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Detroit Tigers News: The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching

Let’s talk trades, attendance, rehab, and the performance of some young Tiger players.

MLB: Detroit Tigers-Media Day Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings, reader, and welcome to another week of Detroit Tigers baseball. Despite Jordan Zimmermann’s best efforts, the Tigers managed to beat the Kansas City Royals on Sunday by out-hitting them on the way to a 12-8 score. This allowed our beloved Tigers to avoid being swept by a team with a .340 winning percentage.

The Tigers now move on to a four-game tilt against the Cleveland Indians that begins on Monday night where Daniel Norris will toe the rubber. While we wait on that, let’s take a look at what interesting Tigers tidbits we have today.

Top trade candidates

We are a shade over two weeks away from the MLB trade deadline, and as we inch closer to that July 31 date, some moves are being made. Notably, the Orioles increased their chances of losing more games by trading Andrew Cashner to the Red Sox for a pair of teenage prospects.

In anticipation of the upcoming activity, MLB Trade Rumors released their top 60 trade targets and we see four Tigers on that list — three in the top 10. Although he is ranked behind Nick Castellanos and Shane Greene, Matthew Boyd is the player that is currently receiving the most attention. He had scouts from several teams at his most recent start on Saturday where he managed to strike out 10 and walk four. That match up had scouts on hand from the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays, who have been indicated as a team very interested in Mr. Boyd’s services already. It’s not certain whether Boyd will be traded in the ensuing weeks, but if he isn’t, it won’t be for lack of interest.

Seat filler

The Tigers are terrible this year, and there is no arguing otherwise. With the product on the field so lackluster, the organization is struggling to fill seats. They have resorted to a wide range of promotions, including discounted ticket prices.

While that may help to bring in some more fans, there are season ticket holders who are feeling less than gruntled about the situation they find themselves in.

“When you’re a crappy team and you’re charging a premium for everything, beer, food,” said Jerry Johnson, 53, of Franklin, who shares season tickets in the Tiger Den with his wife and another couple. “It’s kind of a kick in the balls.”

Watching the team sell tickets in your section for a fraction of the price you paid for them is probably not so great. Season ticket holders do see the value in their position. Ever the optimists, they are betting on the notion that this team can’t stay this terrible forever, although waiting until the team is good again might feel that long.

Either way, I feel you, Jerry Johnson, 53, of Franklin. I feel you.

Room for Stewart

Christin Stewart has produced less-than-expected numbers at the plate this year. For a guy whose calling card is supposed to be his bat, that has served to further amplify his associated deficiencies. While manager Ron Gardenhire feels that his bat is going to come around — Stewart is currently sporting six home runs and a dismal 89 wRC+ — defense continues to be an adventure.

“It’s unfair to say anything about him against this team,” Gardenhire said. “He’s doing pretty good, but there’s a lot of work to be done on shortening his arm motion, getting to the ball quicker, having quicker reactions — there’s work to be done and he knows it.”

There are discussion of shifts, and how Gardenhire doesn’t think they are helping the young left fielder at all, and moving him to right field if and when Castellanos is traded, a move Gardenhire says is most certainly not happening. Whatever Stewart’s struggles may be, the organization continues to have faith in his ability to work it out.

A Reyes of sunshine

After his most recent call-up, Victor Reyes has totaled 11 games with the big club that include 38 plate appearances. Over that span, he has posted some promising numbers. He has a walk rate over 10 percent, a strikeout rate that hovers around 13 percent, and is sporting a .265 average. Neat.

Looking at other stats, like a .088 ISO and an 89 wRC+, might give one enough pause to pump the brakes a little bit... or not. Reyes’s most recent performance has resulted in not one, but two separate profiles about how pumped the Tigers are with young Reyes.

I get that he has shown improvement, which is something this team desperately wants and needs to see from him. However, after how lost he looked in the big leagues last season, we might want to wait a little bit longer than 38 plate appearances to see if this sticks.

Jonesin’ for rehab

There was a thought that we might see JaCoby Jones return to action on Sunday when he was eligible to come off the 10-day injured list. That plan changed over the weekend after the team bandied about the idea of sending him out for a short rehab stint with Triple-A Toledo. He should see three or four games with the Mud Hens before he gets brought back up for big league duties.

PFT

If you watch your games on the mlb.tv app like I do, you become very familiar with the same set of commercials over and over and over again. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins has a pretty entertaining take on one particular commercial he has been forced to watch repeatedly this season. Click to read the full thread.

Around the horn

MLB blaming it’s own players for not being more popular is now an annual event. Leonys Martin, the guy Al Avila traded to get Willi Castro, just signed with the Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines. How Charlie Maxwell became Sunday Charlie. Jim Bouton opened up the major leagues to everyone. Robot umpire calls it’s first professional baseball game.