The MLB non-waiver trade deadline has now passed. Though the month was mainly quiet, the Detroit Tigers made a pair of moves during the final days that should both help the team make its final push to the playoffs as well as help them in October. The cost was relatively inexpensive. True, two of the organization's top positional players are now gone, but it was as close to a position of strength as you could ask for on the farm.
- Jose Iglesias, a 23-year-old shortstop from the Red Sox with quite a few years of team control remaining. Presumably the Tigers acquired him under the belief shortstop Jhonny Peralta will be suspended 50 games by MLB for his connection to the Biogenesis clinic. Iglesias has beautiful glovework but has struggled to hit for average or power, or even to get on base, during earlier seasons of his pro career. However, he started to put the pieces together during the first few months of this season before a recent stumble. He's seen as the Tigers' shortstop of the future at this point, as Peralta is in the final year of his contract.
- Jose Veras, a 32-year-old right-handed relief pitcher from the Astros. Veras served as closer this season for Houston but will see action in the seventh and eighth innings for the Tigers. He may be asked to closer on occasions Joaquin Benoit is unavailable. Veras has found success this season due to controlling his free passes while continuing to strike batters out. He is under a relatively inexpensive contract for the rest of 2013 and a team-friendly option (a bit over $3 million) for 2014 can be exercised. He may just end up closing games for Detroit next year, because Benoit is in the final year of his contract. However, you'd expect the Tigers to try to keep Benoit if a deal could be reached.
Read more about the Veras deal here.
- Danry Vasquez, a 19-year-old outfielder with Low-A West Michigan. He's batting .281/.333/.390 there. He's said to have a beautiful swing and expected to add power as his body fills out. He has the potential to be an above-average outfielder. He was traded to Houston in exchange for Veras.
Read our minor-league writer's thoughts on the Vasquez deal.
- Avisail Garcia, a 22-year-old outfielder who'd played with the Tigers on and off since last September. He was with Triple-A Toledo when the deal occurred. His MLB slashline of .269/.309/.354 may not sound impressive, but he is a player still growing into his own who was clobbering Triple-A pitching to the tune of .374/.410/.537. Garcia was traded to the Red Sox but shipped immediately to the White Sox during the three-team, seven-player Jake Peavy deal. He'll be especially missed by Tigers fans due to his uncanny resemblance to Miguel Cabrera.
- Brayan Villarreal, a 26-year-old right-handed reliever with the Mud Hens. Villarreal has experience in the MLB, having thrown in 73 games across three seasons of work. He finished his Tigers career with a 4.56 ERA. There was some discussion he could possibly close games for Detroit, but like seemingly every other young player who has that tag applied to them, he fell short. This season he allowed 10 runs in seven appearances and never made it back to Detroit. He continued to struggle with walks in Toledo but had been striking out batters relatively well. He'll remain with the Red Sox.
Rumors we followed:
- Tim Lincecum, Giants: Jon Paul Morosi ignited this one after Lincecum threw a no-hitter, saying the Tigers asked about the right-hander with the idea of making him a reliever. It was never seriously going to happen but it was fun to talk about.
- Javier Lopez, Giants: This came up a few times, as the Tigers were thought to be exploring left-handed options. He would likely have surpassed both Darin Downs and Phil Coke on the lefty-reliever depth chart. But the asking price was too high. Like Lincecum, he was not traded.
- Phil Coke to the Braves: No clue how real this one was. Doubtful it was too serious. But it was mentioned by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Maybe that's why Coke looked so serious and intense after coming off the mound Wednesday.