Detroit Tigers: Pros and Cons of Trading Victor Martinez
Immediate Salary Relief
Given Martinez’ continued ability to produce at the plate, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Detroit unload the entirety of the veteran’s contract in a trade.
Per Spotrac, the former catcher is set to make $18 million in both 2017 and 2018. He’ll hit free agency following the 2018 campaign.
Removing that number from the books will do wonders for the Tigers long-term outlook where money is concerned.
Improved Base Running
Victor Martinez has the ability to be a force at the plate. However on the base paths? Not so much.
The designated hitter finished last on the Tigers in both BsR (-11.4) and UBR (-9.2). In fact, Martinez ranked last in the Majors among qualified batters in both base-running stats.
He also finished with 19 double plays grounded into. That number ranked as tied for the sixth-highest mark in the league.
Replacing the veteran with someone like Tyler Collins (0.5 BsR) or JaCoby Jones (0.6 UBR) would help Detroit’s base running output significantly.
He may not play much in the field, but removing Martinez from the equation could help Detroit’s defense.
By trading the veteran, the team would free up the designated hitter slot to use more freely. This means the Tigers can rotate in some of the team’s players who graded out poorly in defensive numbers.
While the likes of Justin Upton (-6.0 UZR), Nick Castellanos (-11 DRS) and Miguel Cabrera (-6 DRS) won’t become full-time designated hitters, giving the trio 10-15 games each at the position would help Detroit’s overall defense.
Using the designated hitter spot to rotate players would also afford manager Brad Ausmus the opportunity keep key players fresh over the course of the season.