Tigers Trade Targets: Could Andrew Benintendi Be a Fit?

With the news of Boston’s intent to trade Andrew Benintendi, this a player the Tigers should see as a prime trade target to bolster a team, and outfield, desperately in need of an injection of talent. The Tigers are rolling into 2020 with an outfield, but what the outfield actually is nobody knows.

JaCoby Jones, a personal favorite, always seems to be on the cusp of a realization of potential until a freak injury happens, while Victor Reyes tears the cover off the ball and had a good 2020 but whether he can piece it all together in a full season remains to be seen. Newcomer Robbie Grossman and holdovers Daz Cameron and Christin Stewart round out the outfield options and I’d expect a heavy rotation of all 3 of those last options.

Could the Red Sox’s Andrew Benintendi be a good fit for the Tigers? (photo by Alexandra Simon)

This is where Benintendi can bring stability and talent to the roster. Andrew is a former top 10 pick, former top prospect in baseball, and a player that had a tumultuous 2020 during the pandemic that turned up to the season TOO in-shape, may be looking for a change of scenery according to Marlins reporter Craig Mish.

AJ Hinch has stated that the Tigers are looking for a players that hit righties well and Benintendi does just that. With a career OPS of 821 against righties and a wRC+ of 115, and a 10.5% walk rate against both handedness, he’s the perfect injection of offense that the Tigers need. Not an overly powerful guy, he does give you 15 to 20 homers a year with good gap power, a future table setter for Torkelson that can also drive runs in when needed. Athletic and agile with an average arm, he’s perfect to patrol one of the corners in Detroit.

Benintendi has 2 years left on his contract at an average of 5 million a year as a 26 year old, an easily affordable contract given that the Tigers are currently 30 million dollars behind in spending this year as opposed to where they were last year. What also makes this attractive is that as a player without a lot of team control and in a market where we just watched Lindor and Darvish be traded for peanuts, Benintendi should come relatively cheaply with Daz Cameron likely being the best piece going back to Boston. If Boston wants a pitcher in return, it’s just as easy to swap Cameron with Faedo and give Packard or Kody Clemens. The Tigers have a top system in the league with good depth to work from that would make a trade like this work well for both sides involved.

JaCoby Jones: A Swing Analysis

Guest post by Travis Leonardi

(All GIFs courtesy of @domhunt18 on twitter)

Stellar defense and a bright personality made JaCoby Jones a fan favorite in Detroit since his debut in 2016. He has shown flashes of the power-speed prospect that was advertised when the Tigers traded Joakim Soria to acquire him in 2015. However, Jones’ offensive production left much to be desired in his first few years as a professional. After leading MLB in defensive runs saved in 2018, Tigers GM Al Avila stated Jones could be a future All-Star if his hitting improved.

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Let’s Try That Again: Tigers Prevail on Opening Day 2.0

Justin Verlander pitched into the seventh inning and the Tigers got timely homeruns from rookie outfielder JaCoby Jones and third baseman Nick Nicholas Castellanos as the team rocked White Sox ace José Quintana to the tune of a 6-3 win.

Verlander was dominant, leaning on an overpowering fastball as he whiffed ten White Sox to set a personal Opening Day high. The Tigers’ ace limited the hapless Sox to 2 runs over 6.1 IP on 6 hits, while walking 2. Verlander then turned the ball over to the much-maligned bullpen and an entire fanbase held its collective breath.

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