As the Major League Baseball trade deadline approaches, one thing remains certain: there will be plenty of interest in Detroit Tigers starter Matthew Boyd.
There have already been rumors regarding teams that have shown interest in the Tigers’ hurler, with both the Houston Astros and New York Yankees at least checking in with general manager Al Avila.
The initial price tag that has been placed on Boyd seems to be pretty high, with reports indicating that the ask from the Yankees started with star infielder Gleyber Torres, while the desired return from Houston included baseball’s #10 prospect in outfielder Kyle Tucker.
While both the Yankees and Astros seem to have balked at those proposals to this point, it doesn’t seem to be an unfair ask. One comparable that has been thrown around in an attempt to get a read on the appropriate return for Boyd has been the haul that the Chicago White Sox secured in return from the Chicago Cubs for starting pitcher Jose Quintana.
At the time of the trade, which was July 13, 2017, Quintana was still under contract for another season and a half, and also had club options for each 2019 and 2020 for $10.5 million. It did cost them, though. For Quintana, the Cubs gave up both of their top two prospects (outfielder Eloy Jimenez and starting pitcher Dylan Cease). They also sent lower-ranked prospects Bryant Flete (first baseman) and Matt Rose (infielder). Jimenez was considered the #8 prospect in baseball, and Cease was the #63 prospect in baseball.
Comparing the stats of Quintana and Boyd gives a glimpse at some glaring differences, however. When Quintana was traded, he was in the midst of a 4-8 season with the White Sox, with a 4.49 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 104 1/3 innings. He had a 50-54 career record, with a 3.51 ERA for his career over the course of 1,055 1/3 innings, while racking up 890 strikeouts.
Boyd, on the other hand, currently owns a 6-6 record for the season. His ERA stands at 3.87, with a 1.21 WHIP. He does sit among the league leaders in strikeouts, with 142 in 107 innings, which puts him in sixth place in the league. For his career, Boyd owns a record of 28-41 with a 4.84 ERA. He has yet to pitch more than 170 innings in a season, as well. But, one thing that is extremely intriguing for Boyd’s potential suitors is the fact that he is under team control for 3 1/2 more seasons.
Given the fact that Boyd is having a breakout season, Avila and the Tigers cannot be blamed for setting a high price tag on him. He very well might be the best available trade piece in the league this year for teams trying to improve their rotations for a playoff run. Considering all this, is it fair to expect that Detroit will get such a prospect haul in return for their current best pitcher? That remains to be seen, but they are most definitely not in the wrong for setting such a price tag.