For Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, he has a track record for making the great trades. His trade for Miguel Cabrera is regarded as probably his best deal he has made for the Tigers. In contrast, Dombrowski was initially questioned about trading away promising outfielder Matt Joyce to the Rays for Edwin Jackson:
A December trade, this was rejected by many fans and analysts at the time. Jackson had a lot of potential, but failed to harness it before having his best season in 2008: a 4.42 ERA year. Yet in Detroit, he put together an incredible half-season and was named a 2009 All Star. Joyce was a fan favorite and showed a lot of potential in Detroit, but did little with the Rays’ organization during his first season there.
It’s been a few years later since the Matt Joyce trade now, and Edwin Jackson has been traded away from the Tigers, and a couple of other teams too. Despite the Rays bringing on Super Manny , the left handed hitting Matt Joyce is in line to get a fine share of at bats this year. Matt Joyce won’t be a starter on opening day, but has shown to be a huge power hitting threat against right handed pitching. His .524 SLG /.910 OPS last year against right handed pitching is impressive. Against left handed pitching, he struggled mightily but barely got enough of a sample size to really make an impact.
Is this the year Matt Joyce becomes a household name for even the casual Rays fans? As I noted in an earlier post, I don’t see B.J. Upton with Rays for much longer. In Joyce, I am intrigued with his power potential and he is relatively cheap at this point in his career. Give him a full year of at bats,and even a chance at hitting left handed pitching to see what he is capable of. The Rays bought out Evan Longoria even before he made his major league debut. With all the Rays talent that is now playing for other teams in 2011, it’s time to take a chance on someone who could be an important piece for the franchise , and wants to be here.