Tigers Potential Trade Target: Scott Sizemore


Here is a little background:
Previously considered a bit of a failed prospect, Scott Sizemore turned things around this season for the Oakland A’s. Though the A’s used him exclusively as a third baseman, Sizemore had played second base at all levels up to that point in his career and could easily be moved back if the Tigers were to acquire him. A .313/.396/.485 hitter in AAA, Sizemore showed some of what made him a prized prospect in Oakland this summer with a .249/.345/.433 slash line. Strikeouts continued to be a problem, but Sizemore showed enough power and patience at the plate to make those K’s palatable. Sizemore is unlikely to develop into a star, but an OPS in the high .700’s from a second baseman is something that should make many teams, including the Tigers, salivate.

On-base percentage. In the minor leagues Sizemore proved that he can hit, but he hasn’t shown enough of that thus far in the big leagues for it to be considered a strength. What he has done is draw walks: Sizemore walked in more than 12% of his plate appearances for the A’s last season and was able to put up a .345 OBP despite a meager .249 batting average. The 11 home runs he hit in Oakland project to 20 over the course of a full season – which is the mark Sizemore might be expected to hover around for the duration. Of course, the Tigers’ most pressing need in the lineup is for guys to get on base in front of Miguel Cabrera – a niche Sizemore could admirably fill.
Versatility. As mentioned above, Sizemore can play multiple positions, and like Todd Frazier and Kyle Seager, it happens to be two positions of need for the Tigers. Sizemore is easily a better 2nd baseman than 3rd baseman, though he showed to be adequate at the hot corner. He’s also cheap – as he won’t be arbitration eligible until 2014. Though he isn’t all that ‘young’ for a young player, that cuts both ways – Sizemore will be 27 (the peak year) next year and until team control for most of what we typically think of as a mid-career peak.

Defense. Sizemore may not be a complete butcher with a glove, but he’s probably closer to Ryan Raburn than Ramon Santiago. His walks might evaporate if moved away from an organization like the A’s that values them. He’s also right-handed, and while that’s no sin the Tigers could stand to improve their R-L balance in the lineup.

Due to Sizemore’s ability to hit, and the fact that he is young and inexpensive, I don’t believe that he is a guy that could be had in a deal all that easily. He also fits the A’s organizational philosophy well. That said – no one is off limits, particularly for a GM trying to build a competitive team in a tight budget, and he could undoubtedly be pried away.

Young, inexpensive, and some ability to get on base and hit. What’s not to look with the potential to acquire a guy like Sizemore? The best thing about it is, the Tigers and David Dombrowski already seem to have a rapport with Billy Beane of the A’s, having done deals with him the last couple of years. This would be another solid, potential long term solution that may not even cost that much. I don’t think there is much value in using Sizemore at 3B, and would pencil him in as a 2B only, but he is definitely worth considering for the Tigers.
If it only cost the Tigers a potential bullpen guy or a back rotation piece (like a Duane Below or an Andy Oliver), I would go for Sizemore in a second. There is enough potential for a solid major league 2nd baseman to do so. However, it is more likely that the price tag would come a little higher – in the neighborhood of a Drew Smyly – which would make me at least think twice.