New reports are surfacing on Monday night that the Detroit Tigers will be sellers at the trade deadline for the first time since they traded away Pudge Rodriguez in 2008. The move almost seemed inevitable with the Tigers falling below .500 for the first time since April 2013. Sitting 10 games back of the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central the Tigers will be looking to potentially move Yoenis Cespedes and David Price. When talking with reporters today Dave Dombrowski said,
“We’re at a point where we have to do what’s best in our heart for the franchise.”
Dealing Price and Cespedes makes sense for the Tigers, seeing as both players are in contracts years and look to cash in on their great seasons. Cespedes is currently having his best offensive season since his rookie year with the Oakland A’s. David Price on the other hand is having another Cy Young caliber season. He currently has a 9-3 record with a 2.32 era which is best for fourth in the American League.
While no one, including me, wants to see the Tigers trade away Price or Cespedes, from a financial point it makes perfect sense and looking towards the future these trades are best for the team.
“We’re not thinking of rebuilding,” says Dombrowski, whose team has won two pennants with one losing season since 2006, “but if we have to, it would be a case of regrouping.”
If the Tigers had already resigned Cespedes and Price I would be against trading them away, but the fact is the Tigers have had since December to try and work out long term contracts with both players and have failed to do so. Right now with the way Cespedes and Price are playing, they would both demand top dollar costing the Tigers somewhere around $45 million per season and keeping the Tigers in the mediocre area of baseball. Once the Tigers trade Price and Cespedes they should receive no less than 7-8 prospects, possibly even a few 2016 MLB ready prospects. The off season pitchers market will be a strong one, and with the trade of Price the Tigers will be able to dip into the free agent pool for a couple starting pitchers and some bullpen help. The offense for next season without Cespedes will still be a force to reckon with.
“We have more good young players than people think,” Dombrowski said. “We have a core of good young position players that are really going to be good for a number of years.”
The Tigers currently have 5 of their 9 offensive starters under the age of 27 and not to mention Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler as the elder statesmen. In order for the Tigers to capitalize on their great offense they will need to execute these two trades to revamp the pitching staff for years to come and free up money to make a run at some of the great pitchers that will hit the market this fall. I know these trades will be painful to swallow, but it is worth it in order for the Tigers to have continued long term success.