June 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Jose Iglesias (10) makes a throw against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Transitional Trade Idea

Last week I was perusing the list of top AL positional prospects in hopes of Miguel Sano news (featured in the 2011 documentary, “Ballplayer: Pelotero,” now streaming on Netflix), and I began reading about Boston shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts.

From the description he seemed like a blue-chip player, and the reason that Stephen Drew was signed to a 1-year deal. He can field, hit, and run, and seems to be someone the Red Sox brass are high on. Unfortunately, this leaves current shortstop/third base filler-in Jose Iglesias the odd man out for next season.

With Jhonny Peraltaset to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, it might make sense for the Tigers to attempt to acquire Iglesias from the Red Sox to man the position for the forseeable future.

Iglesias, 23, has been in the Red Sox system since 2010, and from what I’ve read about him he’s known more for his glove than for his offense, with descriptions like “Ozzie Smith-slick” and “Elite defensive skills” bandied about. He has been called up to play shortstop for the Sox for the last three years, and has a 6.9 UZR, a 17 OOZ, and a 5.4 RngR in 293.1 innings.  His speed seems to be above average, but after all the praise about his glove and his legs lies his weakness: he’s not that great a hitter right now.

In the minor leagues he’s had a few incredibly lucky years with BABIP, and his walk rate has trended a little low. However, this season in the big leagues, he’s walking at a 7.7% clip, striking out a manageable 12.8%, and he’s sporting a 1.7 WAR. His ISO (.143) and BABIP (.500) are looking like aberrations (….a resounding “Duh” with the BABIP), but in an environment like Detroit, where he’d be a fixture in the lower part of the order, he’d have further time to develop. Maybe he turns into a .270/.340/.350 kind of guy who can steal 20 bases.

But the Tigers can further expand on this deal by also asking for former Tiger Andrew Miller, who could be that lefty power arm in the bullpen that’s been missing.

Miller currently leads all AL relievers (and is third overall in the major leagues) with a 14.67 K/9. He’s actually been better this season against righties (.160) than lefites (.275) due to his slinging delivery. He’s made some serious strides since adopting a position in the Boston bullpen, and coupled with Jeff Jones maybe he can develop into not just a LOOGY, but a guy who can pitch in high-leverage situations.

In terms of salary, Iglesias is under team control through 2018 and is in the last year of a 4 year $14.24 million dollar contract, while Miller is arbitration elligible for one more year. I’m uncertain if Mike Illitch plans on paring payroll after this season, but if the Tigers are planning life after Peralta and Joaquin Benoit they could certainly use young, cheap, and improving players.

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Tags: Andrew Miller Detroit Tigers Jose Iglesias

  • FunkyTime

    What’s the idea? We get Iglesias and Miller for free?

    I can live with that.

    • gstoye44

      hahaha, yeah, I couldn’t think of who they would want that the Tigers could afford to trade. It might require a Rick Porcello or a Drew Smyly to land those guys.

      • Michael Nance

        That may have been good to work into the article.

        • gstoye44

          I agree completely. I was thinking this would be more of an offseason trade, but I neglected to actually verbalize that. There’s no way this trade gets worked out during the regular season.

      • FunkyTime

        While both these guys would be solid additions, I don’t think they’re worth giving up Porcello or Smyly. In fact, I think trading Smyly for them would HURT the Tigers’ chances in 2013, because Iglesias wouldn’t have a clear spot in the starting lineup and Smyly >>> Miller.

        Considering that both the Tigers and the Red Sox are contending teams in need of bullpen help, they probably wouldn’t make the best of trade partners.

  • kalinecountry

    They are very high on Iglesias, and I read that Bogaerts is thought of as a future 3B man.
    Andrew Miller…..getting the K’s but still would be an anxiety attack with walks.

    • gstoye44

      I’m hoping that Middlebrooks would stay healthy enough and improve enough where they would be forced to use Bogaerts as a SS, but again, that all depends on health. But my oh my, the thought of a SS with good defensive skills…

      • kalinecountry

        The fans, maybe more than mgmt. is very down on Middlebrooks.
        I forgot about Cecchini at 3B for them in the minors. That is a nice problem to have between Iglesias, Bogaerts, Cechinni.

  • chrisHannum

    Unless the Tigers get burned by the whole Biogenesis thing, November is when they might want to think about whether or not they could swing a deal for Iglesias. A lot is going to happen between now and then that will determine how plausible that scenario becomes.

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