Detroit Tigers: Could Detroit Trade for an Ace?

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Apr 27, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Apr 27, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Sonny Gray

With Teheran and Archer likely too expensive for the Tigers, that leaves Gray as the last ace standing who could fit in with the Tigers. Just 26-years-old, the Oakland starter owns a career 3.25 ERA and a 3.57 FIP to go along with a 37-28 record.

These numbers are all despite a 2016 campaign that has so far seen the ace post a 5.12 ERA, a 4.62 FIP and a 4-8 record in 96.2 innings pitched.  Gray pitched well early in the season, but a 10-game stretch from May to early July forced the pitcher’s numbers to balloon. In the 10 games, the right-hander allowed 44 runs in only 56.1 innings pitched.

There isn’t really any way around it, Sonny Gray has struggled this season, but he still holds plenty of appeal. From 2013 to 2015, the A’s starter posted a 33-20 record, a miniscule 2.88 ERA and a 10.3 WAR. Gray also made the All-Star team and finished third in the Cy Young voting in 2015.

Additionally, he is controllable. The Vanderbilt product won’t hit free agency until 2020. With the contracts of Justin Upton, Sanchez and Pelfrey potentially coming off the books after 2017, the Tigers will have plenty of money to spend on Gray’s arbitration seasons and beyond.

A four-man playoff rotation of Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann and Gray is pretty formidable. Add Daniel Norris to the mix and the Tigers are set for at least the next three or four years with a potentially elite rotation.

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