As the offseason trade market heats up, expect us to hear more about discussions the Detroit Tigers are having with teams for their highly sought-after players. Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Giants are one of those teams talking with general manager Al Avila about right fielder J.D. Martinez.
With Martinez under team control for one more year at $11.75 million, teams are looking at him as a relatively cheap slugger to acquire without the long-term commitment. He certainly has value as a player who has reached 4 fWAR twice in the last three seasons while putting up a 135 wRC+ or better each year during his stint in Detroit.
The Giants are in need of an outfielder to replace free agent Angel Pagan. Their farm system is not exactly the most talented, as Minor League Ball ranked them 20th to start off the season. However, Avila may be looking to acquire something other than prospect compensation, and could look to the Giants’ 40-man roster for a young controllable major leaguer or two. If the Tigers do acquire prospect talent, look for them to target top-100 prospects like Christian Arroyo.
It is still very early in the offseason and while the Giants and Tigers are discussing this trade, that does not mean it is necessarily imminent. Martinez is currently highly in demand, especially with an awful free agent class in the outfield. Avila is likely having discussions with many other teams to scope out the amount of interest there is in Martinez at this stage. Therefore, we will likely continue to see Martinez associated with other teams in the coming weeks.
All in all, consider the Giants a contender in the sweepstakes for Detroit’s slugging outfielder. However, there is still plenty of uncertainty left as we approach the Winter Meetings.