What a week to be a Tigers fan. Two of three from the Cubs and a sweep of the Twins puts the team at .500 and a game and a half out of a playoff spot. This team has suddenly become fun to watch again. With the trade deadline looming on Monday, we’ll wait anxiously to see what happens and if anyone comes or goes from the squad while we look forward to a three game tilt against the Milwaukee Brewers.
After a relatively quiet week, trades popped off left and right on Sunday. The San Diego Padres were at the heart of most of the action. They locked up in a seven player deal with that frenetic options trader, Jerry Dipoto, and the Seattle Mariners for a deal that sends high-end outfield prospect Taylor Trammell and more to the Pacific Northwest, while catcher-utilityman Austin Nola and a pair of quality relief arms head to general manager A.J. Preller’s all-in Padres.
Oh and the Padres also traded for veteran catcher Jason Castro, acquiring him from the Los Angeles Angels. That’s right, the Padres just completely replaced their catching duo midseason in a playoff chase.
Meanwhile, the Padres, Dodgers, Braves and everyone else are in pursuit of Cleveland Indians ace, Mike Clevinger. Or they’re all in pursuit of Texas Rangers ace, Lance Lynn. The Rangers are also dangling the mighty Joey Gallo, though the price is expected to be high.
In the end, we may have a much busier day of deals than expected.
Tigers at the trade deadline
Speaking of the trade deadline, many are wondering what — if anything — the Tigers might do. Evan Petzold of The Detroit Free Press is here to tell us that there isn’t a strong message one way or the other coming out of the front office, but there are some players who could potentially move. It’s a wide ranging list including the likes of Jonathan Schoop, Matthew Boyd, JaCoby Jones, Jeimer Candelario, Buck Farmer, Daniel Norris, Ivan Nova (no idea why he’s on this list) and Austin Romine. I doubt the list of available players, or guys teams would be interested in is this large, but Petzold makes the case for trading or keeping each one.
Outfielder Victor Reyes is a bit of a polarizing figure among Tigers fans. Acquired as a Rule 5 pick prior to the 2018 season his development has left many wondering if he was a worthwhile venture or just a disposable 4th outfielder. Although he could improve in his ability to take a walk — or hit for power — his 2020 season continues to show some promise. He’s playing solid defense at whatever spot they slot him into in the outfield and his offense is continuing to improve. Reyes points to having the opportunity to play every day as a big factor in his improvement. It’s the improvement in both aspects of the game that is impressing management and keeping him on the field.
Boyd returning to form
After another strong start on Saturday Evan Woodbery of MLive is asking if Matthew Boyd is back. It would appear that if he isn’t fully back, he is well on his way. Saturday’s start puts a cap on a three game run where we are seeing the Matthew Boyd that everybody likes to watch. the improvement appears to be anchored by the return of his changeup as a reliable part of his arsenal (somewhere Jim Price stirs). We’ll see if a stronger three-pitch mix is the key, and whether Boyd can continue to build on this progress.
Don’t get Torked up
If you’re having late August fever dreams about the arrival of Spencer Torkelson in Detroit this year, allow Jason Beck of mlb.com to burst your bubble. The Tigers drafted Torkelson as an advanced bat that should be in Detroit soon, but that is most decidedly not 2020 soon. Few hitters pass directly to the major leagues straight out of the draft, and the Tigers have no reason to push it. The power hitting would-be third baseman still needs some time to develop against a higher caliber of pitching than he saw in college. Give it a year, folks.
Miguel Cabrera is awesome
In true Miggy style, Cabrera takes a curtain call to thank the crowd in celebrating his 2000th hit as a Detroit Tiger.
Around the horn
Daniel Norris and Austin Romine both get a mention in MLB Trade Rumors most recent trade deadline update. Cubs acquire Jose Martinez from the Rays. Padres pick up Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox and Jason Castro from the Angels. Yandy Diaz and the ground ball revolution. White Sox and Indians discussing a Mike Clevinger deal?