Detroit Tigers: Six Moves That Will Help Detroit Make the Playoffs in 2017

Aug 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Sep 15, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey (37) in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Trade Mike Pelfrey and prospects Dominic Ficociello and Austin Kubitza to San Diego for Double-A shortstop Josh Van Meter

The Padres are rebuilding and need starting pitching. With Pelfrey on an expiring contract, he could be a fit for San Diego, especially with his tendency to induce ground balls.

As it stands, Collin Rea, Tyson Ross, Robbie Erlin and Erik Johnson are all facing stints on the sidelines due to injury. What’s more, Clayton Richard and Edwin Jackson are both slated to hit free agency once the World Series begins.

With Jon Jay and Carlos Villanueva also set to become a free agents, the Padres will certainly have the money to absorb Pelfrey’s salary. Just as with Colorado, they could look to rebuild Pelfrey’s value before dealing him for more future pieces at the deadline.

Breaking Down the Deal

Detroit may have to part with more pieces in order to unload Pelfrey’s contract. In Ficociello and Kubitza, the Padres receive two players who they can add to help boost their farm system.

Ficociello plays first base, second base and third base. However, he is blocked at each position. Meanwhile, Kubitza has transitioned to the bullpen after initially starting games. Like Pelfrey, his ground-ball inducing ability would play well in spacious Petco Park.

Detroit wouldn’t just be getting salary relief in this potential deal, the Tigers would also acquire Josh Van Meter. A 21-year-old middle infielder and a fifth-round pick from 2013, Van Meter hit just .251 in 124 games split between Advanced-A and Double-A last season.

Despite the uninspiring batting average, the player did collect 56 RBI, 23 doubles, 14 home runs, 11 stolen bases and a pair of triples.

He also posted a .331 on-base percentage, but is blocked in the San Diego system by Javier Guerra, Luis Urias, Jose Rondon, Carlos Asuaje, Luis Almanzar, Gabriel Arias, and Ruddy Giron among others.

His ability to stuff the stat sheet is certainly intriguing, and could pay dividends down the road.