Detroit Tigers: Buying Low as a Trade Strategy
Jake McGee, Colorado Rockies Relief Pitcher
From 2012 to 2015, Jake McGee was one of the premier setup relievers in the Majors. The 29-year-old pitched to a 2.58 ERA and a 2.31 FIP coming out of Tampa Bay’s bullpen. That stretch also included 286 strikeouts in just 226.2 innings pitched. Additionally, the reliever only allowed 16 total home runs over the four-year span.
Based on those numbers, McGee should be thriving on the team he was traded to in January. However, McGee was traded to the Colorado Rockies.
Acquired in a swap co-headlined by outfielder Corey Dickerson, the former Ray has struggled mightily in the launch pad that is Coors Field.
McGee has posted an eyesore of an ERA at 6.12. His 5.34 FIP isn’t much better. What’s more, his strikeouts are down significantly. In 2015 with Tampa Bay, the veteran struck out 11.6 batters per nine innings. This season, that number is down to 6.8.
With the reliever’s struggles so far this season— not to mention Colorado being eight games below .500, 16 games out of the division race and seven back in the wild card race—Detroit could trade for the reliever at a cut rate.
Additionally, there’s reason to believe that McGee can thrive in a different scenario. The reliever has been victimized by a .333 BABIP. He also owns a 10.80 ERA and has allowed opponents to hit .358 against him in 11.2 home innings. On the road, things are a different story. The former Rays reliever has put up a 2.03 ERA and is holding batters to a .250 batting average away from Coors Field.