Detroit Tigers: Three Ideal Center Field Trades
Detroit Tigers Acquire: Travis Jankowski and Brad Hand
San Diego Padres Acquire: Jose Iglesias, Buck Farmer and Anibal Sanchez
While the Tigers would deal away a solid starting shortstop in Jose Iglesias, the team would net two exciting pieces in Jankowski and Hand.
Jankowski, a 25-year-old speed merchant, is an excellent defensive outfielder. Even when JaCoby Jones is ready for a starting role, the current Padre can make an impact as a pinch runner and fourth outfielder.
The former first-round pick can also help Detroit bridge the gap from J.D. Martinez to Christin Stewart.
Whenever Jones takes over in center field, the Tigers can shift Jankowski to right field to man the position until top prospect Christin Stewart is ready for the Majors.
In 131 games last season, Jankowski contributed a 2.1 WAR and a 3.1 BsR. He also stole 30 bases while chipping in with 53 runs scored, 17 extra-base hits and 12 RBI. On the defensive side of the ball, the center fielder turned some stellar numbers.
His UZR finished at 11, while his UZR/150 checked in at 20.9. Overall, Jankowski turned in a DRS of three.
Simply put, Brad Hand was one of baseball’s best setup relievers last season.
Over the course of 82 appearances (89.1 innings pitched) the southpaw struck out 11.18 batters per nine innings. He also notched a 1.6 WAR. Additionally, he posted a 12.2 swinging strike percentage while turning in some excellent run-prevention stats.
In his 89.1 innings of work, Hand pitched to a 2.92 ERA, a 3.07 FIP, a 3.3f xFIP and a 3.09 SIERA.
Controllable through 2019, the ex-Marlin would give Detroit another left-handed option in the bullpen. In this scenario, the Tigers could move forward with Hand and Justin Wilson in relief roles.
However, with Kyle Ryan, Blaine Hardy and Stumpf also providing left-handed options for Brad Ausmus, the Tigers could flip Wilson for a premium return.
Dealing Iglesias would be difficult, but the Tigers have Dixon Machado waiting in the wings. The prospect has the defensive upside to be just as good as Detroit’s current starter with the glove.
Why the Trade Works for the Padres
While San Diego has a number of young options around the infield and in the outfield, there greatest area of need is at shortstop. Former top prospect Luis Sardinas is the club’s best option at this point at the position.
While Sardinas hit .287 with a .770 OPS in a 34-game stint for the National League West club last year, he still owns a career on-base percentage of .284.
Iglesias would obviously fill the need for the Padres.
Speaking of positions of need, San Diego is in dire need of starting pitchers.
Last year, eight different Padres made at least 10 starts. Of those eight, only Christian Friedrich, Luis Perdomo and Paul Clemens will open next season with the club.
Considering Perdomo’s ERA ballooned to 5.71, while Clemens’ FIP sat at 4.79, reinforcements are clearly needed.
In Sanchez and Farmer, the Padres would acquire two starters to plug into their rotation.
If the former Marlin can rebound in spacious Petco Park, San Diego could always deal him at the trade deadline for more prospects.