Photo Credit: Paul Sancya
This season has been an eventful one for the Detroit Tigers but most of the excitement hasn’t happened on the field. Many Tigers fans are intrigued about the future thanks to four trades and a draft choice that Al Avila, general manager of the Detroit Tigers, made throughout the season with four different teams, two American League and two National League teams.
The first big move was the trading of J.D.Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three prospects. Following that the Tigers GM, Al Avila decided to become the first general manager in over 50 years to trade his son when he sent Justin Wilson and Alex Avila packing to Wrigley for prospects. Then as the waiver deadline was about to pass yesterday Al Avila moved Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels and then shipped out club legend Justin Verlander to Houston. What these moves have done is inject the Tigers with much-needed talent in the minors as well as slash some payroll for the future.
First let’s start with the selection of Alex Faedo. Before this season started the University of Florida right-hander was talked about as a potential first overall pick thanks to his 93-95 mph fastball and a slider that he can use to get professional batters out as his out pitch. The reason he fell was he was returning from knee surgery in the college offseason and that caused him to not be as sharp throughout the season. If the college world series is any sign of what he could be the Tigers got a bargain at the eighteenth overall pick.
The first trade that went down for the Tigers was the J.D. Martinez to Arizona trade, where the Tigers received a package of three prospects including; Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, and Jose King. Dawel Lugo is someone many evaluators evaluate him as a third baseman while there were some reports that he could be moved to second base to fast track him to the big leagues thanks to his arm and solid bat. Sergio Alcantara may have the lowest offensive upside of any of the prospects the Tigers obtained however he has the highest defensive upside thanks to his amazing arm and plus glove and movement. Jose King, the lottery ticket of this trade, is so raw that Gordon Ramsey would have a meltdown. At the moment King has shown his game is more speed, 21 steals in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, than power. This trade didn’t provide the quality prospect the Tigers faithful were expecting due to the market for power hitting corner outfielders being relatively shallow, however with this transaction the lower levels of the Tigers minor league added three more prospects that have some upside.
The Tigers next move was to ship off the general manager’s son along with Justin Wilson for Jeimer Candelario, Isaac Paredes, and cash or a player to be named later. Not a bad haul for a backup catcher and a reliever. Jeimer Candelario could be called up soon and get regular playing time if the Castellanos to the outfield rumors are true, while Isaac Paredes will take a while but might just be worth the wait as he profiles as a good hitter and should play decent infield defense.
Now a move that came out of nowhere that took place yesterday, Justin Upton ends up in Anaheim for Grayson Long and a player to be named later or cash. This move may seem light but given the fact Upton could choose to opt out this offseason, getting something in return was important for management and they succeeded in doing that. Grayson Long should end up as a starter thanks to his; strong durable frame, low 90’s fastball with movement, a nice slider that grades out as his best pitch at the moment, and a solid changeup.
The final move the Tigers made was trading away a club icon as Justin Verlander gets traded to Houston for Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rodgers. Jake Rodgers could very well be the best player traded in this deal, at the moment his calling card is defense as MLB.com says “Shutting down the running game is just one facet of his defensive brilliance,” and he has showcased the ability to hit for some power. Daz Cameron is a toolsy athletic outfielder that can play any of the outfield spots and should offer a speed threat for the Tigers going forward.The real prize of all the trades is Franklin Perez, a nineteen year old pitcher holding his own in AA, thanks to his fastball that can ramp up to 96, and a potentially lethal curveball. The Tigers got a nice haul that helps the future at the cost of trading away a team icon, and hopefully the last player to wear 35, in Justin Verlander.
Goodbye Justin Verlander, you will always be a Detroit Tiger in the heart of baseball fans, and my own personal favorite Detroit Tiger.