Detroit Tigers Should Trade for Charlie Blackmon
By Tom Zahari
Rumors surfaced earlier this week that the Detroit Tigers were interested in the Colorado Rockies outfielders after they signed Gerardo Parra. If Carlos Gonzalez, Corey Dickerson, and Charlie Blackmon are available, the Tigers’ should target Blackmon for a trade.
A trade for a left fielder makes the most sense for the Tigers. They already have four outfielders on the roster in J.D. Martinez, Anthony Gose, Cameron Maybin, and Tyler Collins. If they are going to acquire a left fielder, a free agent signing would put the Tigers over the normal four outfielders on the roster.
All three of the Rockies targets would cost the Tigers in talent. Carlos Gonzalez is the biggest name and could be available with the Rockies in a rebuild, but he would cost the Tigers their front of the line talent acquired at the trade deadline.
Corey Dickerson would not cost the Tigers as much as Gonzalez, but he is younger and under control for a longer time which marks up the price.
Charlie Blackmon’s talents would translate best to Comerica Park. Gonzalez and Dickerson are strong players, but their most appealing characteristic is his power which does not translate well from Coors Field to Comerica Park. Blackmon’s most desirable trait is his speed.
In 2015, Blackmon hit at a .288/.347/.450 clip with 43 steals, the most of any outfielder in baseball. Blackmon has a strikeout issue, but his slash line is comparable to his career stat line of .288/.336/.773. Blackmon was the beneficiary of the air at Coors Field with a home slash line of .331/.390/.500. One the road, he hit .238/.300/.395. Interestingly enough, 10 of Blackmon’s 17 home runs came on the road in 2015.
Blackmon has shown that he can play all three outfield positions, and hit against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. Blackmon hit at a .295/.356/.472 clip against righties and a .264/.322/.387 clip against lefties. If the Tigers wanted, they could platoon Gose and Maybin and allow Blackmon to play every day.
Next: Which Rockies Outfielder is the Best Fit?
Charlie Blackmon is not Yoenis Cespedes or Justin Upton, but he could improve the Tigers’ outfield in 2016. He would not cost the Tigers much money if they are still worried about their finances. He also will not cost as much talent as Gonzalez or Dickerson. His speed would also work better than Gonzalez’s or Dickerson’s power would in Detroit.