During the past week the Miguel Cabrera trade to the Tigers in December of 2007 came full circle. For the Tigers, the circle turned out to be somewhat of an oval, however for the Florida Marlins, the two tips of the line never even met and the trade didn't turn out to be any recognizable shape that we know of.
On Friday the Boston Red Sox traded LHP Dustin Richardson to Florida for LHP Andrew Miller. On Saturday the San Diego Padres acquired OF Cameron Maybin from the Florida Marlins for RHP Edward Mujica and RHP Ryan Webb.
In hindsight, the Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera for 3 relief pitchers. WTF? How did this happen?
It's often said that you can't value a trade until a few years has passed. Well, in December of 2007 The Florida Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for outfield prospects Cameron Maybin, pitcher Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo and minor league pitchers Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern and Burke Badenhop.
The first thing you'll notice is that the Tigers didn't exactly get away scott free here (in fact they made one of the worst teams contract blunders in recent MLB history) as the Marlins were able to dump Dontrelle Willis' $6.45 million contract on them. If that wasn't bad enough, the Tigers proceeded to give Willis a 3 year $29 million contract extension just two weeks later! Think about that now. Wow! Willis had already imploded by that point, but the Tigers were convinced that they could correct his issues. WRONG!
The next think you'll notice is that while the Marlins were busy laughing at the Tigers, they were paying absolutely no attention whatsoever to what they had gotten in return! The Marlins thought they were getting a future Steve Carleton in Andrew Miller, what they got was Oliver Perez / Rick Ankiel. No wait, actually when you think about it, they guy they got back was the same guy they gave away, Dontrelle Willis! Neither Willis nor Miller can hit the side of two barns adjoined together!
Miller was the Tigers number one pick in the 2006 draft and has proceeded to frustrate fantasy owners, the Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins and soon to be Boston Red Sox, as practically everyone in the free world fell for the hype. How nice is to be a 6'7" lefty who can throw a baseball hard (it doesn't matter the direction.) Miller's MLB career resume boasts a 5.84 ERA and 174 walks in 294 innings. I guess the fact that he's struck out 7.3 batters per 9 innings over his career is encouraging, however when you walk 5.3 batters per 9 innings, it doesn't look so promising anymore.
As for the rest of the players involved on the trade, there wasn't anyone else noteworthy involved in the transaction. Oh wait, yes there was, Miguel Cabrera!
While the Tigers had egg on their face with Willis, they also received a coupon to eat as much as they wanted for the price they were paying. The Tigers proceeded to shell out another $153.3 million in an eight year deal to Cabrera but Cabrera has been worth every penny!
In the three years Cabrera has played for Detroit since the trade, Miggy has hit for a .314 average with 116 Home Runs, and driven in 356 runs. The guy is a pudgy Albert Puljols!
The Tigers clearly got screwed paying Dontrelle Willis' contract. They got as much out of that contract as the Yankees got from signing Kei Igawa or Carl Pavano, however at least they have Miguel Cabrera to show for their troubles.
In summary, the Tigers paid a lot of money for two bowls of soup, one bowl of soup was worth the money, and the other was awful and they had to throw it away. As for the Marlins, when they went to order they were told "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" - Keith A. Baker
Keith is a sports agent in Stamford, Connecticut. His goal is to offer a unique insight to the world of sports. Comments in his columns are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect the views and opinions of his firm or his clients.
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