Yeah, it's about the supposed trade. Willis or Nate for the immortal Julio Lugo. Is it legit or just the rumblings of people needing to talk about SOMETHING when there is nothing going on? Hell if I know. But since I decided to name my little sounding board of Tiger nonsense "DesigNate Robertson", I figured I'd chime in. It's either that or do something productive with my afternoon and I just can't have that.
Let's start with Mr. Lugo. He's 33 years old and sucks at baseball. Here's some stats from the past three years.
2008 Boston: 82 gaes, .268, 1, 22, 34 steals, 6.9 VORP
2007 Boston: 147 games, .237, 8, 73, 33 steals, -1.3 VORP
2006 Tampa: 73 games, .308, 12, 27, 18 steals, 31.3 VORP
2006 Los Angeles: 49 games, .219, 0, 10, 6 steals, -10.3 VORP
Yeah, he's terrible. Can't field either. He can steal a base, but that's not that great when you struggle to GET on base. Boston overpaid for him and doesn't need him anymore. We owe a bunch of money to two pitchers who cannot seem to pitch anymore. Thus, the rumored trade. Boston likes to try and bring pitchers back from the dead. Guys like Bartolo Colon, Matt Clement, and others have gotten looks from the Sawx the past couple years. So, who are we potentially giving up?
Nate Robertson, 31 years old
2008: 7-11, 6.35 ERA, -16.8 VORP, 1.66 WHIP, 5.76 K/9
2007: 9-13, 4.76 ERA, 19.6 VORP, 1.47 WHIP, 6.03 K/9
2006: 13-13, 3.84 ERA, 42.4 VORP, 1.37 WHIP, 5.91 K/9
Dontrelle Willis, 26 years old
2008: 0-2, 9.38 ERA, -9.8 VORP, 2.21 WHIP, 1.39 K/9
2007: 10-15, 5.17 ERA, 0.7 VORP, 1.60 WHIP, 6.4 K/9
2006: 12-12, 3.87 ERA, 40.5 VORP, 1.42 WHIP, 6.45 K/9
What does this tell us? Well, as recently as 2006, both of our boys were decent pitchers. 2007 saw them both start to slip, followed by 2008 where they both experienced a nightmare of a season. Nate suddenly forgot how to throw his slider and got smacked around like he was in club with a Kansas City Chief running back. Dontrelle seemed to gain the weight that Miguel Cabrera lost and had the control of Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn with a blindfold on. However, Dontrelle is only 26 years old and you'd hate to give up on a guy that young who has shown brilliance in the past.
Still, my thoughts on doing this trade depend on two things. First, is Double D going to sign a free agent starter to follow Verlander, Bondo, Galarraga? Don't make us go with Zach Minor and whoever's left after the trade. Second, and more importantly, what does new pitching coach Rick Knapp think about this? I'd really like to see Mr. First Pitch Strike get some time to work with Nate and Dontrelle before we give up on them for the likes of Julio Freakin' Lugo when we have a better shortstop than him in Ramon Santiago already on the team.
Despite this blog's title, I don't hate Nate Robertson. I hated his performance last season. He is my poster boy for the Detroit Tigers' 2008 season. Nate is active in the Detroit community, lives in the area, works with kids, and seems like a really good person. Thanks to him, the city of Detroit's bubble gum sales went up 450% in 2006. The same goes for Dontrelle. Every teammate of his that I've seen make comments about him says that Willis is an awesome guy. He works with the community, too, and took his Single A demotion better than anyone else in MLB would have last year.
So, no, I don't want to see Nate or Dontrelle traded for Julio Lugo. There, I said it. KEEP NATE ROBERTSON...unless you can unload him for someone that can at least out-hit Brandon Inge.