Sometimes, even though a person doesn't need groceries, a quick trip to the supermarket can still be beneficial.
Every July, that's the case for the Detroit Tigers, who routinely don't look like they need much prior to the trade deadline, but are consistently no less needy under the surface. In 2014, they need a few trips to the store to feel better.
Over the weekend, the Oakland Athletics served notice, dealing a host of prospects and pitcher Dan Straily to the Chicago Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Whether or not the Athletics made the deal as a reaction to Detroit's sweep last week or to keep up with the Tigers in a possible playoff series as Justin Verlander noted is irrelevant. The fact is, Oakland made a gutsy move quick, and that set the tone for this trade season.
Sunday, the New York Yankees, in need of starting pitching, traded for Brandon McCarthy of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While that move wasn't designed to rock baseball nearly as much as the play for Samardzija was, McCarthy's addition still fills an obvious need early for the Yankees.
Neither deal should cause the Tigers to make a significant, reactionary blockbuster trade of their own for a big name now. However, each trade should showcase the increasing value of moving quickly. As a result of their deals, Oakland and New York get to have three and a half extra weeks with each player, which equates to more value in the long run.
To get bullpen help in the form of a Huston Street or Joaquin Benoit, Detroit might not have to move quickly, but they should be motivated to do so. Solving their most common problem a bit earlier would allow for a period of introspection between now and July 31. If another need would arise in between, the Tigers would be able to meet it confidently.
Most years, there's no need to move fast for upgrades as prices for transactions tend to lower, but the Athletics and Billy Beane may have become baseball's preeminent trend setters again. Their move already set in motion one ripple effect move, and more could be on the way quickly. Detroit would be smart to keep their ears to the ground so a deal doesn't pass them by prematurely.
Detroit's roster cupboard might look well stocked, but that doesn't mean they have to wait to make a few well-placed additions earlier along the way. Oakland and New York proved that by firing the first significant shots of the trade season.
Dave Dombrowski's phone, which is likely already running a bit hotter, should probably begin to heat up even more.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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