Detroit Tigers: Three Hypothetical Victor Martinez Trades
Detroit Tigers Acquire: Danny Barnes and Outfield Prospects Joshua Palacios and D.J. Davis
Toronto Blue Jays Acquire: Victor Martinez and Mark Lowe
Factors like Victor Martinez’ age, contract, lack of speed or defensive upside will certainly impact the kind of return the Detroit Tigers can receive.
However, this deal has a chance to work out for the team.
Moving Martinez allows Detroit to rotate some of the team’s players who graded out below average in terms of defensive metrics to designated hitter on a more regular basis.
While losing the designated hitter’s bat may sting somewhat, the Tigers should benefit from the rotation strategy, as it will immediately improve the team’s defense.
The Hypothetical Trade
In addition to sending Martinez to Toronto to potentially help replace Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, Detroit would also send Lowe north of the border.
The veteran reliever pitched for the Jays as recently as 2015, and owned a 3.79 ERA in 23 appearances for the American League East club.
A return to Toronto could benefit all parties, as the Jays are also facing the possibility of finding replacements for Brett Cecil and Joaquin Benoit.
Detroit’s Side of the Deal
In return for Martinez and Lowe, the Tigers receive a relief pitcher that the team can immediately plug into the bullpen.
Barnes, a 26-year-old reliever who made his Major League debut in 2016, doesn’t overpower with is low-90s fastball. However, he’s developed a knack for missing bats and recording outs.
The pitcher logged an 11.1 swinging strike percentage in the Majors last season, while punching out 11.3 batters per nine frames in the minors.
All told, he logged a miniscule 0.73 ERA in 61.1 minor league innings in 2016. During those 61.1 innings he walked six while striking out 77 batters.
Palacios and Davis
While not ranked among Toronto’s elite prospects, both Palacios and Davis bring plenty of upside and promise.
Palacios, who reached Single-A this season, is only 21. He’s coming off a robust campaign in his first taste of professional ball. In 50 games, the outfielder hit .330 with a .397 on-base percentage.
The former fourth-round pick didn’t hit the ball out of the park, but the Auburn product did collect 13 doubles and three triples to go along with 18 RBI.
What is perhaps most encouraging is the player’s strikeout and walk totals. Palacios logged 18 walks while only striking out 26 times.
It’s early, but the prospect’s on-base skills give him plenty of upside moving forward.
In addition to Palacios, the Tigers would add prospect D.J. Davis to the team’s minor league ranks. The 17th-overall pick in the 2012 draft, Davis has struggled at the plate so far in his career.
In 451 career minor league games, the outfielder hit .239 with a .312 on-base percentage. Those numbers may not catch the eye, but Davis’ speed will. The outfielder possess game-changing speed, not to mention some pop.
If he can put it all together, Davis has limitless potential. Even if the hitting doesn’t improve, the prospect can still make an impact at the Major League level as a pinch runner similar to how Kansas City utilizes Terrance Gore.