Friday, August 17, 2007

More Thoughts on Monroe, Infante and Santiago

With Craig Monroe's designation for assignment this morning, the Tigers now have 10 days to work out a trade or release him outright. There is also the possibility that he would accept an assignment to the minors but that is unlikely. I think there is a good chance he'll be traded. There are a few teams like the Cubs and Pirates who are looking for an outfielder and I suspect some team will think that Monroe can get back to his past production with a change in scenery.

As his .222/.264/.373 line shows, Monroe has really struggled this year so that part of today's transactions is neither a surprise nor disappointment. However, there are mixed emotions here. I appreciate the fact that Craig worked his way to becoming a decent Major League regular after having been released by two organizations and clearing waivers one spring with the Tigers. He also provided as much late inning drama as any Tiger over the last couple of years so there are some good memories. I wish CMo luck wherever he ends up.

The Omar Infante/Ramon Santiago swap is a smaller move but still one that will be noticed as we watch the games. Omar Infante is the better hitter and can also play outfield but Santiago is a better defensive shortstop and that seems more critical right now with Carlos Guillen hobbled by knee problems and struggling in the field. Infante's role will be taken by Ryan Raburn who can play second base as well as outfield.

I don't think they are done making moves yet. Because Guillen is such an injury risk, there is the danger that they could go into the stretch drive and potentially the post-season with Santiago as their starting shortstop. I don't think Jim Leyland would trust him in that role so I still think a move for a veteran shortstop is coming. I'm hoping they don't acquire Jack Wilson because they'll be stuck with him for two more years and I'd like to think they could do better than that. Royce Clayton and Omar Vizquel are both available if they want an end of year rental.

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