Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Jose Iglesias could be the Detroit Tigers’ new starting shortstop as soon as Friday, if Jhonny Peralta is hit with a suspension as it appears he will be. But to land the promising infielder from the Red Sox, the Tigers had to part ways with Avisail Garcia (and, to a much lesser extent, Brayan Villarreal). Will Iglesias’ contributions be worth dealing Garcia to the White Sox? We hit that topic and others in our latest roundtable. Question 1: Does Jose Iglesias improve the Tigers’ chances of winning the World Series? Chris Burke: Sure, because he should contribute to this year’s run, whereas Avisail Garcia may not have. Of course, Garcia played a key role in the playoffs last year, but that’s beside the point. The Tigers needed someone else to help in the infield, they needed a backup plan in case Peralta gets suspended and they were willing to pay to get it. Iglesias gives the Tigers more options than they had as of Tuesday afternoon. Max DeMara: More than anything, adding Iglesias means the Tigers probably won’t lose any shot at the World Series as a result of Biogenesis. Jhonny Peralta isn’t a walking error at shortstop, but his agility leaves a lot to be desired, which may end up winning a few games given Detroit’s ground-ball pitching. Losing Peralta’s bat, but replacing him with a decent option like Iglesias, means the Tigers don’t lose a ton. At least they’re not penciling in an unproven minor league prospect the rest of the second half destined to hit .190, which would hurt a playoff run. The Rangers might be searching for a big bat to replace Nelson Cruz who also is facing suspension, but they’ll have problems with that and could be damaged losing a major part of their lineup. Detroit protected themselves from a scenario like that. Andrew Tomlinson: Defense wins the World Series. We have heard that phrase over and over again since the Tigers faltered last year, as well as in 2006. Iglesias is clearly a giant defensive improvement over Jhonny Peralta, making Miguel Cabrera’s life a little easier, too. He can run and appears to get on base consistently, which makes him what could be a key cog in a World Series run. Question 2: Did Detroit give up too much in this deal? Are you worried Mini-Miggy’s going to shred them from Chicago for years to come? MD: This deal, because of Iglesias’ age and ability level, means the Tigers really don’t stand to look that bad. It’s win-win for both sides. Garcia might become a good player for Chicago and hit against Detroit, but the White Sox are in full rebuild mode and the Tigers just solidified shortstop for the next seven years, at least, with perhaps an Omar Vizquel or Ozzie Smith type defender and a plus hitter. Besides, Nick Castellanos will likely be patrolling Detroit’s outfield soon, and most agree he should be a better overall prospect than Garcia. AT: I am a little worried about Garcia destroying the Tigers, like Ryan Raburn seems hell-bent on doing now from Cleveland. The reality is, though, this clears the way for Nick Castellanos to come up and fill the left-field spot in September or the playoffs. Torii Hunter has two years left on his deal and by then Tyler Collins projects to be ready. So in theory, even if Garcia shreds the Tigers, the pieces should be in place to make sure it does not hurt too much. CB: No, I don’t think they gave up too much. Yes, I’m worried Garcia is going to rip them within the division. But they had to cough up a legit prospect to get someone of Iglesias’ talent level and I’m happy it was Garcia instead of Castellanos. Question 3: What do you make of Jhonny Peralta? If he’s suspended for 50 games, should Detroit welcome him back for the playoffs? Should they try to re-sign him for 2014 and beyond? AT: Of course you welcome Jhonny Peralta back in the playoffs. He is a power bat that can come off the bench if needed and certainly provides some insurance for Miguel Cabrera, who seems to be struggling with some nagging injuries this year, since Peralta played third for the Cleveland Indians. After that, the Tigers can feel free to let him walk his limited range out of the organization. CB: I think the Tigers would welcome Peralta back, even though he kind of put them in a bind and would be trying to shake off rust at playoff time. He’s still in the midst of a great year and plays steady defense. I doubt they even attempt to re-sign him anymore. Iglesias will be their SS of the future and they can use Peralta’s money to try to keep Joaquin Benoit in Detroit. MD: Depending on his culpability in the clubhouse, Peralta may be welcomed back for the playoffs (in which case Iglesias might be used at second base with Omar Infante going to the bench) but as for 2014, the decision has probably already been made. With Peralta being a free agent, Iglesias is clearly the guy at shortstop in Detroit now. Many are arguing the Red Sox sold high on Iglesias, but the Tigers might be doing the same with Peralta, who’s getting older by the year and has never enjoyed the type of success at the plate as he is in 2013. At least with Iglesias, they upgrade their defense and get a major young talent in the process.
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