Roundtable: Thumbs Up or Down on Sheff?

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: The Sheffield trade: Thumbs up or down?

Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
The Tigers wanted to add a big bat for the middle of their lineup. They did that. They wanted to make it through the offseason without depleting the farm system, and specifically, without having to give up elite prospects Andrew Miller or Cameron Maybin. They did that. And they didn't want to strap themselves with a $100 million long term contract that could weigh the team down in the latter years. The Tigers are in a win now mentality, and this is a win now move. There's no guarantee the Tigers could have gotten anyone in free agency, and when the opportunity to land a guy they wanted, they jumped at it. Can't give anything but a big thumbs up to that.

Mark Anderson, Associate Editor, Minor Leagues
If I could give ten 'thumbs up' to this trade, I would; without hesitation. It was blatantly apparent at various times throughout the season, and in the World Series, that this team lacks offensive consistency, and pure power. Gary Sheffield provides both of those things, in a big way. We can talk about his injury marred 2006 season, but he's been predominantly healthy throughout his career, and the organization has demonstrated some skill in evaluating players with questionable health (e.g. Pudge and Maggs). We gave up three righties, all of whom project as relievers down the line -- even Sanchez with his injury concerns -- and by dealing from that stockpile, we dealt from a position of strength. Dave Dombroski should be applauded for acting quickly and demonstrating the necessary willingness to make drastic changes to an American League Champion roster. Two huge thumbs up for Sheff.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
This is a deal that I give a big thumbs up to. When you trade for a player who not only has put up MVP-caliber numbers for his entire career, but will also be playing with a chip on his shoulder after the Yankees dumped him, he will be even more motivated and will be a major force for the Tigers. People worry about his wrist injury, but the Tigers wouldn't have traded for him if there were any doubts about his health. He has also been remarkably healthy over the last several years, and has been a major force for every team he has played on. I don't expect that to change during his stay in Detroit. Sheffield will being much needed patience to the plate, and he will take a lot of pressure off of both Magglio Ordonez and Ivan Rodriguez, both of whom could get a lot of RBI opportunities batting further down in the lineup. As far as the prospects the Tigers gave up, you have to trade value to get value, and the Tigers gave up three of their top 15 guys, but didn't surrender their top blue-chippers in Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller. By acquiring Sheffield, the Tigers have some flexibility to move some spare parts to somewhat replenish the system if need be, and I expect the Tigers to continue to be busy this offseason.

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