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Detroit Tigers links: What can the Andrelton Simmons trade teach us about Jose Iglesias' value?

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A young, affordable shortstop got traded on Thursday.Will that give new Tigers GM Al Avila something to think about with his own?

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves and Angels have made the first big blockbuster trade of the off-season by trading Andrelton Simmons for Erick Aybar, Sean Newcomb, Chris Ellis, and Jose Briceno. Simmons is a defensive wizard, but his bat has yet to reach league average with a career 85 OPS+. Newcomb and Ellis are the biggest names headed to Atlanta. Newcomb was the 15th-overall draft pick in 2014 and ranked 70th on Baseball America's top-prospects list. He had a 2.47 ERA in 13 games in high-A and a 2.75 ERA in seven Double-A games during 2015. Ellis is a former third round pick and had a 3.88 ERA in 11 Advanced-A games and a 3.92 ERA in 15 Double-A games.

Simmons is probably the closest comparison in the open market to Jose Iglesias. Both are entering their age 26 season in 2016. Both are highly regarded for the defense while their offense is a little lacking. Simmons has better defense numbers, but Iglesias is slightly better on offense (93 career OPS+). Simmons is under control until 2020 ($53 million) and Iglesias will become a free agent a year earlier but will likely earn less through arbitration. Add it all up and the return the Braves got for Simmons should be about the same if the Tigers were to trade Iglesias.

So should the Tigers entertain the thought of trading Iglesias? They have several areas of need (starting pitching, relief pitching, and outfield) and likely do not have the money to address all the needs through free agency, based on recent comments from Jason Beck from MLB.com:

The Tigers also are looking at the outfield market, Avila confirmed, either for a full-time left fielder or a right-handed hitter to platoon. How the search for pitching goes is likely to affect how they approach that.

Despite bolstering their farm system at the trade deadline, it still remains a weak point for the Tigers. If they wanted to strengthen it more or if they wanted to address a major league need through trade, they probably would have to trade a part of their big league roster. Jose Iglesias could be one such trade chip.

Finally, there’s the whole shortstop replacement issue if they do trade Iglesias. Dixon Machdo has impressed both Al Avila and Brad Ausmus while filling in for Iglesias when he was injured and during winter ball. Has he impressed enough to make Iglesias expendable?

The Tigers Need A Good Outfielder, Not A Complimentary One - New English D, Neil Weinberg
Neil argues that the Tigers' offense would be too weak with two iffy ouffielders (Gose and a platoon involving Collins).

Mensching: Zimmermann, Gordon make sense for Tigers - The Detroit News, Kurt Mensching
Jordan Zimmermann and Alex Gordon would be a cheaper alternative to bringing back former Tigers David Price and Yoenis Cespedes.

Scott Boras expects Detroit Tigers’ owner Mike Ilitch to spend on pitching - Detroit Free Press, Anthony Fenech
Scott Boras knows what the Tigers' needs are and knows that Ilitch has spent loads of money in the past to fill in the holes (Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez for example).

Yoenis Cespedes' new car is both ridiculous and awesome - Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports, Chris Cwik
Is that thing even street legal?

Fact or Fiction: GMs target players they've acquired before - Fox Sports, Sam Miller
There is a slight connection, but general managers usually view generic ballplayers as generic ballplayers.

Seattle Mariners acquire Joaquin Benoit, look to contend in 2016 - SweetSpot - ESPN - David Schoenfield
The Mariners acquire one of the best relief pitchers available by trading from one of the weakest farm systems in baseball.

Colby Rasmus will reportedly be first to accept MLB qualifying offer - SBNation.com, Eric Stephen
Rasmus, who hit .238/.314/.475 with 25 home runs in 2015, will earn $15.8 million for one year for accepting a qualifying offer, a raise from $8 million he made last year.

Drew Smyly became elite in 2015 - Beyond the Box Score, Ryan Romano
Former Tiger Drew Smyly could break out in a big way in 2016.