The Detroit Tigers have committed themselves to a rebooting plan with their trades of David Price and Joakim Soria. In doing so, they have received cost-controlled players that can help down the road. President and general manager Dave Dombrowski's job is not done yet, though.
With the trade deadline at 4:00 p.m. EDT, Dombrowski still holds several players who are only under contract until the end of the season. The player who will draw the most interest is star left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, and impact bat and a defensive force. Although the market for Cespedes was slow-developing, it appears to be rapidly heating up in the last few hours.
The Tigers dealing Cespedes has little to do with hopes of retaining him for the 2016 season. In fact, if they hold onto him, they would have to sign him to an extension within five days of the World Series, which is an unlikely proposition. Trading him may be their best hope to hold onto him from here on out.
The teams that appear to have the most interest in Cespedes at the moment are the White Sox, the Orioles, and the ever enigmatic Mets. Although they do not appear to be engaged in a bidding war like Dombrowski orchestrated for Price, that does not mean the Cuban outfielder will be cheap, as Anthony Fenech speculated:
Another scout thinks the return for Cespedes could be a top-tier and mid-level prospect. Another, a back-end starter. So opinions vary.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) July 31, 2015
Reports about the Tigers dealing with the Orioles have been conflicted to this point:
cespedes could help almost anyone the way he's been playing. o's like him but have heard no great match with tigers.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2015
price tag is high on cespedes. belief is, with orioles, they'd seek gausman. last guy o's want to trade.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2015
Kevin Gausman would be a massive haul for a rental player and is almost certainly not coming to Detroit. Odds are Dombrowski is posturing, although if he actually returns Gausman for Cespedes (and likely another player) this would be great for the future of the Tigers.
Bless You Boys will have more coverage to come on the Cespedes trade rumors as the afternoon continues.