The run-up to the 2022 trade deadline was very quiet until the dam finally burst on Monday. The Detroit Tigers weren’t involved in many rumors for most of the day, but finally right after their 10-inning loss to the Minnesota Twins, the first domino fell. Robbie Grossman was traded to the Atlanta Braves for minor league left-hander Kris Anglin according to multiple reports.
The 32-year-old Grossman came to Detroit on a two-year deal worth ten million dollars in the 2020-2021 offseason. He quickly endeared himself to a beleaguered fanbase with a very well-rounded, professional brand of baseball throughout the 2021 campaign. Grossman put together the best season of his 10-year career in the major leagues. His consistency, discipline, and a couple of walkoff hits were all a treat to watch, and his 23 home runs and 20 stolen bases were personal bests for him.
Unfortunately, Grossman’s 2022 season started with an injury and he just couldn’t get anything going until very recently. It’s been a complete reversal and the frustration has been obvious at times. His production collapsed hitting left-handed, and Grossman has nabbed only three bags and hit two home runs to date. He’s been better against left-handers, which is presumably going to be his role in Atlanta. Possibly a fresh start amid a very talented group of defending World Series champions will be good for him overall.
The return here is light as expected, but the Tigers have generally done a good job picking unheralded arms they can work with the past few years. Kris Anglin is a 20-year-old, left-handed starter currently working in A-ball with the Augusta Green Jackets. He isn’t ranked on MLB Pipeline’s top 30 for the Braves, and was taken in the 16th round of the 2021 draft out of Howard Junior College. He does have solid strikeout rates and at least he’s young, so we’ll see if he comes to anything.
Grossman’s trade value was nearly non-existent, so don’t get your hopes up, but this seems like a positive sign.
Ultimately it really doesn’t matter who the Tigers got for Grossman and they were never going to get much. It was just best to move him to make way for younger players who might be part of the future. Austin Meadows may return at some point, but the Tigers need to give Akil Baddoo a lot of plate appearances to see if he can find something, and decide what they’re doing with guys like Victor Reyes and Willi Castro when the club is clearly in dire need of offensive upgrades. The group of Kerry Carpenter, Daz Cameron, and Kody Clemens should get some looks. The Tigers need to see these players, work with them, and see where they stand.
Meanwhile, this is also a nice opportunity for Grossman to shake off whatever happened in the first half and go play meaningful baseball in October. We wish him the best in doing so.
There are about 18 hours until the trade deadline as of this writing. The Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets continue to be the two names brought up talking with the Tigers about their bullpen arms. Beyond that there still haven’t been many specific rumors. Unlikely as it was to begin with, trade speculation around Tarik Skubal seemed to have extinguished even before he took himself out of Monday’s start in Minnesota due to arm fatigue. Major moves are not expected.