. One vote to a customer, and if the players' names seem cut off, just run your cursor over the name and total bar.


  1. I have to agree with Tom, I still think that the Smoltz-Alexander deal was a great deal for both sides. There are two trades that are not on the list that I think have been very significant. The first was the Glenn Wilson, Johnny Wockenfuss deal to Philly for Willie Hernandez. We know how great a deal that turned out to be. The second one for me, also with Philly, was Ugeth Urbina for Placido Planco. Urbina is still in jail, and Polanco has been a hitting machine since he came to Detroit and has had a Gold Glove to boot. We literally got Tanana for nothing, and we got David Wells off of waivers from the Blue Jays, who thought that he was washed up. Last, but not least, don't forget the Dalton Jones for Earl Wilson deal. Earl Wilson was a beast for a long time and could hit as well. These are just one man's opinion.

  2. Good points, Bill. I saw Earl Wilson start the third game of the 1968 World Series at Tiger Stadium.

    It may be too soon to say but I think trading Matt Joyce to the Rays for Edwin Jackson will go down as one of Detroit's better trades. His W-L record fails to reflect how well EJ has pitched this season. Even if Joyce contributes to the Rays, which he hasn't done yet, "outfielders are a dime a dozen," as my cousin used to say.

  3. You guys are probably right, I should have included those, and I wish there was a way I wouldn't get "locked in" to the choices once I post the poll. As an administrator, once I post a poll, I can kill the whole poll (including votes cast)or let it ride. Out of respect to "the voice of the people" I'll let it stand. (Gosh, I sound full of myself, don't I? More like Bud Selig every day.)

    (BTW, my favorite feature of ATC isn't really the polls, but the discussions we have, like this one.

    Also BTW, I recall buying Earl Wilson a beer in Nemo's about 1972, and he gave me an autograph. Not selling me one, just a friendly thing to do on both parties' parts.)

  4. Hard to imagine an athlete doing an autograph for free. It is amazing what they charge and get for an auotgraph. I do not mind the veterans so much (except for Pete Rose), because they never made the money the kids today do.
    Years ago I took my daughter to her first game> She wanted to know when she would be getting her baseball. I explained to her what a rarity it is. Just then Willie Hernandez started walking to the bull pen dugout. He walked up to Ellen reached in his pocket and habded her a ball. She looked at me and said, "I tried to tell you DAD" With that she handed him the ball back and he autographed it for her. Sad thing - we do not have a clue where that ball is today.

  5. hOW DID I MISS WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE BEST TRADE IN RECENT YEARS??!! Picking up Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for five youngsters. Granted, Andrew Miller may still be a superstar, and Dontrelle still struggles, but I think we got a real deal here.

  6. Yes, Gregg, getting Cabrera was a huge deal. He has a chance to go to the HOF. I doubt we'll ever see Andrew Miller or Cameron Maybin in Cooperstown. Yes Dontrelle has been a bust but taking him was the price we had to pay for Miguel, and I saw it was worth it.

  7. Dontrelle will never be worth his contract, but I believe (and hope, as we all do) that we might get a few W's out of him yet. After all, his is not an arm problem, but a "head" problem.