Bless You Boys' Ian Casselberry on the latest (moderately) big deadline deal:
- The Tigers acquired Aubrey Huff from the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in exchange for minor league pitcher Brett Jacobson. Playing mostly at first base this season, Huff has a .253/.321/.405 batting line with 13 homers and 72 RBIs in 480 plate appearances. As several pointed out in this afternoon's Open Thread, those 72 RBIs would lead the Tigers right now.
Last season was a career-best for him, as he batted .304/.360/.552 with 32 homers and 108 RBIs. He's in the last year of a three-year, $20 million contract.
Huff has also played a lot at third base and right field over his 10-year career, which makes this a potentially valuable pick-up for the Tigers. If UZR is your defensive metric of choice, however, it doesn't think so much of his prowess at either position. And that might be why Huff ends up primarily being the Tigers' DH if and when Carlos Guillen is ready to play left field. Between that and filling in at third, first, or right field, Huff should see plenty of time in Detroit's lineup.
Baseball players are strange creatures. Last year, Huff had his best year since 2004. This year, he's having his worst year since 2001. If he's healthy, though -- and one would hope the Tigers have done their due diligence -- there's no reason to think he won't hit for the Tigers roughly what he's hit in his career, which is quite respectable (if not particularly good for a player with his limitations).
The bottom line is that the Tigers are fighting for their lives and they needed a left-handed bat. Giving up a Class A reliever is a small price to pay for seven weeks of a guy who might help you win a World Series.