Detroit Tigers general manager is looking to make the team young and more inexpensive. However, if the club wants to compete, they’ll need some of their veterans. The best move may be to trade J.D. Martinez.
Detroit Tigers will see a different roster next season. While the team fell just short of a playoff berth in 2016, general manager Al Avila is taking a more fiscally-sustainable approach with the Tigers. In other words, the days of hefty contracts are over in the Motor City.
This kind of shift in policy was likely coming at some point, and now it seems Avila will start the process of lowering Detroit’s exorbitant payroll.
Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are two obvious, potential candidates to be moved thanks to their long-term contracts. However, if Detroit wants to remain a competitive team, the Tigers need to keep hold of the future Hall of Fame players.
After Cabrera and Verlander, Detroit’s highest-paid players include Justin Upton, Victor Martinez, Jordan Zimmermann, Anibal Sanchez, Ian Kinsler, Cameron Maybin, Mike Pelfrey, Francisco Rodriguez, J.D. Martinez and Mark Lowe.
Most of the group are unlikely to be dealt on their own.
What’s more, Victor Martinez’ market is likely limited to American League franchises given his status as a designated hitter.
Kinsler’s contract is extremely team-friendly, but Detroit will also need him if they want to put a competitive product on the field.
Of the remaining players, Detroit will have a difficult time finding takers for the salaries of Sanchez, Pelfrey and Lowe.
Additionally, Maybin and Rodriguez could have their team options declined and hit the free agent market following the conclusion of the World Series.
That leaves J.D. Martinez.
Why should the Tigers trade their slugging outfielder?
Glad you asked.