In late July of 2013, the Detroit Tigers opted to send highly touted outfield prospect Avisail Garcia to the Chicago White Sox. It was part of a three-way trade that also sent Brayan Villarreal and Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox, and brought shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Tigers.
Although some Tigers fans were unhappy about losing the man who was beginning to become known as “Miguel Cabrera, Jr.,” the trade appeared to make sense for the Tigers at the time. The team was on the precipice of losing Jhonny Peralta to a 50-game suspension for PED use and therefore needed a shortstop. Moreover, Garcia became expendable as a result of the fact that the Tigers were already committed to their center fielder and right fielder, and were attempting to keep left field open for Nick Castellanos, as that was before the Prince Fielder trade reopened third base for him.
More than seven months later, however, the circumstances are looking considerably different. Castellanos has returned to third, Iglesias is injured and remains questionable for Opening Day and outfielder Andy Dirks is expected to miss the next three months after undergoing back surgery. Therefore, the Tigers could desperately use a powerful hitter in left field such as Garcia at the moment. Granted, Garcia is another right-handed hitter and the Tigers’ lineup is already heavily right-handed, but he certainly would have provided a lot more thunder than Rajai Davis will.
The fact that Garcia landed with another AL Central team only makes things harder, and there is a real chance that he could haunt the Tigers over the next several years. White Sox legend Paul Konerko has recently stated that Garcia has 40-homer capability, and if he does turn out to be such a player, then the Tigers will surely wish to have kept him. Tigers fans could very easily be looking at John Smoltz redux, only with a position player.