Here's a prediction. Two of them, actually.
It's always that way when Pudge changes teams. The Rangers missed him, and the Marlins won a World Series with him. The Marlins missed him, and eventually the Tigers went to the World Series with him.
Now he's off to the Yankees, traded today for Kyle Farnsworth, in a deal that helps the Yankees and might well hurt the Tigers. Yes, the Tigers needed help in the bullpen, and maybe Farnsworth can be effective as a closer.
But they'll miss Pudge.
There are issues with Pudge, but there's also this: Pudge wants to play, he wants to win, and he's still a lot better than most of the catchers out there.
I saw Pudge Sunday morning at Comerica Park, and you could tell he wasn't happy. And you know why he wasn't? In the three-game weekend series against the first-place White Sox, he only played in two of the three games. He wanted to play all three, including the day game after the night game.
Same thing today. Pudge said he was shocked to come to the ballpark and find out that he was getting traded. Why? Because the Tigers are only 5 1/2 games out, and he figured he was going to help them close that gap and get to the playoffs. He never imagined that they'd trade him away when they still had a chance to win.
Pudge will frustrate you at times. He's not the hitter he once was, he doesn't always block balls in the dirt, and some pitchers will grumble about throwing to him. On the other hand, he went out and proved that the $40 million, four-year contract the Tigers gave him in the winter of 2003-04 was money well spent.
Now he might well help a third team get to the World Series.
"He's going to provide an energy that team needs," said one scout who knows the Yankees well. "He brings a Girardi-type influence. He doesn't just know how to won, but he's already won it all. You put him in that clubhouse, he could kick-start them."
The Yankees will be happy to have him. And the Tigers will miss him.