Detroit Tigers: Three Potential Jose Iglesias Trades
Detroit Tigers Acquire: Steven Brault, Dovydas Neverauskas and John Jaso
Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire: Jose Iglesias
This trade is likely dependent on the Pirates moving Andrew McCutchen, as Pittsburgh’s infield is filled out at present. However, if McCutchen is dealt, the team can move Josh Harrison to the outfield and slide Jordy Mercer over to second base.
In this scenario, Iglesias would take over at shortstop, where he provides similar offensive production to Mercer (89 wRC+) while serving as a significant defensive upgrade. Pittsburgh’s shortstop’s UZR (-8.4) left much to be desired.
Detroit’s Side of the Deal
In return for Iglesias, Detroit would actually be taking on some money. However, it shouldn’t be an issue in the long run.
Per Spotrac, Jaso will make $4 million next season before hitting free agency. The Tigers can either utilize the first baseman (111 wRC+, 0.6 WAR) as a bench cog, or find a taker for his salary in another trade.
With Josh Bell, the team’s first baseman of the future, already finding success at the Major League level, Jaso is expendable.
In addition to the first baseman, Detroit would acquire two pitchers who could contribute right away.
Brault, a 24-year-old starter, made his Major League debut last season, registering a 4.86 ERA in 33.1 innings pitched. While that number doesn’t inspire the most confidence, the former Baltimore farmhand did log a 10.1 swinging strike percentage.
He also owns a 3.91 career ERA and 10.2 strikeouts per nine frames at the Triple-A level.
The young starter could eventually make Jordan Zimmermann expendable if he can replicate his Triple-A numbers at the Major League level. At worse, Brault can be a reliable sixth starter for the Tigers who can provide quality innings when called upon.
Rounding out the deal is Dovydas Neverauskas.
A hard-throwing reliever, Neverauskas mixes a blazing fastball with two solid off-speed offerings. In 58 innings split between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, the right-hander posted a 3.10 ERA and 56 strikeouts.
He could slot into Detroit’s bullpen as early as Opening Day.
What’s perhaps most appealing about the hypothetical deal is the controllability of Brault and Neverauskas. Both could be long-term Major League contributors for the foreseeable future.