The Detroit Shuffle are making a serious effort one month into the new season to improve their team. They clearly are trying to get good enough to make a push for the playoffs -- either that, or get young talent for a rebuilding effort. Management is not yet decided on how good the team is, but their recent trades are designed to bring in a mix of young and old talent.
Three trades have just been aproved by the MLB's head office and the team owners. The first involved the Anaheim Mighty Ducks when vet setup pitcher Chris Cormier was aquired by Detroit in return for starting/setup pitcher Carter Martin. Another trade was with the Los Angeles Diamond Kings for young 1B/LF hitter Marty Washington and prime of his career starting pitcher Ernest Wulf and Detroit sent to LA vet 1B Robinson Dixon and young prospect LF Tony James. Detroit also helped with $3.5 mil of thier two players salery.
Perhaps the biggest of the three trades, though, was that vetern closer Julian DeRojas was shipped to Seattle in return for young SP Kyle Hocking along with $4.0 mil in cash. The 22 year old left hander was drafted in the first round in Season 7 by Detroit but was lost to Seattle in the Rule 5 draft this year, a move that angered the head coach of the team as he had big plans for Hocking. Seattle was going with young pitching in their roation this season, with three out of five of their pitchers rookies, including Hocking, who started five games for them but failed to get any wins and took one loss. After that he was moved to the bullpen for long relief. The other two rookie pitchers for Seattle were also moved out of their SP roatations and the team went looking for both SP and bullpen help, as they had blown several close games.
Detroit, by comparison, had young closers they could bring up to replace DeRojas and wanted to be free of his contract. The 33 year old right throwing vet was in the first year of a three year contracting costing $5.4 mil a year and there was concern over how good he'd be at the end of his deal. Originaly pitching for the Portland Rain, he was traded to Detroit in Season 7. During his career he had won a Cy Young, two Firemen of the Year awards, and been named to the All-Star Team six times. DeRojas has a 30-64 record with 350 out of 408 saves, a ERA of 3.92 and a WHIP of 1.37 and has never been on the DL.
Seattle announced they would make DeRojas their primary closer while Detroit planned to have Hocking as either a SP or a long relief pitcher in the bigs.
What all of this trading will do for Detroit reamains debatable, but ownership has indicated they are not done yet.