There seems to be a general consensus on a core group of players for the Detroit Tigers that are garnering the most interest from other clubs. None of them have been shortstop Jose Iglesias, however.
And it isn’t because the 27-year-old slick-fielding shortstop is not having a bad year (.257/.287/.355), but it’s largely due to the fact that most teams around the league don’t need that much of an upgrade at shortstop.
With that said, with the trade deadline right around the corner, one baseball insider believes that Iglesias still could be moved some time between now and the 4 p.m. ET deadline on Monday.
There is some sentiment in the market that Tigers SS Jose Iglesias will be moved before the deadline.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 27, 2017
Take this with a grain of salt for the reasons mentioned above. But even still, Iglesias would provide immense value for a number of reasons.
While the interest in position players in general has been very minimal this month, a position of need for some contenders could be up the middle. Obviously Iglesias has been a shortstop virtually his entire career, but he did dabble in some second base with the Red Sox before the Tigers acquired him from Boston in 2013.
Another important thing to consider is that Iglesias has been one of if not the best 9-hole hitter in baseball. In fact, the Tigers have the highest batting average from their No. 9 spot in the batting order in all of baseball.
Defensively, one could argue that this Iglesias’ best year with the glove. His 13 defensive runs saved are by and far a career-high for him, and only Addison Russell (16) of the Cubs and Andrelton Simmons (17) of the Angels have more such DRS than Iglesias.
Other teams who are “in it” this season specifically that could be on the lookout for a guy like Iglesias include the Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals and perhaps even the Colorado Rockies.
Tampa is definitely going for it. They have made three acquisitions already this season — two alone on Thursday — and appear to not be done. One report suggests that they are open to shopping a pair of their second basemen in Brad Miller and Tim Beckham.
Washington is pretty much set top to bottom, although they still may be on the hunt to bolster their MLB-worst bullpen, despite acquiring two relievers from the Athletics recently. The possible connection here could be due to the health concern of young stud Trea Turner, who has been out for the last month with a wrist injury and there appears to be no definitive timetable for his return.
Colorado would be an intriguing fit. They rank in the bottom-third of baseball in batting average from the shortstop position and middle of the pack in on-base percentage. The bulk of that has come from a sophomore slump by Trevor Story, who in 87 games has saw his BA and OPS dip .038 and .171 points respectively from his rookie season a year ago.
Though it is certainly possible that teams beyond the contenders for the 2017 season could inquire on Iglesias’ services. The Cuban-born wizard at shortstop is making pocket change by baseball standards this season at $4.1 million and will enter his final year of arbitration this offseason before becoming a free agent after 2018.