Detroit Tigers: Examining the trades of 2019

2019 was not a very exciting year for the Detroit Tigers. The product on the field was atrocious, and the end of the season was quite welcomed by most fans. Now, as we trudge through the cold, snowy depths of winter, we can rejoice in the fact that baseball season is closing in on us again.

As we begin to look forward to another season, let’s take a look back at the trades that the team made in the calendar year of 2019.

March 8

Tigers acquire C Cameron Rupp from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for cash considerations.

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Rupp hasn’t played a big league regular season game since 2017 with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in 59 games in 2019, all at the AAA level, finishing the season with a .226 average, while clubbing 10 home runs and 23 RBIs.

July 31

Tigers trade OF Nicholas Castellanos to the Chicago Cubs for SP Alex Lange and SP Paul Richan

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Castellanos, who recently signed with the Cincinnati Reds, only played 51 games with the Cubs. Though the sample size may not have been large, he certainly put on a show in his short time with the team. In those 51 games, he swung his way to a .321 average, with 16 home runs and 36 RBIs. While the big acquisition for the Cubs certainly paid some dividends, the team still failed to qualify for the playoffs.

In return for Castellanos, the Tigers received two starting pitcher prospects. Lange pitched in 27 games between the A+ and AA levels in 2019. Over 102 1/3 innings, he logged a 5.45 ERA, while compiling a record of 5-13. Also interesting of note is the fact that all of Lange’s appearances after the trade to the Detroit organization were made coming out of the bullpen.

Richan has not seen any action above the A+ level yet. He finished the 2019 season with a 12-7 record, while posting a record of 12-7 over 132 2/3 innings. He struck out 115 batters, for a 8.4 K/9 mark.

It remains to be seen if either Lange or Richan end up being long term pieces for the Tigers, but considering the unlikelihood of Castellanos re-signing with Detroit, Avila was at least able to salvage some prospects in return for him.

July 31

Tigers trade RP Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves for OF Travis Demeritte and SP Joey Wentz

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One of the best closers on the market last season, Greene was incredible for the Tigers over the course of 38 appearances in 2019. Once he got to Atlanta, however, not so much. For the season, Greene pitched to the tune of a 2.30 ERA, with 23 saves. With Atlanta, his ERA registered at 4.01, and he was only able to finish off one save, while blowing two other attempts. He is under contract with Atlanta for one more season.

Demeritte was promoted to the big league roster immediately following the trade, when he made his major league debut with the Tigers. Over the course of 48 games, he logged an average of .225 with three home runs and 10 RBIs, while striking out in 63 of 186 plate appearances. Overall, the sample size for Demeritte wasn’t great.

Wentz, who saw all of his playing time at the AA level, finished the season with a 7-8 record over the course of 25 starts. In 128 2/3 innings, he logged a 4.20 ERA, while posting 137 strikeouts and 49 walks.

November 25

Tigers acquire SP Dario Agrazal from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.

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Agrazal, who made his major league debut last season, finished the season with a 4-5 record. He posted an ERA of 4.91 over 73 1/3 innings, while striking out only 41 batters. It remains to be seen what his future is within the organization.