Detroit Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski has finally admitted it was a mistake trading away young right-hander Jair Jurrjens in exchange for shortstop Edgar Renteria. I was really hoping he would actually admit it was a mistake and he finally did just that.
Jurrjens was a budding starting pitcher in the Tigers organization and when the team (and fans) smelled a hint of another winning season on the horizon, Dombrowski decided to clear out the farm system to acquire some veteran players. Jurrjens was shipped to the Atlanta Braves so that Renteria could become the everyday shortstop for the Tigers. Along with that move, Carlos Guillen was moved over to first base in order to make room for Renteria.
Renteria’s only other stint in the American League wasn’t very successful. Renteria hit just .276 with the Boston Red Sox in 2005 and saw hit strikeout total skyrocket. In 2008 with the Tigers, Renteria hit .270, score only 69 runs and post a .317 on base percentage. For these numbers, Dombrowski paid Renteria $9 million. It doesn’t take a diehard baseball fan to realize Renteria robbed the Tigers and the Braves got rid of the aging shortstop at the right time.
“We thought at the time that Renteria would be a difference maker for us at shortstop — the player that could put us over the hump,” Dombrowski said [in the Detroit Free Press]. “There’s no question — that was a miscalculation. I wish I had Jurrjens back, but we knew we were giving up a good player.”
Bad trades happen in baseball. It’s part of the game that gives guys like me something to talk about. I’m just happy to see that Dombrowski was acknowledged his mistake.