Willis is key to megadeal
December, 4, 2007
After finishing second in the league in 2007 with 887 runs scored -- in a pitchers' park, no less -- the Tigers have kicked Sean Casey to the curb and replaced him with Edgar Renteria, and now they are adding Miguel Cabrera's bat to, in effect, replace Brandon Inge's. It's a 70-80 run swing, and if you're going to give up half your farm system, that's the kind of impact you want to get in return. Cabrera is a complete hitter: He hits for average, has outstanding plate discipline and outstanding power, something that may even be helped by getting him away from Florida's ballpark, which kills right-handed power. (Cabrera isn't a dead-pull hitter, but like any right-handed power hitter, he hits his fair share out to left.) He turns 25 in April, so there's even a chance he'll take his power up another level, which would make him a 40-plus home run hitter. The main concern with him is his defense. He's a butcher at third base, and only part of that is due to his weight gain. The Tigers could field a better defensive club if they pushed Cabrera into left field and let Inge -- who is a better hitter than he showed in 2007 -- play third every day, or if they pushed Cabrera to first base and put Carlos Guillen at third.