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  1. This is stupid. Trades should be judged solely on the information available at the time they were made. How they ultimately worked out doesn’t have any bearing on the quality of the trade, nor does it tell us anything useful about the people who made the trade.

    I don’t understand articles like this at all.

    Comment by Llewdor — November 15, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  2. All the article says is that the Red Sox and Padres did well. It does not chastise the Marlins for the trade. In fact, the first sentence of the last paragraph indicates the opposite.

    Comment by Joe Pawlikowski — November 15, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

  3. It was a bad trade for the Marlins. If only they knew then what we know now…

    Such is life mon chéri

    Comment by Dan Pitrowiski — November 15, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  4. Speaking as a Sox fan, I’d rather have Cabrera.

    Comment by Mr Punch — November 15, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  5. Regarding the title of the article, I would point out that the Tigers are pretty pleased with the result of this trade as well. How often do you pick up a perennial MVP candidate for a bunch of prospects who don’t pan out, even if you take on a bad contract? And remember, what was really terrible for the Tigers was the extension they gave Willis, not trading for him in the first place.

    Comment by Byron — November 15, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  6. I don’t see how the Red Sox did well at all. Miller is a horrible, horrible pitcher who makes more than the minimum. His velocity is sitting around 90, a far cry from the mid-high 90’s he was supposed to be throwing in, and his control has actually gotten worse. I’m not sure if Miller was coached to throw with less velocity and can still let it rip when he feels like it, but I see no redeemable qualities from him other than being a stud prospect who was rushed and declined steadily.

    Comment by Pat — November 15, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  7. Llewdor, that doesn’t make any sense. We don’t live in a hypothetical world where what happens after the fact has no bearing on anything. People are judged by results, and very often (almost always) results come from things outside a person’s control. It doesn’t matter what information the parties had at the time — that’s fine for making excuses for a poor trade, but it doesn’t change the fact that a trade was poor.

    Comment by JimNYC — November 15, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  8. Miller has serious mechanical issues in his delivery which may not be correctable. Unless the Red Sox have some secret pitching guru to fix those issues, trading for Miller is nothing more than an expensive flier.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — November 15, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  9. Pat, Miller has long been thought to have a great upside, even if it hasn’t shown results and there are mechanical issues. They didn’t do horribly because they gave up the same player, possibly a worse player – a tall lefty with command issues – for Miller, and I think that taking the outside chance that that upside shows up is worth trading away a player with similar issues and less historic upside, especially for the Sox, who can afford Miller’s contract.

    Comment by Sawxman — November 15, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  10. I agree with all of this.

    Comment by exxrox — November 15, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

  11. Agreed. Kind of funny that the Tigers, who clearly won the trade, were an aside in this discussion. I recall how in some circles Dombrowski was absolutely ripped for giving up great prospects and extending Cabrera. Almost completely useless service time valuations were used by some to cast him as a buffoon who might possibly be experiencing early senility.

    I suggest we start using a simple valuation method, so as to eliminate nonsense (aka “projections”) from what were once upon a time reasonable observations, to wit: Superstar player = $1. Everybody else = $0. In this case, Dave Dombrowski was Ben Bernanke before Ben Bernanke was Ben Bernanke. He created money from thin air. That’s a pretty good GM.

    Comment by Paul — November 16, 2010 @ 1:26 am

  12. How will the Sox use Miller? They can’t afford to put him in their rotation, will he just be a long reliever? Boston does need bullpen arms badly so maybe he can work things out there but I won’t be holding my breath.

    Comment by Pat — November 16, 2010 @ 2:08 am

  13. Yeah, the title’s kind of misleading. You’d think that the Tigers didn’t win the trade, which they did. Spinning a couple of over-rated prospects for Cabrera (ok, and admittedly for Dontrelle Willis) was a great trade. For the Red Sox and Padres to “win” this trade, everything has to go right. For the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera’s already put up a few super-star caliber seasons.

    Comment by James — November 16, 2010 @ 8:34 am

  14. My goodness. While it is mildly interesting that the Marlins cut bait with these two almost concurrently, isn’t it obvious that the Tigers won the trade, decisively?

    Comment by Vince — November 16, 2010 @ 9:22 am

  15. isn’t it obvious that the Tigers won the trade, decisively?

    Not if you start with the priori that the Tigers have a dumb front office.

    Sometimes ya read stuff here, and just wonder what the heck is going on.

    As for Miller … good luck straightening out issues at the highest level of competition. Odds are long against him. Chalk him up as another LHP that “coulda been”.

    Maybin is a toolsy guy that’s learning that baseball is primarily a skill sport. If he hasn’t gotten it by now, he probably never will.

    The reality is that BOS and SD probably aren’t the last teams to float a chance on Miller and Maybin. Their natural ability is rare. Some teams will keep hoping that they are the ones to “figure it out”.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — November 16, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  16. I think that it is obvious, but I also think people are getting hung up on the title of the article which is just trying to be witty.

    Change the word “win” in the title to “wind up as winners”, and read the article like that.

    It was just a wierd coincidence that Marlins traded both cogs from the Cabrera trade within 48 hours, and the title of the article is just trying to play off of that.

    No one who reads Fangraphs needs an article about why it was a win to trade for Miguel Cabrera. It’s a given.

    Comment by Steve — November 16, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  17. Re Tigers winning, sure Cabrera is great, but the Tigers are paying him top dollar for it, $153 million / 8 years. They did get him for the first two years at a relatively cheap price, $11 million / $14 million. But they paid Willis $30 million for 22 starts and 100 innings of 6.86 ERA ball, which I imagine nullifies any value from the 2 cheap years of Cabrera. So I would think they just about broke even.

    Comment by Uncle Bingers — November 16, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  18. A couple of things …

    [1] Look at the whole picture.

    Cabrera has produced 88M worth of WAR over his 4 years in DET. He has cost DET $45M. DET is up 43M bucks.

    Have the marlins received 10M in value from Miller and Maybin?

    I realize things may not translate specifically this way, but it is the metrics we’re using. You just left out the part that showed the big value the Tigers got out of it … even at a big price, Cabrera produces more than he earns.

    DET owes MC ~20M/y for the next 5 years. In order to “break even”, he needs to have 4 WAR seasons. He averages 5.5-6.0 WAR per season … AND he’s entering his “prime years” of 28-32.

    Really, FLA was the BIG loser because they got rid of a guy that was giving 25M of value per year for less than 5M/y salary. Of course, they were not willing/able to pay him, so the point is moot.

    Had DET not been able to trade for Cabrera, they may not have been able to sign him at all.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — November 16, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  19. I’m not sure whether one ought to include the extensions signed after the fact. Willis was a bit overpriced at the time of the trade, but the trade had little to do with DD’s need to bid against himself for Willis’ future, which of course turned out to be nil.

    Comment by Vince — November 16, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

  20. no game changing bat?? wasn’t Arod a FA the same year?

    Comment by Jonathan — November 17, 2010 @ 7:10 am

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