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The Mariners are interested in trading for Matthew Boyd

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Boyd should draw a good deal of interest, but it will be tough to motivate the Tigers to deal the lefty.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Washington Nationals made the first big move of the summer, acquiring closer Kelvin Herrera from the Kansas City Royals. It was a strong early move from Washington, and immediately got the Hot Stove warming as other hints of trade talks came out. The Detroit Tigers have numerous players who will draw interest, but as Fox Sports Jon Paul Morosi reported on Thursday, the most notable Tigers rumor so far involves the Seattle Mariners’ interest in lefty Matthew Boyd.

Boyd is pitching the best baseball of his career in a stretch that goes back to September 2017. He is a Seattle area native, and an offseason training partner of Mariners ace James Paxton. The Mariners have shown an interest in Boyd before. The lefthander would fortify a somewhat thin rotation for years to come, and he feels like a good fit in Seattle.

Since the loss of Robinson Cano to a PED suspension in May, the Mariners have played like a team possessed. They are currently on a 24-9 run and have crept up within 3 12 games of the dominant Houston Astros in the AL West. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is one of the most aggressive traders in the game, and it’s not hard to imagine a desire on his part to add a solid left-handed starter.

However, it’s hard to see how this would work out on the Tigers side. Dipoto’s own aggressiveness has depleted the Mariners’ farm system. Outfielder Kyle Lewis is an intriguing name, and there are a smattering of other interesting prospects, but there isn’t really a single prospect who is going to motivate a trade. Unlike some of the deals the Tigers made in 2017, they have little to lose by waiting where Boyd is concerned.

Boyd is 27-years old, with four years of team control remaining before free agency. He is entering his prime as a pitcher. While his 4.02 FIP puts a slight damper on his solid 3.63 ERA, Boyd still looks like a better than average major league starter at this point. He will be inexpensive throughout his prime years, and he has also been durable. Boyd hasn’t thrown fewer than 150 innings since he was in Single-A ball way back in 2014. He threw 186 frames last season between Triple-A and the majors. There’s little reason for the Tigers to consider a deal unless a team comes to them with a big-time offer.

Trading Boyd isn’t unthinkable, as the Tigers’ farm system is strong with pitching, but he’s controlled for so many years that he could also be a part of a rebuilt Tigers contender. He’s inexpensive and durable, just the kind of starting pitcher a lot of teams would like to acquire in the coming months. He is not flashy, and he’s not much of a strikeout artist by current standards, but he also may be one of the safest options available to teams looking to bulk up their rotation.