The Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays made a trade late Wednesday night before the strike of midnight, so writers didn’t get to fully embrace or hate on the deal until mid-day yesterday.
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First up we take a look at how the new outfield will look if no further moves are made for the Tigers (and Torii Hunter is allowed to walk as expected). Dave Dombrowski said on Thursday that he was comfortable with the outfield and didn’t forsee any more moves. Which precludes previous targets such as Nori Aoki and Melky Cabrera.
I am not sure if this is DD bluffing or stating a fact. We’ve seen both in the past.
My reaction to the Gose-Travis trade is a bit of “Meh” mixed with “we’ll see.” The Blue Jays seem to think Travis will ascend to the majors quickly (second story), and I am not sure that would have been the case in Detroit. A natural second baseman, Travis would have had Ian Kinsler standing in his way and it would take several months in Spring Training and AAA for him to get used to playing centerfield, which is what the Tigers wanted him to do.
So in that case, the trade is an edge for Detroit because they get a piece that can already play center, knows the position and is speedy. The bat will be his Achilles’s Heel though whereas Travis has a lot more potential to be a decent big league hitter.
Analyzing the Tigers’ outfield after Anthony Gose trade – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
"• Why did the Tigers trade for Gose? Defense. A centerfielder can change the game at Comerica Park like few fields. Gose had a 9.2 UZR, a widely used defensive statistic called Ultimate Zone Rating. According to FanGraphs, a “great” UZR is considered 10 and above. Anything he gives with the bat is a plus.• Will Gose platoon with Davis? Yes, unless he can hit lefties, which the Tigers can’t be too confident about, given his .201 batting average against them. The early money is on a platoon because it’s hard to see the team going into the spring with an outfield of Davis, Gose and J.D. Martinez.• What does this mean for Martinez? The Tigers appear comfortable with moving him from leftfield to rightfield. With Gose in the fold, Davis would play left and Martinez right. And it has been reported that the Tigers have real interest in Melky Cabrera and would move Martinez to right in that scenario."
Toronto Blue Jays GM expects newcomer Devon Travis to make a quick rise to the majors – John Lott, National Post
"“We think Travis is an outstanding player,” Anthopoulos said during a conference call from Phoenix, where he was attending the general managers’ meetings. “We think he can come quick. He does a lot of things we like. He’ll put the bat on the ball. His contact skills are good. He can draw some walks. He uses the whole field. The makeup is off the charts. We expect him to start in Triple-A next year but we wouldn’t rule out, barring adding some other guys to the 25-man [roster], him competing for a job at second base.”"
"• They value his play behind the plate: The Tigers really like how Avila handles the pitching staff and plays defensively behind the plate. Catching isn’t all about hitting.• It would leave them without a veteran catcher: Holaday and McCann have played a combined 93 games in the majors."