The Detroit Tigers Should Be Sellers At The Deadline


Jul 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; American League pitcher David Price (14) of the Detroit Tigers throws against the National League during the fourth inning of the 2015 MLB All Star Game at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

2015 hasn’t gone exactly as planned for the Detroit Tigers.

The four-time reigning AL Central Champions find themselves in new territory this season. After jumping out to an 11-2 start, things have gone awry to say the least. They are currently 9.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, and 4 games back for the 1 game Wild Card.

Pitching, both starting and relief, have hurt the Tigers the most. Going into this season, the bullpen was again in question after another offseason of Tiger’s GM Dave Dombrowski focusing on just about everything else but relief help. The results have been clearly noticeable, again. Games in which the Tigers do find themselves ahead in late innings, are commonly blown by some guy who used to be good, or was supposed to be good, five years ago. Dombrowski has lifted every rock and checked every hole to find guys who can come in and do their job, however nobody has really been too consistent so far.  The Tigers 8th inning woes have been almost comical.

As for starting pitching, it has been one of the most adventurous ordeals in recent memory. Anyone remember the Shane Greene Cy Young Award talks after his first two starts? What about a month ago when Alfredo Simon was considered our most consistent starter other than David Price? Those days are long gone, although both Simon and Greene are still current members of the rotation because the Tigers literally have nobody else.

It’s just one of those seasons when the Tigers, who lead all of baseball in RBI’s, team average, and team OBP, yet have hit into a whopping 18 more double plays than anyone else. They are averaging more than 1 per game, and at the current pace would finish just short of the 1990 Boston Red Sox all time record of 174.

At this point, it would be nice for the Tigers to get some pieces together and make a run at the Wild Card spot. Both World Series teams from last season, the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams, so why not?

As mentioned earlier, the Tigers have nobody else. Their farm system is a joke, and every player brought up has been laughable. Daniel Fields to Buck Farmer to Kyle Ryan has only shown other teams we have nothing to give up for anyone decent to make a difference. Dombrowski has swindled teams in the past, however he may have used up every drop of talent before this season.

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Which is why the Tigers need to sell what they can, and get guys who will be able to contribute right away next year. They have the core pieces to compete for a few more years, and could get solid attributes for some game changing performers on the current roster. Here are 4 players the Tigers should trade before the July 31st deadline:

David Price – It’s been talked about for a few weeks now, but the Tigers absolutely must get something for Price, before he walks away like Max Scherzer and they get nothing. Rumors are that Price wont sign for under $220 million, and doesnt seem like he wants to be here anyways. Price was in fact flirting with the Chicago Cubs again yesterday, who are managed by his former manager Joe Maddon.

Yoenis Cespedes – This is the most obvious move for the Tigers to make at the deadline. Any team in the hunt could use a game changing power bat who has a rocket arm in left field. Cespedes has been streaky this year with the Tigers, but is the team leader in doubles. His contract expires at the end of this season.

Alex Avila – Avila has been playing a lot of first base since returning from the DL, however this fixture behind home plate for the Tigers has now become expendable. James McCann has proven himself to be an everyday major league catcher, and the left handed bat of Avila along with his exceptional game calling skills, could bring the Tigers back a solid piece moving forward to next season.

Al Alburquerque – A lot of people expected Joakim Soria to be in this slot, but currently the Tigers may be able to get some pretty good talent in exchange for Al. Since May 1st over a span of 29 games, Al has a 1.97 ERA with only one home run allowed in that stretch. In the “what have you done for me lately” world we live in today, trading Alburquerque while on this hot streak could bring back more than it should.