I agree with Houston fans that Ed Wade is not a great general manager. Probably my biggest beef with him is the way they handled Berkman. From what I know of the situation, basically, they traded him when his value could not have been lower last year (which is dumb) and then when he expressed interest in returning to Houston in the offseason the Astros kind of blew him off (which is sad). But I really don’t like Dave Dombrowski either. Granted, the Tigers have been pretty much a .500 team the last few years, but what has been holding them back are some of the idiotic moves that DD has made the last couple of years:
– Trading Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria before 2008 season. This wasn’t a great trade at the time and has become unspeakable horrible this year.
– Dontrelle Willis. The problem wasn’t trading for Willis, because the Tigers had to take him as part of the Miguel Cabrera trade. The problem was giving him a three year, $29 million extension before he had even thrown a pitch despite his coming off three straight years of decline. This was a complete and unmitigated disaster.
– Brandon Inge and Nate Robertson. After the Tigers great 2006 world series run, DD decided to go out handing out Christmas presents, in the form of a four-year $24 million contract for Brandon Inge and a three-year $21 million deal for Nate Robertson the year after. That’s $74 million bucks from a mid-market team for a pile of stinking crap.
– Trading Curtis Granderson for Austin Jackson and Phil Coke. This was actually a three-way trade, but this is what it boils down to. Now, the above bad contracts wouldn’t be so terrible, except for the fact that the Tigers were so cash-strapped by these terrible deals that they couldn’t afford to pay Granderson, and decided they needed to deal him. This was the absolute worst, because since they couldn’t trade any of their worthless players with expensive contracts, they had to trade one of their best players who also had a reasonable contract. Awful, just awful.
DD has always been a solid builder, able to spin veterans for prospects for cash-strapped teams. But he has not really learned how to sustain a contender or how to add finishing pieces to a team on the cusp. If DD had made the right moves after 2006, the Tigers would not still be looking for their first division championship since 1987. Gaw…..but you know what, at least we’re not the Astros.