Detroit Tigers: Three Ideal, Hypothetical J.D. Martinez Trades
Detroit Tigers Acquire: Alex Bregman, Brad Peacock, Brady Rodgers, Garrett Stubbs and Preston Tucker
Houston Astros Acquire: J.D. Martinez
J.D. Martinez began his career in the Houston Astros organization and spent parts of three seasons with the club before departing for Detroit.
Now, with the Astros going all-in, a return makes sense.
Houston has acted quickly this offseason, supplementing the team’s already-talented roster with Josh Reddick, Brian McCann and Charlie Morton.
Adding Martinez to the mix would not only give Houston one of the league’s best lineups, but also set the team up to win the American League West.
Breaking Down the Trade
The centerpiece of this deal would be Bregman.
A third baseman selected with the second-overall pick in 2015, the 22-year-old made his Major League debut last season. By and large, he didn’t disappoint.
Also able to play second base and shortstop, Bregman hit .264 while collecting 34 RBI, 31 runs scored, 13 doubles, eight home runs and three triples in only 49 games. The former top prospect also posted a .313 on-base percentage to go along with a .214 ISO and a 112 wRC+.
The LSU product isn’t close to being eligible for arbitration and would be a franchise cornerstone for Detroit.
Peacock and Rodgers
In addition to Bregman, Detroit would also acquire two potential rotation pieces in Brad Peacock and Brady Rodgers.
Neither will blow anyone away with a blazing fastball, but both have shown that they can effectively record outs.
Peacock turned in a 3.69 ERA in limited work as a swingman last year. At 28, he’s more of a depth option. However, teams can never have enough quality depth.
The former Nationals farmhand is controllable through 2019 and has thrown 263.2 innings at the Major League level.
Elsewhere in the deal, Rodgers is yet another potential rotation piece. The 26-year-old put up a sparkling 2.86 ERA and a 12-4 record in 22 starts for Triple-A Fresno. He only walked 1.6 batters per nine innings over the same span, while totaling 132 innings pitched.
If he can continue to limit walks, Rodgers will have a future in the Majors.
James McCann will catch games in Detroit for the foreseeable future. However, after him the team’s catching outlook isn’t as clear.
John Hicks looks like a potential backup, but he’s logged just 26 plate appearances at the Major League level.
Elsewhere, prospect Arvicent Perez is at Single-A Western Michigan, while Grayson Greiner only reached Triple-A for the first time late in 2016.
It remains to be seen if any of the three are long-term fits behind McCann, but Detroit could acquire a future deputy catcher in Garrett Stubbs.
An eighth-round pick in 2015, Stubbs is a .293 career hitter in the minor leagues. What’s more, he’s also a strong defensive presence. In 102 games, the backstop has thrown out a staggering 51% of would-be base stealers.
To top it all off, Stubbs, who also owns a lifetime .385 on-base percentage, is the rare catcher who can steal a base. In 86 games split between Advanced-A and Double-A, the USC product stole 15 bases.
Rounding out the deal is Tucker, who is buried on Houston’s depth chart behind the likes of Reddick, George Springer, Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez.
He hit just .164 in 48 games for the Astros last season, but gives Detroit another potential option in the outfield.
Tucker showed more promise as a fourth outfield in 2015, when he delivered 35 runs scored, 33 RBI and 32 extra-base hits in 98 games. The 26-year-old is controllable through 2021.