Detroit Tigers: Three Trades That Can Help Club Make 2017 World Series

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Detroit Tigers
May 16, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Trade #1 Send J.D. Martinez and Cameron Maybin to Houston for Alex Bregman, Lance McCullers and James Hoyt

The Houston Astros have plenty of depth in the infield and behind the plate, but are lacking in the outfield.

George Springer is the only real offensive threat in the outfield, where he will be joined by some combination of Jake Marisnick, Tony Kemp and Teoscar Hernandez next year.

Of the three, Hernandez had the highest wRC+ at 93, while Kemp and Marisnick came in at 71 and 58 respectively. By comparison, Anthony Gose’ wRC+ was 69 last season—so in other words the Astros need help.

Detroit would pick up Maybin’s option for next season and deal the veteran and his fellow outfielder J.D. Martinez to Houston.

Combined with the team’s excellent infield, a starting outfield consisting of Springer, Maybin and Martinez will establish Houston as division favorites out West.

Speaking of the Astros talented infield, the Tigers would receive an exciting future piece in Bregman.

Drafted second overall in 2015, the infielder reached the Majors in 2016 and logged a 112 wRC+ and a .214 ISO in 49 games for Houston.

Despite his talent and production, Bregman is buried on the Astros depth chart. Fellow infielders Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve won’t be moved off shortstop and second base respectively, while Yulieski Gurriel was just handed a hefty contract to handle third base duties.

Elsewhere, Houston employs Marwin Gonzalez at first base. Gonzalez is backed up by a pair of players who could be long-term fits at the position in A.J. Reed and Tyler White.


The Astros will return Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh at the top of the team’s rotation next season.

Additionally, Mike Fiers will provide quality innings, while ace reliever Chris Devenski could make the jump to the rotation after logging five starts last year.

All of this could make Lance McCullers attainable in a trade. The 22-year-old is undoubtedly talented, but the talent of Martinez and Maybin would make Houston a World Series contender.

What’s more, the Astros will need to make room for highly-touted prospects Francis Martes and David Paulino.

Should the Detroit Tigers acquire McCullers, he’d join the team’s other starters in forming one of baseball’s most exciting rotations. With the likes of Verlander, Fulmer, Norris and Matt Boyd already under contract, Avila will be able to set his rotation for the better part of the next decade.

In 81 innings last season, McCullers registered a 3.00 FIP, a 3.06 xFIP and a 3.68 SIERA while striking out 11.78 batters per nine innings. That strikeout rate was helped by a 13 swinging strike percentage that ranked ahead of the likes of Verlander, Corey Kluber and Cole Hamels.

Rounding out the deal is Hoyt. The 29-year-old reliever made his Major League debut last season and missed a ton of bats.

Despite a 4.92 FIP in 22 innings, the rookie struck out 11.5 batters per nine frames while also turning in a 15.2 swinging strike percentage.

All three players are controllable through 2021 at the earliest.