Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila is changing how the team does business. The Tigers are looking to set up for a more financially-sustainable future, and that means hefty contracts could be dealt.
In a perfect world, Avila and the rest of the Tigers front office would be able to unload Anibal Sanchez, Mike Pelfrey and Mark Lowe to save cash. However, the likelihood of all those moves happening is somewhat unlikely.
It remains to be seen just what exactly the Tigers will do this offseason in terms of trades, but trading an impact player like Martinez could pay dividends.
There is no denying the slugger’s impact. In just 120 games last year, the outfielder posted a 142 wRC+, a .384 wOBA and a .228 ISO. What’s more, he collected 22 home runs and 68 RBI while hitting .307. His slugging percentage sat at .535.
While Martinez’ power will certainly help Detroit if he stays, that same power will appeal to other teams.
Given the slugger’s relatively affordable salary ($11.75 million next season, per Spotrac), Avila and company could bring in a premium return for the free-agent-to-be in 2017.
Teams could conceivably find Martinez a more appealing long-term fit than the current crop of free agents. With Yoenis Cespedes off the board, Jose Bautista (36) and Mark Trumbo (31) remain as the best outfield sluggers on the market.
Here are three ideal, hypothetical trades involving J.D. Martinez.