Detroit Tigers players have so far guided the team to a 53-48 record. Detroit is well within striking distance of both the American League Central and the Wild Card. However, reinforcements are needed.
Detroit Tigers general manager went out in the offseason and acquired his closer Francisco Rodriguez. In fact, bringing in Rodriguez was Avila’s first major trade in charge of the Tigers.
The man referred to as “K-Rod” wasn’t the only closer to change teams in the offseason. The New York Yankees made a splash by bringing in Aroldis Chapman.
While Rodriguez is continuing to close out games for Detroit, Chapman’s stay in the Bronx was much shorter. The Yankees flipped the flamethrower to the Chicago Cubs for a package of prospects. With the impending free agent dealt, the Yankees could conceivably trade some other pieces.
The problem with New York is that many of the players who would be potential fits in Detroit are either too expensive, like Jacoby Ellsbury or Masahiro Tanaka, or are young enough that the youth-starved Yankees may hold onto them. These players include the likes of Didi Gregorius, Nick Goody and Luis Severino.
Here’s a look at which New York players could fit in with Detroit.
Pineda’s 5.00 ERA is admittedly a bit of an eyesore, but when his other numbers are brought into play, the former Mariner looks like an impact pitcher.
In 113.1 innings pitched, the 27-year-old has struck out 135 batters, good for 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. What’s more, his FIP sits at 3.86, and his SIERA is an excellent 3.31. Pineda is also controllable through 2017, increasing his value even more. He could thrive in Detroit with improved defense and run support.
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Just reacquired by the Yankees in the Chapman deal, Warren would be an ideal swingman for Detroit. The veteran has functioned as both a starter and a reliever in his career, with 21 career starts and 37 games finished.
Despite his struggles (5.91 ERA) in 35 innings of work with the Cubs, the 28-year-old could find success in Detroit. The inning counts for Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd will all need to be monitored at some point, and having a pitcher like the right-hander around would ensure the Tigers could plug him in as a spot starter and the rotation wouldn’t miss a beat.
Despite not being on New York’s 25-man roster at present, Yates could provide some additional depth for a Detroit bullpen that could use an additional pitcher or two. Like Pineda, Yates’ 5.72 ERA is high, but his 3.84 FIP and 3.46 SIERA suggest he’s a better pitcher. Additionally, the right-hander has struck out 35 batters in only 28.1 innings pitched.
The Tigers best plan might be to stick with Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd at the back end of the rotation. However, Nova would make an interesting depth piece. A pure rental, the 29-year-old currently owns a 4.65 ERA in 93 innings pitched. He’s also added a respectable 4.01 SIERA.
He isn’t the same pitcher who won 16 games in 2011, but Nova could provide the Detroit Tigers with an upgrade over the likes of Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey. The Yankee pitcher also has experience coming out of the bullpen, so he could also fit as a swingman.