Tigers (Mostly) Stay Put at the Trade Deadline
When the 4:01pm deadline hit on Tuesday, the Detroit Tigers made just one move; sending Leonys Martin to Cleveland for infield prospect Willi Castro. Despite all the speculation, Nick Castellanos, Michael Fulmer, Jose Iglesias, Shane Greene, Mike Fiers and others still remain Tigers. The debate has begun as to whether or not the Tigers got as aggressive as perhaps they should have at the deadline.
It’s quiet in terms of what Tigers fans witnessed last season. Alex Avila and Justin Wilson to the Cubs, JD Martinez to the Diamondbacks and Justin Upton to the Angels. Then (of course) on the August 31th waivers deadline, Justin Verlander was sent to the Astros. This marked the end of an era and the beginning of a full-scale rebuild. Looking back a year later, the Tigers seemed to do pretty well on their return. Jeimer Candelario (Cubs) is the starting Third Baseman and has produced 14 HRs and 39 RBIs already this season. Dawel Lugo (DBacks) played in the MLB Futures Game. Daz Cameron (Astros), Jake Rogers (Astros) and Isaac Paredes (Cubs) rank among the Tigers most promising prospects. Unfortunately, Franklin Perez (Astros) has missed the season with injury.
The Martin trade adds another middle infielder into the mix with Willi Castro. He’s ranked 8th among prospects in the Indians system (MLB.com). Castro is hitting .245 with a .653 OPS, 5 HRs and 39 RBIs this season with the Akron Rubber Ducks (Double A). The 21 year old was a Midwest League All-Star in 2017 and has high ranks defensively. He adds to an already strong pipeline of middle infielders in the Tigers system.
If this is it for the Tigers on the trade market, what does that mean for the future of the club? It might mean Nick Castellanos stays put and a young team continues to build around him. Perhaps Matthew Boyd and Michael Fulmer will be fixtures in the rotation and the development of Casey Mize, Alex Faedo, Matt Manning and others add to the pitching staff in the next couple seasons. Maybe Jose Iglesias becomes a more valuable trading chip next season, as the future Shortstop emerges in the Minors. Certainly, the end of Victor Martinez’ contract will free up a lot of money to add pieces as the team becomes more competitive.
While some may have liked the Tigers to be more aggressive on the trade market, perhaps they are right about where they want to be in the rebuilding process. Many of the recent success stories like the Royals (2015), Cubs (2016) and Astros (2019) were built on draft picks and a strong farm system. Fans may need to be patient, let players develop and the team to take shape over the next year or two.
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