Originally written December 11, 2011 on Detroit Sports 360:
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The Detroit Tigers have made another off season move as they traded away 2008 1st round pick RP Ryan Perry to the Washington Nationals for RP Collin Balester. The move came just 1 day after they finalized free agent RP Octavio Dotel to a 1 year $3.5M contract with a team option for 2013. The move was clearly made because of the Dotel signing and this is exactly why I didn’t like signing Dotel. In my opinion you have to look ahead and be able to see all the aspects of a trade and what it can effect. The first part of this is trading away Perry for Balester and if it was a good move or not. Since we won’t really know if this was a good trade or not until a year or two down the road, all we can do for now is compare what we know for sure. If you take it just by a numbers stand point it isn’t even close. Former Tiger Ryan Perry beat Balester in every category you can go by. In Perry’s 3 year career he has a 4.07 ERA, 161 total innings with 129 strikeouts and a 1.438 WHIP. While Balester has been in the league 4 years with 167 innings, 5.17 ERA, 132 strikeouts and a 1.473 WHIP. Not only does Ryan Perry have better overall numbers then Balester, but he is 1 year younger. RP Ryan Perry Career 3 seasons INN 161.7 ERA 4.07 K’s 129 WHIP 1.438 RP Collin Balester Career 4 seasons INN 167.0 ERA 5.17 K’s 132 WHIP 1.473               I realize that “just the numbers” is not everything and doesn’t mean Perry will go on to have a better career then Balester, but it help judge how good a player is. That being said there is other non measureables that go into making a trade you have to take into account as well. For example the Tigers drafted Ryan Perry 21st overall in the 1st round of the 2008 draft with the intention of being their future closer. That doesn’t mean he will go on to be our closer, but it also means you shouldn’t give up on him in after only 3 seasons either. Most fans seem to only remember last years stats and not the player as a whole. The fact of the matter is Perry’s first 2 seasons he had 3.69 ERA with almost a strikeout per inning ratio for us. It wasn’t until last year that he had a 5.35 ERA to up his career avg. to 4.07. Ryan Perry is only 24 years old and having 1 below average year for a ball club doesn’t warrant giving up on him and he should have been here a couple years longer before a full evaluation should be made in his abilities.
Then there is the “team chemistry” factor to consider in a trade like this. The Tigers bullpen all liked Ryan Perry and he was featured in many Tigers videos throughout his 3 year career here. Whenever you trade away a player it is often overlooked by the fans that there is a human factor to consider as well. It’s not a secret that if a player that is well liked gets traded away it can have an effect on the teams chemistry whether it is for the good or the bad. We have seen examples of the bad players like Randy Moss or Barry Bonds or Terrell Owens being great players but team distractions and they arent signed for those reasons. Rarely do we hear about the effects of trading away players like Perry or Granderson and those effects. In review the Tigers have made a bad decision in my opinion by trading away Ryan Perry. He is younger then Ballester, has better career numbers, was well liked in the clubhouse and was the 21st overall pick only 4 years ago. The reason why this move was made was due to the Tigers signing 38 year Octavio Dotel to a 1 year $3.5M deal just a day earlier. I wrote an article about the Dotel signing being the worst signing in winter meetings precisely for this reason. We not only gave him too much money, but also because it made us make a bad trade in getting rid or Perry. Date Action   Player Traded Contract  12/9/11  Trade w/OAK  RP Collin Balester for RP Ryan Perry  12/8/11  Free Agent  Signed RP Octavio Dotel  1yr/$3.5M  11/30/11  Free Agent  Resigned 2B Ramon Santiago  2yr/$4M  11/18/11  Free Agent  Signed C Gerald Laird  1yr/$1M   DS360 Tags: Free Agency, Detroit Tigers, 2012 Free Agents, Ryan Perry

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