Major League Baseball is about three weeks out from the trade deadline, and the Detroit Tigers, with one of the worst records in the league, have some assets to deal.
Will he stay or will he go? (Photo by Alexandra Simon)
Shane Greene, the All-Star closer, will almost assuredly be traded, while a team desperate enough for offense (like, say, the Cleveland Indians) might be willing to pay for Nicholas Castellanos.
But the real prize on the Tigers’ roster is Matthew Boyd, who has broken out to the tune of a 3.56 FIP/3.34 xFIP season. Boyd has been worth 2.8 fWAR in the first half, making him the fifteenth most valuable pitcher in baseball. However, given that Boyd is under team control through 2022, the price tag is sky-high. Complicating things is that the Tigers want an elite bat in any trade package, limiting the number of teams that have the ability to acquire the new Tigers ace.
Thanks to Chris Brown (via Twitter) we know that Boyd is worth roughly $65 million in surplus value. That’s enough to return one elite prospect, in the top 10 range, or a package including a top 25 prospect and a top 100 prospect, with maybe a throw-in or two. Given that the Tigers want an elite bat, though, not ever team is going to be able to pay the specific asking price they’re interested in. Let’s try to piece together what those trades might look like from every contending club. For this exercise, I’ll be using Fangraphs’ THE BOARD!, recently updated post-draft. I’ll toss in some scouting reports here and there, but this one’s gonna be long, so they’ll mostly be for key pieces.
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Guest post by Travis Leonardi
(All GIFs courtesy of @domhunt18 on twitter)
Since his debut in 2016, JaCoby Jones’s stellar defense and bright personality have led him to become a fan favorite in Detroit. He’s shown flashes of the power-speed prospect that was advertised when the Tigers traded Joakim Soria for him in 2015. However, Jones’ offensive production has been lackluster in his first few years as a professional. After leading the League in defensive runs saved in 2018, Tigers GM Al Avila stated Jones could be a future All-Star if he improved his hitting.
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Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers signed Cuban outfielder Roberto Campos for a reported $3 million bonus, the largest international bonus in club history. The $3 million bonus comes off of last year’s signings of outfielder Jose de la Cruz and shortstop Adisino Reyes, the #15 and #19 ranked prospects on MLB.com’s Top 30 International Prospects list for 2018-2019. Those signings were complemented by the $1 million bonus given to shortstop Alvaro Gonzalez in the 2017-2018 International Free Agent class.
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That’s right, welcome Travis to the Glass Half Fulmer team! Travis already has some ideas in mind for future Glass Half Fulmer pieces, and will be hanging around on the twitter account from time to time. Go say hi and/or give him a follow!
With the first ten rounds of the 2019 MLB Entry Draft in the books, the Tigers have bucked their trend of pursuing hard throwing SEC pitchers in favor of bats. Given that this class, shallower than most, was deep in good college bats, that was probably a wise decision. Combined with the Tigers’ weak pool of position player prospects, the emphasis on offense and power made total sense. But what about the individual players themselves? How did the Tigers do overall? Let’s take a look at each of the ten picks Detroit made in the draft this year, and look at their overall strengths and weaknesses.
With the 47th overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft, the Detroit Tigers selected third baseman Nick Quintana, a right-handed hitter out of Arizona State. Quintana is an elite college bat with plus power and plus defense at third base. He does have some issues with making contact, but he’s a high-upside player who has a real chance to start.
Of note, Quintana helps fill a major gap in the system, which is currently weak on corner infield bats and power.
Breaking a trend of selecting hard-throwing pitchers, the Tigers have selected prep outfielder Riley Greene at #5 overall in the MLB draft.
Greene, a left-handed hitter, is the impact bat Tigers fans have been craving. At 18 years old, he’ll take a little more time to develop than one of the college bats might have. Currently, he has elite contact skills and possesses an advanced approach at the plate, with plate discipline beyond his years. Greene projects to hit for power to all fields, though he still has to grow a bit more into his frame, as he’s more a line drive hitter right now.
Greene’s biggest weakness is on defense, where his athleticism and weak arm project him to either left field or first base. Granted, if he hits his ceiling with regard to power and patience, his defensive home won’t matter so much, but don’t expect Greene to be a wizard in the field.
As a high-school hitter, Greene will take some time to reach Detroit, but if all breaks right, expect an elite power threat who can hit in the center of the lineup for years to come.
More at MLB.com
Scouting Report at Bless You Boys