This may perhaps be the least surprising story of 2019, but the Detroit Tigers are willing to deal “virtually any veteran on their roster,” according to a report from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. This shopping list includes lefthander Matthew Boyd and closer Shane Greene, both of whom are under control for longer than the 2019 season. Outfielder Nicholas Castellanos is the other big name mentioned in Morosi’s report — he calls Castellanos “perhaps the Tigers’ likeliest trade candidate of all” — which comes as no surprise.
The extent to which the Tigers are willing to listen on offers for all three players remains to be seen. Castellanos has been the most heavily shopped player of this trio in recent years, but the Tigers have not found a taker for the 27-year-old outfielder’s services. Defensive metrics have been kinder to him this year than in seasons past, but Castellanos is also struggling at the plate, with a .260/.317/.449 line through 63 games. That 101 wRC+ is his lowest since 2015.
Greene is another player that could be on the move, and might even be the most likely to be traded this July. With a 1.00 ERA, 20 saves, and a career-best 27.4 percent strikeout rate on his ledger already, his value probably won’t get much higher than it is right now. Greene has an additional year of club control remaining — he will be a free agent after the 2020 season — which would give teams a bit more value than your typical two-month rental.
While there has been talk of dealing Boyd as he has progressed throughout the year, he still seems like the least likely to move this July. The Tigers will be asking top dollar for his services at the deadline, as he has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball in 2019. Boyd still has three years of club control remaining, making him one of the more valuable commodities in the game. Many have compared a potential return for Boyd to what the Chicago White Sox received for lefthander Jose Quintana — namely, a package centered around Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease. Jimenez was considered by many as a top-five prospect in all of baseball at the time.
There likely won’t be many rumors about players outside of those three on the Tigers’ roster. Either the Tigers will not be willing to part with a young, cost-controlled talent — hi there, Spencer Turnbull — or other teams will not want to trade for Detroit’s underperforming veterans. Miguel Cabrera and his rather toothless .721 OPS will not draw any trade suitors, and the veteran stopgaps the Tigers signed during the offseason are all currently injured.
In the end, there isn’t much new to report here. We knew the Tigers would field offers on just about everyone on their roster heading into 2019, and that seems to be the case now. We don’t know — and may never know — how eager they are to deal said talents, or what extension negotiations look like between the club and certain interested parties.
But everyone is talking about the rumors, so we will too.
What do you think?
Who do you want to see the Tigers deal (if anyone) this summer?