Baseball Detroit, Atlanta make 1st offseason trade


Bench Warmer
Detroit Tigers fill a need, trading for SS Renteria from Braves

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers filled their No. 1 need Monday, acquiring All-Star shortstop Edgar Renteria from the Atlanta Braves for two prospects.

Renteria batted .332 in 124 games with the Braves this year, finishing with 12 homers and 57 RBIs. Detroit went into the offseason needing to add a shortstop after deciding to shift Carlos Guillen to first base.

"We were able to address our biggest need, heading into the winter, with one of the best shortstops in the game," Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said on a conference call.

The Tigers gave up right-hander Jair Jurrjens, who showed signs of promise last season, and minor league outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

"We gave up a couple of good players, but in order to acquire a player like Edgar we knew we had to give up some talent," Dombrowski said.

With Dombrowski running the front office and current Tigers manager Jim Leyland in the dugout for the Florida Marlins, Renteria ended a thrilling World Series Game 7 in 1997. His hit with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning gave Florida its first World Series championship with a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

"I'm real happy to be a Detroit Tiger player," Renteria said. "I know Dave and Jim Leyland and I think I'm going to be comfortable in Detroit."

Leyland said the Tigers are "thrilled to death" to add Renteria.

"He was a part of the biggest night of my life in 1997," Leyland said. "To be reunited with Edgar is a thrill."

The Braves were willing to part with Renteria because they have shortstop Yunel Escobar, who turns 25 later this week.

In exchange for the 32-year-old Renteria, Atlanta added a candidate for its starting rotation and a possible outfielder for the future.

Jurrjens started seven games in Detroit last year and was 3-1 with a 4.70 ERA. He was 7-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts for Double-A Erie.

Hernandez hit .293 with four homers, 50 RBIs and stole 54 bases in 124 games at Class-A West Michigan last season.

It's time for the view from the expert!

I think that Edgar Renteria isn't the best possible, but is the best bang for the buck & probably the best SS in the market.

I will miss Jair Jurrjens because he had great talent & looked good with Bonderman, Verlander, & Miller. Atlanta got another John Smoltz from Detroit, but will it stay that way.

I can't say anything about Gorky Hernandez right now.

Overall Grade (for Dave Dombrowski)- B-