Originally Posted by TDog
Teams seldom give up big prospects for young, inexperienced closers, even if they have been having successful runs. The Cubs did give up Jon Garland for Matt Karchner, but they had soured considerably on Garland after drafting him in the first round the previous year. The Dodgers gave up former first-round draft pick Paul Konerko to the Reds for Jeff Shaw, but Konerko for Jeff Shaw, in a trade of once and future White Sox, but Shaw was over 30, and Konerko had made the transition from prospect to struggling rookie. The Red Sox did essentially trade Josh Reddick for Andrew Bailey, but that was part of a five-player offseason deal, and Bailey had established himself over three seasons.
The fact is, Valverde hasn't been that bad this year overall, although it probably looks to fans as though he has lost it. And to the Tigers and their fans, Reed probably looks like just another closer who has given up two game-tying home runs in less than a week. One of the few points where I am in agreement with Billy Beane is his belief that closers aren't worth spending big money or talent on to acquire. Going for the high priced, highly credentialed closer was probably the biggest reasons the Marlins failed so miserably last year. If Valverde keeps going south, the Tigers will look for someone else to emerge. They don't have Jason Grilli anymore. And the pitcher they got for him never made it to the majors.
Oh I think for a young cost controlled closer we could probably do fairly well. And while closer is a role that people like to **** on, when teams are not meeting their Pythagorean projections, it's almost always because of that role. The Tigers have a good record, but at +81 they should be 4-5 games even better at this point. With as many blown saves as they've had, it's obvious what's holding them back. I think they'll do what it takes to correct it. Especially since they don't need their prospects to succeed.