Detroit Tigers: Three Ideal, Hypothetical Trades Involving Pelfrey, Lowe and Sanchez
Detroit Tigers pitchers Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe and Anibal Sanchez all struggled at times last season. Here are three hypothetical trades involving the veteran trio that would benefit the Tigers.
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila and the rest of the front office are looking to change how the team does business.
The era of the Tigers spending on prominent free agents is over.
With Detroit seeking to become more financially sustainable over the long haul, the team’s biggest contracts have become obvious trade candidates.
However, with the Tigers also staying competitive, it means that the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler and Justin Verlander probably aren’t going anywhere.
The Tigers do have a handful of players on significant contracts who they could trade while keeping their contender status.
That handful of players consists of pitchers Mike Pelfrey, Mark Lowe and Anibal Sanchez.
According to Spotrac, Pelfrey will earn $8 million next season, while Lowe will take home $5.5 million.
Rounding out the list is Sanchez, who will make $16 million next season. The starter has a club option for 2018 for the same salary. His employers can buy him out for $5 million.
Signed last offseason to provide rotation stability, Pelfrey struggled in Detroit. The veteran eventually fell behind young starters Michael Fulmer, Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris in the rotation pecking order after simply allowing too many base runners.
Of all starting pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched, Pelfrey posted the highest WHIP and second highest SIERA.
The former Twin ended the year with a 4-10 record. He also posted a 0.4 WAR, a 5.07 ERA and just 4.35 strikeouts per nine frames over 119 innings pitched.
Like Pelfrey, Lowe was signed to bring stability. Originally thought to be a setup reliever to Francisco Rodriguez, the veteran reliever turned in the highest ERA of all qualified relievers.
What’s more, his 2.19 home runs allowed per nine innings ranked only behind Brett Oberholtzer in terms of being the highest-rate in baseball.
Similarly, Sanchez also struggled mightily in 2016.
Despite the occasional strong start, the former American League leader in ERA had a rough go of things from a statistical standpoint.
The veteran ranked in the bottom 30 of all starters with at least 130 innings pitched in a number of statistical categories.
Sanchez owned the second-highest ERA, the fourth-highest home runs allowed per nine innings, the fourth-highest FIP and the 11th-highest WHIP. He also owned the 13th-worst xFIP and the 26th-highest SIERA.
Pelfrey, Lowe and Sanchez’ collective struggles make it hard to deal the trio, especially considering their respectively large contracts.
While the Detroit Tigers may not be able to save any money by dealing the three, they could flip either of them for another player on a similar, short-term contract.
Here are three hypothetical such trades.