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The Tigers' power play (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday December 5, 2007 12:48PM; Updated: Wednesday December 5, 2007 12:48PM
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Thanks to the considerable smarts of Loria's baseball people, the team has done the best it can considering the oh-so-limited resources he gives them. But something's not right when the top front-office people all are given contracts through 2015 -- that's right, 2015 -- and none of their players is working on anything longer than a one-year contract.

The Marlins' deal to trade their two recognizable stars remaining for five prospects and a journeyman catcher was one that made sense if the goal is to to play for 2012 (while filling Loria's pockets). In Andrew Miller, they received a pitching prospect that's as good as any in the game, and in outfielder Cameron Maybin, they received a young outfielder who's seen as a future star even if he clearly wasn't ready at 20 when he came up late last year. The other three pitchers going to Florida -- Burke Badenhop, Dallas Trahern and Eulogio De La Cruz -- are the next best prospects Detroit had to give, considering 2007 No. 1 draft choice Rick Porcello is ineligible to be traded. The sixth player, catcher Mike Rabelo, is just an ordinary backup.

The 24-year-old wunderkind Cabrera ironically was riding in the car of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's wife in Miami (she was taking him to the airport for a trip to Venezuela) when Guillen called to inform him of the trade to one of the White Sox's chief rival. Guillen's White Sox craved Cabrera but apparently didn't have the goods to get a deal done, as not even a pairing of third baseman Josh Fields and pitcher Gio Gonzalez could beat Miller and Maybin.

The Angels came the closest to landing Cabrera when they thought they had a deal for fine young hitter Howie Kendrick, catcher Jeff Mathis plus one of two top pitchers -- Nick Adenhart and Ervin Santana -- and a fourth mid-level pitching prospect. However, after Marlins baseball people seemed amenable to the deal, word is that Loria and Samson went back and demanded that both Adenhart and Santana be included.

Florida's baseball execs wound up making the best possible deal, even if the gutted Marlins are looking at a 100-loss season after dropping 91 in 2007.

Meanwhile, Dombrowski and the Tigers are the hits of the winter, having already pried ex-Marlins shortstop Edgar Renteria from the Braves before landing the big fish, Cabrera, who was originally signed by Dombrowski and his top lieutenant Al Avila back in the days when the estimable John Henry owned the Marlins. At that time, believe it or not, the Marlins outbid the Yankees to land Cabrera. For these Marlins, those days are long gone.

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