The Solution to the 2nd Base Problem


One of the small perks of a disappointing start for the Detroit Tigers is that nerds like me get to play general manager and research solutions for a team plagued with early season issues.  Most of these potential solutions never leave my head, but on this occasion, I think I may be on to something.

The Tigers have a problem right now at 2nd base.  Ryan Raburn is not showing that he should play there everyday, despite being given ample opportunity.  Ramon Santiago is a capable player, but not everyday.  The same could be said for Danny Worth.  The easy solution to this problem is to realize that it is not a problem in it of itself.  The 2nd base situation is magnified by the deficiencies of the rest of the lineup.  If 1-8 in the lineup were hitting as expected (I’m talking about you Boesch, Peralta, Young, and to a certain extent Cabrera and Fielder) we would not be talking about 2nd base.  The fans and media would not write articles about who is batting 9th for a hard hitting first place team.  Since the offense is struggling as a whole, we tend to look at players whose numbers are particularly disappointing, which explains why Ryan Raburn probably stays far away from the internet these days.

Given that it is no sure thing the struggling offense will wake up soon so that Raburn and Santiago can disappear into the blissful veil of inconsequentiality, I offer another solution: trading for mets 2nd Baseman Daniel Murphy.  A potential trade needs to be considered from all sides.  First, why would the Tigers want Murphy?  He is a career .296 hitter (through 346 games) who is off to a .321 clip this season.  He has decent power (12 HR’s in 2009) and hits from the left side.  More importantly, he is 27 years old and is under team control through 2015.  Given the Tigers lack of middle infield prospects, Murphy could fill a big void.

Why would the Mets want to get rid of such a good player?  This is another important question to ask with a somewhat complicated answer.  First, the Mets need to be out of contention to consider trading a player of Murphy’s impact.  Right now, at 19-14, the Mets believe they can contend, which is why I hope they start losing – fast.  If they fall out of contention, the Mets will take a look at how they can improve their team in the future by trading away areas of strength and depth.  Two of the Mets top 10 prospects are 2nd basemen, both younger than Murphy.  They also have Justin Turner on the roster, who can capably play 2nd as well.  The Mets, like any team, would love to have more starting pitching.  The Tigers could offer up Andrew Oliver or Casey Crosby.  The Mets do not have a good catching prospect in their system, so the Tigers could offer up Brian McCann or Rob Brantly.  Finally, the Tigers have several good outfield prospects.  They could offer Steven Moya, Avisail Garcia, or Daniel Fields.

I think the Mets, if they fall out of contention, would jump at the chance to acquire Crosby, Brantly, and Garcia in a trade.  The Tigers, meanwhile, would have a solution to their 2nd base problem, both present and future.