With just hours remaining before MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline, the Detroit Tigers find themselves in an unfamiliar place. Not only are they nine games above .500 for the first time since early 2015 — and just one game back of a playoff spot — they are also one of eight teams that has yet to make a deadline move.
General manager Al Avila has told the press all month long that he and the Tigers plan to stand pat at the trade deadline, but that hasn’t stopped him from poking his nose in on several different rumors. We have kept you updated on all the rumor-mongering so far this month, but the hours leading up to the deadline always result in a flurry of activity.
Tigers may still be interested in Jonathan Lucroy
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick was the first to report that the Tigers were out on Lucroy before the Milwaukee Brewers struck a now-voided trade with the Cleveland Indians. With Lucroy still available after Sunday, Crasnick says “there’s a small chance” the Tigers jump back into the fray, “But they’re more focused on pitching.”
Grabbing Lucroy would be a coup for the Tigers, who are still relying on subpar production from James McCann behind the plate. It would also be an extra twist of the knife given how close Lucroy was to heading to Cleveland before their blatantly honest demands led him to veto the trade.
Update: Just kidding
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says that the Tigers are not involved with Lucroy, likely due to the asking price in return for Milwaukee’s backstop.
Sources: #Tigers not on Lucroy. Will not give up pitching to get a catcher. Also doubtful to land SP. Not willing to trade off MLB roster.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 1, 2016
Tigers looking for back-end starter upgrade
We dove into this a bit more on Sunday, but Crasnick also reported that the Tigers “have discussed the usual suspects” when it comes to starting pitching. The names Crasnick dropped included Phillies righthander Jeremy Hellickson, Royals righty Edinson Volquez, Angels lefty Hector Santiago, and Rays swingman Erasmo Ramirez. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi doubled down on the Hellickson and Santiago rumors. Crasnick also listed lefthander Wade Miley, but the 29-year-old southpaw was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday evening.
The other names on that list are interesting for various reasons. The Phillies are asking a lot for Jeremy Hellickson, and threatening to use a qualifying offer if he is not dealt. However, teams might be calling their bluff. Santiago had several good years with the Chicago White Sox before falling off in 2016 with the Angels. Volquez has been up and down, but trading within the division is always a risky venture.
One thing that may stop the Tigers from making a move is the high asking prices from other clubs. We saw the ridiculous (and rightful) demands that the New York Yankees wanted for lefty Andrew Miller, but ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported that just about everyone else is asking for either Matt Boyd, Daniel Norris, or both. Understandably, the Tigers have said no.
This post will be updated as more rumors unfold leading up to the trade deadline.