Gordon Edes has a nice piece on ESPN.com with an inside look at the Yoenis Cespedes for Michael Fullmer trade that the Tigers & Mets made at the deadline in July.
Edes speaks with Dave Dombrowski who walked him through that morning & even goes back to when they Tigers were first perusing Cespedes out of Cuba before the Prince Fielder signing. It is an interesting perspective inside the Tigers front office but something of note stood out to me:
“If we’re going to get the guy we want for [Yoenis] Cespedes,” Dombrowski told Ilitch, “this is going to come right down to the wire. Do I have your OK to make this deal? I know we can trade him for sure, but do you want me to trade him even if it isn’t a good deal?”
Dombrowski had to get Mike Illitch’s permission to make a trade, no matter the trade, before executing.
Illitch hired David Dombrowski away from the Miami (then Florida) Marlins because he was one of the smartest men in baseball. He put him in charge of his organization and even all these years later, after Dombrowski crafted a 4 time division winner and 2 time AL Champion, he still needed his boss’ permission to make a move to better the Tigers.
Ultimately, Dombrowski got what he originally wanted & asked for, Michael Fullmer, who by all acounts is a great prospect & future pro. But, Cespedes was going to leave the Tigers after this season & even if Dombrowski couldn’t get his top choice, he should have made a move.
Illitch told him not to make that move, which would have still returned a prospect or two for a very much depleted minor league system. But, Illitch wouldn’t have allowed it, which would have further prevented this club from contending in the future.
Overall its a nice article & quite interesting, but if Illitch wants to win a World Series, he needs to trust that the people he puts in place to manage the different aspects of baseball are going to do what is best for the team, not refuse to relinquish control.