The moves made by Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski in the past week have yet to strengthen the teams largest weakness; the bullpen. A week ago I laid out some idea’s on how Detroit could leverage the excess of starters into a stronger bullpen. I, as much of Detroit, expected a trade that helped the team in the short term and two trades were made, but neither accomplished any significant short-term help.
The week started off with the trade of Wilfredo Ledezma to the Atlanta Braves for a lefty reliever Macay McBride. This move was presumably to make room on the roster due to the team’s inability to send Ledezma to Toledo without risking losing him to another team:
“We create some maneuverability in our bullpen,” Dombrowski said of the trade. “We got somebody we like who is 24 years old who was a No. 1 draft choice.”
Both are lefties and appear very similar making the trade appear to be a wash to most. Below is a quick look at each pitchers statistics this year and at a glance they are very similar.
This is where the comparison’s stop looking the same. In McBride the Tigers have gained another LOOGY to add to their growing stable. He’ll join Bobby Seay and Tim Byrdak as lefty hands in the bullpen. In Ledezma the Tigers have lost a mid-long relief pitcher and possible starter. They didn’t need him as a starter but he was the only long relief lefty option, outside of Seay who hasn’t been great in that role.
Looking at this the Tigers are stocked up on LOOGYs which is amusing considering a major question this past offseason was who would fill Jamie Walker’s role (FWIW, Walker has a .255 AVG against lefties this year). One of these will go and that will most likely be McBride with the second most likely being Bobby Seay. If McBride isn’t planned to help this year outside of allowing Dombrowski to open a roster slot I think the Tigers came out on the wrong side of this one.
Time will tell as it always does with trades.