Detroit Tigers: Four Potential Trades Involving Sanchez, Lowe and Pelfrey
By Ben Rosener
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila is looking to make the team younger and more financially sustainable for the long haul. To do this, he’ll need to shed salary.
Detroit Tigers pitchers generally performed well last season.
Justin Verlander returned to his ace-like self, while Michael Fulmer emerged as a Rookie of the Year candidate.
Additionally, fellow young starters Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris established themselves as capable pitchers at the Major League level.
However, some pitchers struggled.
Mike Pelfrey, who was signed in the offseason to eat innings, struggled mightily. Of all starting pitchers with at least 100 innings in the Majors, Pelfrey posted the highest WHIP at 1.73.
In addition to Pelfrey, Anibal Sanchez and Mark Lowe were hit around too often.
Similar to Pelfrey, Sanchez had trouble holding down a rotation spot, as he logged a 5.06 FIP in 153.1 innings pitched.
Home runs were once again a problem for the former Marlin, as he allowed 1.76 long balls per nine frames.
Lowe, who like Pelfrey was signed to a multi-year deal last offseason, pitched to a 7.11 ERA, a 5.66 FIP and a 4.76 xFIP in 49.1 innings. He allowed 2.19 home runs per nine innings.
In a perfect world, Avila would be able to shed the contracts of Pelfrey, Sanchez and Lowe without eating any salary. However, that is unlikely to happen given the pitchers’ respective struggles and contracts.
Per Spotrac, Sanchez will make $16 million in 2017. Following next season, the Tigers have a team option for the same amount in 2018, which they can buy out for $5 million.
According to the same publication, the contracts of Pelfrey and Lowe are option-free, as both will see their deals expire after next season. Spotrac lists Pelfrey’s salary at $8 million and Lowe’s at $5.5 million.
After all three struggled last season, here’s a look at how the Detroit Tigers could trade them for something of value.
The Tigers may not be able to save significant money in any of these deals. However, the team can at least acquire a player on a similar contract who could bounce back.