The MLB trade deadline came and went on Wednesday afternoon, and brought with it a flurry of last-minute trades. Several stars joined new teams, while a few others, including Detroit Tigers lefthander Matthew Boyd, stayed put.
If you’re interested in every deal that went down on Wednesday, our friends at McCovey Chronicles have you covered. For the Tigers, however, there are only two trades to analyze. Shane Greene was sent to the Atlanta Braves for prospects Joey Wentz and Travis Demeritte, while Nicholas Castellanos netted pitchers Paul Richan and Alex Lange in return.
Note: Any uncertainty in the return(s) for Wednesday’s trades is because we put this together right as the deals were being finalized.
This week’s question: What you think about the Tigers’ trade deadline moves?
Ashley: Honestly, I’m not mad about any of it. The return for Castellanos is meh at a glance. I don’t see much to get excited about, but it also means we’re not getting nothing when he walks away after the season. The return on Greene, especially if it contains a third player to be named later, is promising. I’m glad they didn’t move Matthew Boyd needlessly when no one would meet their price. I think I’d have been the most angry if they sold him for a Marcus Stroman-level return. The Tigers moved who I thought they would (and should), and we picked up four (maybe five) guys in return, one who could be major league ready already. Overall, it was a pretty good day for the Tigers. I can’t wait to see Castellanos go hit 25 home runs in Wrigley the rest of the year.
Rob: I actually like the return for Castellanos, in part because I had very low expectations. The two prospects the Tigers received in return for him are arguably better than what they landed for J.D. Martinez two years ago, and have a bit more margin for error than that trio of infielders. I’m not as impressed with the other trade, but I’m willing to be patient on both Wentz and Demeritte, especially if the Tigers bring the latter up right away.
Adam: Overall, I’m not disappointed. The Greene return seems light, but the word on the street heading towards the deadline was that the requested return for him was “the most reasonable” among the top relief pitchers available on the market. Castellanos’ return was better than I had expected, as I was thinking we’d get a Jose King-type prospect or two in return. For me, it kind of evens out, if not leaning a bit towards an overall better return than I expected.
Rob: If “modest return” is the theme here, I’m pleased they didn’t give up Boyd.
Rob: Wentz and Demeritte is also a much better return than the Tigers would have gotten this winter or next July. I’m making peace with it.
Ashley: I’m honestly kind of excited about Demeritte. Maybe that’s wrong, I don’t know. But I am.
Zane: Demeritte was the No. 16 best prospect traded a few deadlines ago per Baseball America (2016), right ahead of No. 17, Daniel Vogelbach. Is he a late bloomer? I hope so.
Jay: I was happy to see Demeritte included in the deal. I was hoping the Tigers would pick him up in the Rule 5 draft. While it stings a little to know they could have had him for free and passed, I’m still pleased that he’s now in the organization. He probably will not ever be more than a second-division starter, but he’s putting up big numbers at Triple-A, is a decent fielder, and has some raw power to get into the lineup at a position of need.
Zane: I’m glad the Tigers held onto Boyd. The Greene return is better than I anticipated in a past roundtable where I compared him to Brandon Kintzler in 2017. And the Castellanos return is better than the J.D. Martinez return already. But it was more so “my expectations are low and this is a bit more than I expected” than having actual high expectations.
Patrick: I can’t be very disappointed since I approach the deadline with limited expectations in any case. When we read in Baseball America that in all the deadline trades from 2003 to 2014, only 20 percent of the 438 prospects acquired even made it to the major leagues, let alone achieved any level of success, then it’s time to temper expectations. I am not a strong believer in trading proven major league players for prospects who might one day grow up to be as good as the player that you have traded away. That said, Castellanos is a free agent who is not coming back, so it makes sense for the Tigers to get what they can for him. Greene would have cost around $8 million in his final year of arbitration, and no doubt that is a major factor in wanting to unload him. If any of these prospects turn out to be stars, they will be bucking the odds. At some point, the Tigers need to pony up some cash to keep the players that they develop. I am very glad that they did not trade Matthew Boyd.
