Last night the Rays traded Edwin Jackson to the Tigers for Matt Joyce. We have long said that Jackson needed to be moved and we like the addition of Joyce. But we have to admit, given the demand for young, cheap starting pitchers, we were a little surprised the Rays did not receive more in return.

Although we will never know exactly how the process played out, one thing that caught our attention is the lack of bidding by other teams. This is a direct result of the secretive nature of the Rays front office. Other teams leak information on a regular basis. One reason is to make it known that certain players are available and hope to encourage more teams to get involved in the bidding. The more teams involved, the higher the price. This is fundamentally different than the Rays approach.

Some teams encourage other GMs to come to them, while some teams are more proactive and approach other teams. The Rays appear to be more comfortable approaching other teams. This is not necessarily a bad thing. While keeping negotiations quiet, the Rays keep other teams from becoming involved in the player they covet.

In the end the Rays are able to get the player they want, but the overall package may be less.

Let’s take a look at what is being said about the trade in the blogosphere…

Take 75 North feels this this is a terrible deal for the Tigers.

I do not see how this isn’t a terrible deal for the Tigers. On the Tigers’ end, they’re shipping out Matt Joyce. He’s, by nearly every account, an excellent outfielder…He’s also a power-hitting left-handed bat, which the Tigers claim to see as a valuable skillset for the team. Finally, he’s young and cheap…Losing Joyce is only part of what has me so upset about this trade, though. The second part is the Tigers are essentially choosing Gary Sheffield over him…So now the Tigers have three starters of questionable value in [Nate] Robertson, [Dontrelle] Willis and Jackson. Acquiring Jackson will probably allow them to move one of the others, but I see no reason to believe that will be a step forward…I think we’re going to regret this trade almost immediately.

The Detroit Tigers Weblog does not see a benefit to the Tigers.

I’m having a hard time even writing about the deal…Joyce might flame out, but Jackson has yet to even burn…I don’t know how Jackson fits in, whether he will be a starter or reliever. Oh yeah, and he’s eligible for arbitration. Good luck Rick Knapp. I don’t get this one at all.

The Rays Party would have preferred a right-handed bat, but like Joyce and and the flexibility he provides.

The concern is why the Rays got another left-handed hitter instead of a right-hander that can hit against lefties, which was a weak spot last year. But the Rays see his potential and like they have control of him for six years. He also has options and can be sent down if the Rays feel he needs more time in the minors.

Bless You Boys would have rather seen Joyce traded for a closer.

This doesn’t exactly bring clarity to a trade I’m still conflicted over, however. Joyce was too valuable to trade for a badly needed closer, yet dealing him for a middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher (which I concede that the Tigers might need, as well) seemed preferable? Am I missing something here?

Tigers Homeplate sees this as a good deal for the Tigers and Joyce.

The good thing is that Jackson is only 25 years old and has pitched the last couple of seasons in the major leagues so he will being a little bit of experience with him…Joyce should get a crack at the starting lineup down in Tampa so I think it is a good trade for him as he would have been a fourth outfielder at best in the Tigers lineup.

Drays Bay says Joyce is an upgrade over Gabe Gross.

Gross is projected at 1.4 through 600 PAs and 3 runs in the field. That’s 1.9 WAR total.

1.5 + (FLD in wins form) + (BAT in wins form) = WAR

For instance: (1.5+0.7+0.3) = 2.5

Detroit Tigers Thoughts says Andrew Friedman took Dave Dombrowski “to the cleaners.”

This only works out if Jackson finds something and becomes a better pitcher. He’s simply not a good pitcher right now, and that will need to work….I don’t see how this trade makes sense. In doing this, Dombrowski is essentially betting on Carlos Guillen and Gary Sheffield playing 150 games apiece this year. I don’t like those odds.

The Spot Starters takes a closer look at Jackson’s 2008 campaign noting that he ranked near the bottom of the AL in a number of statistical categories.

Edwin Jackson seems to be the classic example of a guy who had a better record than he deserved in 2008. I hate to say that, I absolutely hate it…I don’t think Jackson is a lost cause. Let’s give the guy a shot. Even though he can be up-and-dow, he and his 95 mph+ heater could really do some damage against the opposition in 2009.

The Grand National Championships says Joyce could be Mark Kotsay and has a higher ceiling than Jackson.

Matt Joyce has a little bit of the sleeper to his skills. He played very well in his first half-season in Detroit. He will stike out about 120 times in a season. But his offensive game is very nice. 35 doubles, 25 homers, a passable eye with a slugging percentage that can threaten .500 is magical and rad…And he can play center field for if and when the Rays tire of B.J. Upton’s saucy antics. Could he turn into Mark Kotsay? It’s possible. But Matt Joyce’s floor is a lot higher than Mr. Jackson’s.

Rays from across the pond is not happy to lose Jackson but they understand it.

Obviously losing Jackson is a bit of a shame. He had his best year ever this season, and finally looked as though he was working through his inconsistancy issues. I think that Detroit have picked up a good player there. Still, with the pitching depth that the Rays have, any trade was always likely to involve either him or Andy Sonnanstine. And while Jackson is probably the more talented, I think I’d rather lose him that Sonny – as I’ve said many times this year, Sonny just has a great knack for winning.

Tiger Tales is not sold on the deal.

