Three-Year Deal Transforms Robertson into Good-Luck Nate

Count me among the delighted that the Tigers locked-up Nate Robertson for three more years at $21.25 million. I’ve been a fan of Robertson’s since day one and think the Tigers were wise to secure an essential member of the rotation.

(If you want to find someone who isn’t a big Nate fan, look no further than…here.)

Last fall I spoke to Lynn Henning of the Detroit News and asked him what Robertson’s long-term prospects were with the Tigers. (Mind you, this was just after Jair Jurrjens was sent to Atlanta for Edgar Renteria but before the big trade with the Marlins. I thought Robertson could be dangled in an offseason deal.)

My question to Henning: “Is Robertson, Tough Luck Nate I call him, a Tiger next year?”

Lynn Henning: Oh, I think he’s definitely a Tiger for next year because he would rank right now as their number-five starter, and probably if he’s your soft spot in rotation, you can live with that any year.

He is Tough Luck Nate. I think the Tigers are a little concerned that Nate has almost resigned to that being his status and pitches in a manner consistent with being a tough-luck guy. I don’t think that’s necessarily fair to Nate Robertson, but it would sure help if whatever it took he’d win those games instead of losing those tight games. And that just doesn’t seem to be his fate. But I certainly don’t see them trading him at all.

MMc: Well, I’m a fan of his, so I’m glad to hear that.

LH: Yeah, he’s 200 innings, and that’s what counts. He gives you a chance to win every game, and will get you 200 innings. And boy, oh boy, that is a support column for anybody’s starting rotation.

MMc: You think about how many years the Tigers have looked for a durable, dependable, left-handed starter, and they finally got one.

LH: Absolutely, if only because the other guys tend to be a little more impressive in terms of their pitch speeds and repertoires that Nate Robertson is viewed as a weak link. There’d be plenty of rotations where he’d be absolute salt of the earth. But that’s what happens when you get some success, everybody gets a little spoiled.

Amen.

Still don’t believe Robertson is valuable? Let’s talk when Kenny Rogers retires.

Double-D Cookin' Up Some Hot Stove Fun

Are you kidding me?When Mike first broached the possibility of Dave Dombrowski‘s blockbuster this afternoon late this morning by forwarding me Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal I thought it must’ve been some posturing and cheap talk.When I nosed around ESPN.com and saw Peter Gammon‘s blog entry saying there was some validity to it I let my mind wander a bit as to what the lineup would look like.When fellow teacher and baseball coach Paul Diegel e-mailed with news his buddy told him the deal was happening (Maybin and Miller straight up for the two), I knew it was too good to be true, and put those pipe dreams to bed.By the time I left work this evening and turned on sports yappers it was apparent there was still some smoke billowing up from these smoldering trade talks.And finally, when I heard Steve Phillips on WXYT say it was pretty well done I darn near drove off the road.I do realize the ramifications of this deal – a farm system left as barren as an 85-year-old post-menopausal woman – but I also realize this deal isn’t quite the same as that Smoltz-Alexander deal of 20 years past. For starters, Dontrelle Willis (25) and Miguel Cabrera (24) are nowhere near as long in the tooth as Doyle Alexander (37) was in 1987.Sure, the Tigers gave up a ton of prospects, but they did so for two bonafide Major Leaguers who haven’t yet reached their prime.I got no beef with the deal especially since it probably means Brandon Inge is on his way out of town. You aren’t really going to pay him $6-million+ a year to be a super-utility guy, are you? But hey, it’s not my money. If Mr. I gives the greenlight to this, then have Inge work as a catcher every chance he gets so he can take over for Pudge Rodriguez next year. With the offense that would be around him, Inge can return to his light-hitting catcher role for all I care.For his next move Dombrowski will no doubt try to move Inge, Marcus Thames, Chad Durbin, and Ryan Raburn for whatever prospects he can find. Certainly he needs to reload his minor-league pitching somehow.Of course my main questions walking away from this deal are as follows:Are there any other Dombrowski-era Marlins worth acquiring (what with Gary Sheffield, Nate Robertson, Edgar Renteria, et al)?How many times will Willis (a .508 sluggling percentage last year) pinch-hit this year?