Vasquez, Clevlen for Wilson was in the Works?

Complete speculation on my part, but it’s an educated guess based on these disappointing words Dejan Kovacevic printed in Thursday’s Post-Gazette:

How close was [a Jack Wilson to the Tigers] deal to being done?
One source intimately familiar with the matter said that a deal was virtually done Tuesday and that the Pirates would receive two of Detroit’s top six prospects, including an unnamed pitcher ready to join the major-league staff. But the sides haggled on how much of Wilson’s contract the Pirates would pick up, the source added, and the delay was on.

Good lord, David, if Dombrowski was planning on giving you two of his top six prospects, you pick up as much of the tab as needed. I mean, after trading for $14 million worth of Matt Morris, you shouldn’t shy away from spending for legitimate talent.
That point may be moot now, though, as the prospects who best fit the mold described by Dejan are on the Tigers’ 40-man roster, and as such, would need to clear waivers before being traded to the Pirates. (A breakdown of waiver trading rules is available here.)
Virgil Vasquez, Jordan Tata and Brent Clevlen caught my eye when word of the talks first hit the press.
Vasquez and Tata are both 25-year-old right-handed starting pitchers who’ve made appearances with Detroit this season. Either would be an instant upgrade over Shane Youman, at a minimum, and perhaps even Zach Duke on the Pirates’ staff. I would drool over a rotation of Snell, Gorzelanny, Morris, Maholm and Tata.
Brent Clevlen, as I said Tuesday, would be an interesting buy-low candidate. Selected in the second round of the 2002 draft, Clevlen is a 23-year-old right fielder known for his strong defense. He may have been rushed a bit in the development process, reaching the big leagues in 2006 for 39 at-bats after putting up a dismal .230/.309/.356 line at Double-A Erie. At Triple-A Toledo this season, he’s hitting just .225—but for crying out loud, the kid’s only 23.
Again, while Vasquez or Tata and Clevlen for Wilson and cash would’ve made a ton of sense for the Pirates, it might be too late now. Those three, along with flame-throwing reliever Eulogio de la Cruz, are on the 40-man roster and wouldn’t be available unless they’d clear waivers.
The Tigers have a few other well regarded prospects who would be available in a deal now:

  • Gorkys Hernandez, a 19-year-old outfielder who’s incredibly far away from the majors (but still possesses an interesting level of talent).
  • Jeff Larish, a 24-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman built in the Adam Dunn mold—moderate batting average, high on-base percentage, oodles of power. With LaRoche, Pearce, Delaney and Eldred in the system, you have to wonder where Larish would fit in. (I’m not really a fan of making a trade that necessitates making another trade.)
  • Tony Giarratano, a utility-type who technically isn’t on the 40-man roster after being placed on the 60-day disabled list. Giarratano wouldn’t get me too excited, but given Littlefield’s penchant for light-hitting infielders, he seems to be a likely target.

Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin, the Tigers’ two top prospects, wouldn’t be included in a deal for Jack Wilson. For the sake of comparison, consider them to be Tom Gorzelanny and Andrew McCutchen.
I suppose we should wait to see how this plays out, but if Littlefield had the chance to pull in Tata or Vasquez to fill out his rotation and opted instead for Matt Morris …
Wow.
He who hesitates loses.

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4 Responses to “Vasquez, Clevlen for Wilson was in the Works?”

  1. The Detroit Tiger Weblog » Blog Archive » links for 2007-08-02 Says:

    […] Pittsburgh Lumber Co. | MVN – Most Valuable Network Blog Archive Vasquez, Clevlen for Wilson w… Stuff like this scares me. This would have been viewed as the worst move of the trade deadline had it gone down as reported here. (tags: trade-rumors) […]

  2. Matt Wallace Says:

    Hey Cory
    I saw that article and I made a couple assumptions. I assumed they used Baseball America’s Top 10, just because everybody seems to. I also assumed that meant Eulogio de la Cruz, because he’s number six on BA’s list (Tata was five, and I figured if they were talking about Tata they would have said “two of the top five”).

  3. Matt Wallace Says:

    Hey Cory
    I saw that article and I made a couple assumptions. I assumed they used Baseball America’s Top 10, just because everybody seems to. I also assumed that meant Eulogio de la Cruz, because he’s number six on BA’s list (Tata was five, and I figured if they were talking about Tata they would have said “two of the top five”).

  4. Cory Humes Says:

    Good point, Matt. I mentioned de la Cruz in passing, but I think you know why I’d much rather have Vasquez or Tata.
    That being said, I wouldn’t have sneezed at de la Cruz and Clevlen for Wilson, either.


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