The Tigers have dealt Jair Jurrjens for a shortstop, but it was not Jack Wilson. Jurrjens was shipped to the Atlanta Braves, along with minor league outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, for veteran Edgar Renteria. Renteria is a below average fielder, but he had an excellent season at the plate in 2007. He posted an offensive line of .332/.390/.470, with 30 doubles and 12 home runs.
The rumor in July was that the Tigers were looking for a defensive shortstop, hence their interest in Wilson. However, they received the complete opposite in Renteria. Renteria has been an inconsistent fielder in his career, and one would expect him to decline further as he ages. He has been solid offensively over the years, and was very good this past season. The Tigers invested a couple of good young prospects in the belief that Renteria can produce at a similar level in 2008. Hernandez, 20 years old, put up a line of .293/.344/.391 in Single-A in 2007. He also stole 54 bases and was caught 11 times.
This trade eliminates a possible suitor for Wilson over the offseason. With a slim shortstop free agent class (even with A-Rod suddenly thrown into the mix) and the strong finish by Wilson, Neal Huntington will likely be receiving many calls about the Pirates’ shortstop. Detroit will no longer be one of those teams.
The trade reunites Renteria with Jim Leyland. Leyland was the Marlins’ manager in 1997 when Renteria’s single gave Florida their first World Series title.