Brandon: I feel OK about these moves. I really would have liked the Tigers to have added a catcher to that Greene deal. Even Alex Jackson would have been OK. I like Joey Wentz; a little better health from him and the Tigers might have a nice left-handed starter with some gas. Demeritte is kind of irrelevant, as he’s a castoff anyway, but he does have power and can probably hang OK at second base immediately. I didn’t expect much for Castellanos at all, two decent arms is fine as a return. Paul Richan is another one who threw harder in college and may get it back as he conditions himself to the pro workload.
Brady: Getting anything for Castellanos is a win. Richan seems promising but I have zero expectations for Alex Lange. Overall, I’m at peace with that deal. For Greene, though, I’m disappointed. Assuming he comes straight to the big leagues, Demeritte could be fun, mainly because he brings a fresh game to a bland club. That’s pretty much what we need right now, even if his 2019 success is a fluke. Wentz as the headliner is uninspiring to me, and I’m not too excited about it. My first mistake, though, was expecting more out of this deadline. Overall, I’m disappointed but not surprised.
Rob: If they claim Luiz Gohara, I’m just counting that as part of this deal.
[Ed.: Gohara was designated for assignment on Wednesday]
Brady: It’s just painful that the only non-pitcher we got is essentially a non-prospect. Ugh.
Patrick: Demeritte seems like the next Niko Goodrum.
Brandon: Hopefully a couple prospects break out in the second half, and there is a stud at No. 1 overall next June.
Rob: I wouldn’t call Demeritte a non-prospect.
Jay: I think Demeritte is absolutely a prospect, he’s just one of diminished value since being a first rounder.
Peter: The trade returns for Greene and Castellanos are fair and somewhat interesting. They’re nothing franchise altering at first glance, but at the end of the day, getting what they got for a rental and a closer due for regression was pretty good. By far the biggest and best move Al Avila made was to not undersell Matthew Boyd. Boyd has a chance to be a stabilizing veteran force on the future competitive club if they keep him around long term, or he can be a huge rotation upgrade to an immediate contender. Both of these outcomes indicate extreme value, and the price to acquire a player like that should be enormous. Avila has every right to ask for All-Star caliber young players in return, and, at the end of the day, no teams were willing to meet that price. By choosing to stick to his guns and not lower his demands for the sake of making a quick trade to add a lower package of talent, Avila showed true wisdom here. While it’s not a bright and shiny new prospect to drool over, sometimes the best moves are the ones not made.
Trevor: All the reports on Greene were that he had a high price tag, which made the return feel really light there. That said, there is some upside with Wentz. Demeritte felt odd purely because he was available in the Rule 5 draft last winter. The Castellanos move made more sense, I think. When stacked up with the J.D. Martinez return, even without retrospect, the Castellanos deal looks pretty good. Not trading Boyd for less than he is worth was also a good move. There’s a chance I’m grasping at straws, but look at the Chris Archer trade. He was dangled for a while and his trade value remained high. Boyd is a little older than Archer was, but based on that history there should have been no rush to move Boyd for less than he is worth. Overall it was not a terrible trade deadline, but it would have looked better with a third player in the Greene deal.
Peter: I’m starting to wonder how much of the “high price tag” for Greene was simply trade posturing and how much was real. I’m sure every seller wants a ton for their assets initially. They’d be fools not to. But some of the names thrown around, specifically Carter Keiboom, look more and more like complete BS for Shane. Those rumors don’t gel with the reports that Greene’s price was seen as “more affordable” by other clubs. The trade deadline has a way of getting you lost in the romance of teams shelling out elite prospects to your favorite club, but it rarely happens outside of the truly elite players in the game. Greene’s 2019 season looks like a fluke compared to the rest of his career, and his advanced metrics agree with that assessment. He’s a good reliever, but he’s not 1.18 ERA good. It feels like a light return given the rumors that were swirling around him, but in the end I think we got a good deal all things considered.
Patrick: Demeritte has an OPS of .944 in 339 at-bats. The last player with an OPS that high with that many at-bats was Mike Hessman, with a .976 OPS in 399 at-bats in 2008. Don Kelly had an .869 OPS in 369 at-bats in 2009.
Zane: If Demeritte is the new Don Kelly, then I’m about to fall in love again and we won the trade deadline.