It’s MLB Trade Rumors season, and the Detroit Tigers have been linked with starting pitchers. According to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi, the Tigers are “involved in starting pitching market.”
Detroit Tigers starting pitchers have been up and down this season. Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer and Jordan Zimmermann have all be excellent, while Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd have also shown well at times.
It looks like the Tigers could be looking for additions to the starting rotation. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi reported in a tweet, “#Tigers increasingly involved in starting pitching market, sources say; they are looking mostly at No.3 and 4 type starters. @MLB.”
The fact that the team in the market for starters isn’t surprising. Detroit will need rotation depth as the season progresses, and the team will have trouble making ground in the standings if Sanchez and Pelfrey continue to struggle.
Morosi also reported a few of the players Detroit has looked at. The Fox Sports reporter tweeted, “Jeremy Hellickson and Hector Santiago among the names #Tigers have discussed, sources say. @MLBNetwork @MLB.”
Both pitchers make sense as potential fits for the Tigers for a number of reasons. Hellickson and Santiago are solid and dependable starters capable of delivering quality innings. Additionally, both would likely cost less than a non-ace starter like Jose Quintana or Rich Hill.
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Hellickson, who this publication listed as a potential trade fit a few months back, has pitched to a 3.65 ERA in 21 starts for Philadelphia this season. A pure rental, the 29-year-old owns a 1.1 WAR, a 3.98 SIERA and a 4.16 FIP.
Considering he is a rental, Hellickson would conceivably cost less than a player under team control for multiple seasons. That makes him an even more appealing trade target in that regard.
Santiago, on the other hand, is controllable after this season.
This season has marked the only time in Santiago’s career that his ERA has sat above 4.00. From 2012 to 2015, the former White Sox pitcher racked up a 3.58 ERA. He even made the All-Star team last season. In six career appearances at Comerica Park, the southpaw has pitched to a 3.13 ERA and nine strikeouts per nine innings.
If acquired, Hellickson or Santiago would potentially slot into the team’s rotation in place of Mike Pelfrey. Anibal Sanchez has already been shifted to the bullpen, so Detroit could effectively remove both of the team’s struggling starters from the rotation in one transaction.
Should Detroit acquire an extra starting pitcher, it will be interesting to see what the team does with Pelfrey and Sanchez. Neither are perfect fits for the bullpen, and both would be out of the picture where the rotation is concerned.