It was not a surprise to see Joyce traded since Jim Leyland commented about his laid back approach during the summer. I also understand that Leyland likes hard throwing (Jackson has a mid 90s fast ball) pitchers with high upsides. It could turn out to be a good deal but right now I’m not a fan of the trade.

The Wayne Fontes Experience says Jackson should fit right in.

My gut reaction wasn’t a good one. Mainly due to the fact Jackson can’t throw strikes. He’s a base on balls machine. Hey! That means Jackson should fit right in with the rest of the Tigers’ staff!…Rick Knapp is going to have his hands full straightening out ANOTHER Tigers pitcher who thinks the strike zone is just a suggestion…I’ll have to sleep on this trade, maybe I’ll feel more enthused about acquiring Jackson with a little more time. But right now, I’m still calling this off season “a small ball of MEH”



  1. Anonymous says:

    DRays Bay? C'mon. If I wanted to be in class I would be paying attention right now and not reading about the Rays.

  2. Justin says:

    Prof, I think what is interesting about the format of this entry is that it implicitly suggests that this trade is a win - lose, when it could be a lose - lose.

    Joyce could be good, but we did lose a good bargaining chip.

  3. Rays Party Leader says:

    Thanks for using my blog in your story Prof.
    The Rays had a surplus of outfielders during 2007, then got rid of Young and Dukes. Now we have Joyce, Perez, Jennings, and Ruggiano. Jackson may have gotten better but the Rays have several guys that could contend for starter spots for several more years to come.
    Just trading from strength in this deal. Although we could have gotten right-handed bat or a lefty that can hit righties which Joyce isn't either. Actually, Joyce reminds me of Gabe Gross as they are very similar.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "Other teams leak information on a regular basis. One reason is to make it known that certain players are available and hope to encourage more teams to get involved in the bidding"

    Excuse me, but it was absolutely no secret Jackson and Sonnenstine were on the block. And I think Rays Index itself has played a part in reposting and reporting going rates for Jackson. I mean, you DID repost what Topkin was reporting, didn't you?

    Suffice it to say, they didn't play out negotiations through national cable television compared with how other clubs operate -- but there was enough information readily available all over the place to say what Jackson (or Andy Sonnenstine) were attracting in trade offers.

  5. The Professor says:

    of course. but we never heard what other teams were offering for Jackson. and we definitely never heard Joyce was anywhere near the radar.

    besides. most of the reports were just idle speculation. Friedman himself said he had no problem going to camp with Jackson and sonnanstine and even suggested that it was likely.

  6. The Professor says:

    did you ever hear once that the Rays "offered Jackson for so-and-so" or "the Rays have received an offer of blank for Jackson"?


    We didn't even know what the Rays wanted for Jackson until the deal went down.

    Now compare that to situations like the on-going Melky for Mike Cameron negotiations or the Peavy to the Cubs situation. In those cases, and many other, we see/read/hear every minute detail in the press. the negotiations are carried out in the press.

    that never happens with the Rays.

  7. Robert Rittner says:

    Here is another "outsider's" comment on the trade from today's BP chat:
    "buddaley (Clearwater): Comment on the Jackson/Joyce trade please.

    John Perrotto: I like it for both sides. The Tigers need a starter and Jackson _ who as I mentioned earlier could wind up closing _ was expendable with the Rays. By the same token, I think Joyce has quite a bit of upside and could help the Rays for many seasons."

  8. Z. Hixon says:

    Not too bad of a trade from what i can tell, while Jackson wasnt a bad guy, didnt complain when he got left off the playoff roster, seemed to get along with everyone he was a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, and i certainly wont miss the inevitable 5 shutout innings finished with 7 runs on 2 hits and 5 walks 6th inning. Just suprises me that they traded him after sticking with him all year 2 years ago and pretty much refusing to take him out of the lineup. Best of luck to him. Things ive read about Joyce are promising, still would like to land a guy like Ankiel to replace Gross.

  9. cougar says:

    when "vegas baby" first texted me about this trade going down, my first reaction was "wtf?" i really thought we could have gotten more for edwin jackson.

    then one of the best ways to look at a deal like this is when the opposing team keeps saying how bad this is. matt joyce seems to have a lot of potential hitting, especially against RHP, and is an upgrade in the field over gabe gross. he is also under team control for 6 years. if he can develop hitting skills against LHP, he is going to be a very very big piece of this lineup for years. if not, then the rays need to find a righty to platoon with him and fill in a major bat as the DH, someone like milton bradley, and then the lineup is set.

  10. Clayton says:

    While I think the most likely outcome is that Joyce starts (with Price) in Durham, don't we think Aybar or Zobrist OR Nando could be platoon partners? What does this deal mean for Gross? He seems expendable, no?

    If Tigers fans hate losing the guy, I'm on board. In DRO I trust.

  11. jesse says:

    hey prof, i need a favor from you. i cant find any replays on the net of when the duke got hit in the head by c.c.'s throw from lf or when he got smacked in the face by a come-backer. PLEASE HELP


  12. The Professor says:

    jesse, you are going to have a hard time finding them. MLB is VERY tight with their video. if you remember the exact dates ( i dont) you might be able to go to the archives, but they will charge you for each game.

  13. Anonymous says:

  14. Anonymous says:


    I remember the daay it was Memorial Day 2007. Against the Detroit Tigers.

    Brian H

  15. Kia says:

    It is now the latter part of july09 and i guess we all can agree on who got the better end of the trade of mr. all star edwin jackson and mr. minor league matt joyce. nice going dombrowski!


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