Worst Tiger Trade: Renteria for Jurrjens?

You guys know me as a lovable curmudgeon. A pessimist. So let's ask the question: what was the worst trade the Tigers ever made? I'll propose a few, you guys pile on with comments, and when we get a collection we'll put it to a vote.

The most recent stinker: sending an outstanding young pitcher like Jair Jurrjens to Atlanta for the overpriced and under talented Edgar Renteria.

Tigers knew Jurrjens has all the hallmarks of an outstanding pitcher. He rose quickly from rookie league to the bigs, and collected three wins in seven starts with the Tigers in 2007. Granted, the Tigers had some very good starting pitchers that year, and good quality youngsters like Miller at that time. But really Mr. Dumb-browski, when does a team ever have too much good pitching? Pitchers wear out their arms, get hurt, get tired. Just look at the roster right now, you've got Zumaya and Willis out for the season. (OBTW, anybody notice we picked up Jarrod Washburn today cause we don't have enough pitchers?)

Ready for a little salt in the wound? Since he's left us, J.J. has notched 21 wins with limited run support, posting a total E.R.A. of 3.39 (he hasn't gone over four since arriving in Atlanta.) This year he has 93 strikeouts, and 48 walks. The heck with going for Halladay, I'd be trading for Jargens if I could.

And then you have Edgar Renteria. Oh, we'd all like to forget the stone glove of Edgar. He stunk out Fenway so bad the Boston local sports talk shows called him and his $40 million contract "Rente-Error" and "Rent-A-Wreck." He got booed out of town when he blamed the Fenway groundskeepers for "substandard" infield.

Granted, he showed some promise in his return to the NL and the Braves, and through his career he was a five time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner (incredibly).

Granted, Santiago couldn't hit well enough to be a front-liner in 2006, but we also had Guillen, Inge, and Polanco to give us some versatility at short. As a last resort, we should have just gone out and bought or traded for a better shortstop at a lower cost than Jurrjens.

Well, we all know the end of this sorry tale. Tigers didn't sign him for his option year (even though he said he'd take a pay cut to $9 mill) and Eddie is hitting a whopping .266 with the Giants.

Now that was a bad deal.


  1. I think you need to establish a time frame. Are we dealing with the recent history (i.e.: Dombrowski era) or all time? Or could you just nominate bone-headed moves (i.e.: giving up on Carlos Pena)? On the cynical side, if we limit it to the Dombrowski era we still have plenty to choose from!

  2. Another bad trade: Ron LeFlore to the Expos for pitcher Dan Schatzeder.

  3. And getting Fred Lynn from the Orioles at the end of his career.

  4. Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz? Alexander did well for a couple of years, but

  5. Excellent thoughts, all.

    Kooch, I was thinking an "all-time worst trades" list. Yes, Alexander was the guy, no fault of his, he was nearing the end of his career, but we get the hindsight that the GM can't have.

    Let me invite you guys to take your nominees, and expound on them for a bit (research is so easy on-line, you don't even need a Baseball Encyclopedia anymore.) Refresh our memories, evaluate the negatives for us. They'll all be in the poll in a week or two.

  6. without Alexander, who won something like 10 games down the stretch, the Tigers would not have made the playoffs in 1987. He also had a good year the following season. So it the short run it was a good trade for us. And I doubt Smoltz would have had a Hall of Fame career in Detroit.

  7. how could we forget Randy Smith and a few of his brilliant moves. i think he was responsible for us getting Juan Gonzales who was ridiculous in a tiger uniform. we gave up some talent at the time-Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, Gabe Kapler and Justin Thompson.

  8. May I suggest you guys make a post out of your thoughts (not just a comment)and substantiate your claim with some facts as
    Tom did with Alexander's subsequent contributions. Who did we give up for Lyn and when would you have traded for him?
    (and IMHO, pictures are always nice.)

  9. One of the worst moves ever, and I have been watching this for over 50 years, was to most the John Smoltz deal. But the Tigers got value out of that deal. Doyle Alexander had a great couple of years for the Tigers and made them very competitive. I didn't have a problem with the deal then, and I still do not today.

    The biggest mistake that the Tigers ever made was exposing Luis Gonzalez in the expansion draft and him being grabbed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gonzalez is a borderline Hall of Famer and went on to have a great career in the National League. I would dare say, that if Gonzalez had not left the Tigers, they may have never had the bottom drop out in the late 90's and the early 2000's. Luis was a monster!!!

  10. The Tigers got Fred Lynn from the Orioles for Chris Hoiles and minor leaguers Cesar Mejia and Robinson Garces. Hoiles played to seasons for Baltimore, hitting .262 w/ 151 HR and 449 RBI.

    Alexander was 9-0 for Detroit in 1987 w/ a 1.53 ERA. (He was 5-10 w/ Atlanta before the trade.) In '88-'89 he went a combined 20-29. (Over the same three years, Smoltz had a 28-29 record w/ the Braves.)

  11. Oops: Hoiles played 10 seasons for Baltimore