The Detroit Tigers have a number of opposing clubs lined up to make potential deals regarding various players. However, nothing has really come to fruition yet since the team traded J.D. Martinez last week.
The team, however, is reportedly trying to package players together in an effort to not only shed as much payroll as possible in one move, but also receive a viable, quality enough package of prospects in return, effectively maximizing their goal.
It’s certainly a tough sell, given there appears to be no deals imminent (as far as in recent days as well as today), but there are a number of clubs where packaging players actually does make sense, should the Tigers and [insert Team B] agree on terms.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) July 26, 2017
As stated before, there have been multiple teams reportedly in contact with the Tigers to some degree regarding one of these players: Alex Avila, Ian Kinsler, Justin Wilson and Justin Verlander. But there have been a few that stood out above the rest, given their interest in more than one of those players listed.
The Chicago Cubs have had their eye on Avila, Wilson and Verlander for some time now.
Acquiring Avila makes a ton a sense for Chicago, they are in dire need of a catcher to complement young catcher Willson Contreras. The 30-year-old backstop will also provide a quality veteran presence in the clubhouse for their crop of young players.
Justin Wilson is on everyone’s radar over the last month and change it seems, so it isn’t surprising to see the defending World Series champions inquire about his services.
Verlander continues to be the hot-button name between the Cubs’ and Tigers’ reported talks. Chicago has been monitoring his availability more closely in the last week or so, and it was even reported that they would be willing to take on all of his remaining salary. However, doing so would not net Detroit a premier prospect. More recently, Chicago appears to be still be interested, but have pumped the brakes some on their claim to assume the entirety of JV’s remaining contract.
The upstart Rockies are among the new contenders for the services of some trade-able Tigers, namely Alex Avila and Justin Wilson.
The team has reportedly been scouting the late-inning tandem for Detroit in recent days and packaging the two together to ship out to Denver would make sense for both sides. Wilson is controllable through next season and will receive a modest pay raise in his final year of arbitration for the 2018 year.
While it has not been reported from any big-time sources or baseball insiders, there’s been speculation at best that Verlander could even be a good fit for the Rockies, given their extremely youthful rotation and his re-tooled way of pitching.
The Astros are another club that have been closely monitoring both Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson.
Houston is about to run away and hide with the American League West Division, if they haven’t already, but the clear-cut top team in the junior circuit even has some questions on it’s 25-man roster.
Acquiring a veteran workhorse like Verlander would provide some stability to a rotation that has both a high ceiling as well as high chance of being injury-riddled. Ace Dallas Keuchel is currently on the disabled list and has made only 11 starts this season. Lance McCullers overall has been good but has been rocked this month. And veteran Charlie Morton has spent some time on the DL as well.
If the ‘Stros are not totally comfortable with their rotation moving forward, look for them to strongly consider Verlander for this season and the foreseeable future as their window to win a World Series opens up.
As is the case with the teams mentioned above, Justin Wilson would only lengthen the Houston bullpen and provide them with another reliable arm to close out games, should Ken Giles ever falter or ever need a breather.
4LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Verlander to the Dodgers has been a topic of trade talks going back to the winter months.
It makes a ton of sense for a multitude of reasons, both on and off the field. Verlander would be joining an instant World Series club in Los Angeles and enter a rotation headlined by Clayton Kershaw. Plus he also has a home out in southern California with fiancee Kate Upton.
This potential trade has been heightened some since Kershaw was diagnosed with a back injury that would reportedly sideline him until early September. However, the rumor has been shot down dramatically. It’s been recently reported that the Dodgers are not as willing to trade for Verlander, mostly due to his age and contract. While talks could resume if terms of a potential deal change, it appears the Dodgers are pulling out for the time being.
Los Angeles has also been considering both Justin Wilson and Ian Kinsler. They reportedly pursued the latter Kinsler last offseason while seeking to upgrade at second base.
The Brewers are probably the surprise team on this list, given where they stand at this point in the season and the overall grand scheme of things.
Milwaukee is a team on the right, there’s no question about it. Many would say and few would argue that they are “ahead of schedule” with their rebuild and despite their recent struggles coming out of the All-Star break, they still remain very much in the race for the National League Central Division and could look to the Tigers for a number of pieces.
Two players that have been linked the most as of late are Ian Kinsler and Justin Wilson. The former is having a bit of a down year for his standards but would provide an immediate upgrade to a second base position in Milwaukee that has a lot of questions.
There’s also been some speculation connecting Verlander to the Brew Crew, but a lot has been made whether or not JV would accept a trade to a team in Milwaukee’s position as a club, and if the Brewers would want to take on such a contract. Both of which are red flags that have been raised by other potential suitors.