05/22/12 1:09 PM ET
Longtime GM Cook to rep Tigers at Draft
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
For the second straight year, the Tigers will not have a first-round selection or a compensation-round pick. Their first-rounder went to Milwaukee as compensation for the Prince Fielder signing, and they didn't offer arbitration to any of the free agents they lost, none of whom signed contracts that would have required compensation anyway.
Detroit's top selection will be their pick near the end of the second round, 91st overall, so Tigers officials won't be calling in a pick until the second day of the Draft on Tuesday, June 5. However, they'll still be a part of the festivities surrounding the start of the draft a day earlier.
It'll be a way to honor Cook, who served as general manager of the Yankees, Expos and Reds during the 1980s. Though his highest-profile job was the GM post under owner George Steinbrenner in New York, he made his name for taking chances that paid off accumulating talent in three seasons in Montreal.
Some of that came from trading established stars. When the Expos traded Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, Cook swung the deal for a package that included Hubie Brooks, who became an All-Star shortstop in Montreal. Cook pounced when the Orioles decided to trade Dennis Martinez, who went on to three All-Star selections, an ERA title and a perfect game as an Expo. Another risky signing, Pascual Perez, went on to a 7-0 record in 1987 and threw a then-rain-shortened no-hitter in 1988.
Cook also made what turned out to be a key pickup for the front office when he hired Dave Dombrowski, who had just been let go by then-White Sox general manager Ken Harrelson, to become the Expos' director of Minor League clubs in December 1986. A year and a half later, Dombrowski became the Expos' general manager.
Though Cook became known in Cincinnati as the Reds general manager during the Pete Rose scandal, he put together several of the pieces that helped lead them to the World Series in 1990. Cook traded for a talented young arm in Jose Rijo soon after his hire, sent Kal Daniels to the Dodgers for Mariano Duncan and acquired Todd Benzinger in the Nick Esasky trade.
Cook has had a second career as a scout over the past two decades, including stints working for Dombrowski with the Marlins until 2002 and with the Tigers since '07. He currently scouts central Florida and the Northeast for the Tigers' draft efforts.
The annual First-Year Player Draft takes place this year from June 4-6, beginning with the first round and Comp Round A on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m. ET. The first night of the event will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com. Rounds 2-40 will also be streamed live on MLB.com on June 5-6.
MLB.com's coverage, sponsored by CenturyLink, will include Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list, Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, and Draft Caster. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.