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Detroit Tigers: If Steven Moya Doesn’t Make Roster, Team Could Net Intriguing Return

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Jun 23, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Steven Moya (33) celebrates after he hits an RBI double in the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 23, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Steven Moya (33) celebrates after he hits an RBI double in the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers outfielder Steven Moya is out of minor league options. He’s one of a number of players who could potentially make Detroit’s roster this spring.

Detroit Tigers fans will see plenty of competition for roster spots in Spring Training.

The team’s starting lineup is largely set, while the same can be said for the bullpen and the starting rotation.

While center field is still up for grabs, there’s significant competition on the bench.

Andrew Romine is entrenched as the team’s super-utility ace, while Alex Avila looks set to back up James McCann behind the dish.

Outside of the duo, there aren’t many sure things.

One of Tyler Collins or Mikie Mahtook could conceivably make the unit, assuming the other wins the starter’s job in center field.

Elsewhere, veteran non-roster invitees like Omar Infante, Efren Navarro, Alex Presley, Brett Pill, Juan Perez and Brendan Ryan could also make the decision-making process more complicated.

There’s also Dixon Machado, who could crack the team as a second utility player to pair with Romine.

One player who will certainly be worth the watch in Spring Training is Steven Moya.

More on Moya

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The slugging outfielder was once one of the franchise’s top prospects, however he’s continued to struggle with strikeouts in the Majors and high minors.

Moya is still only 25. According to Spotrac, he’s controllable through 2021. In other words, there’s still plenty of time for the home-run threat to reach his potential.

However, like Machado, Moya is out of minor league options.

In other words, if he doesn’t make the Detroit Tigers Major League roster, the team risks losing him on waivers.

It’s a situation somewhat similar to Bryan Holaday’s last season.

The catcher was out of options and ended up heading to the Texas Rangers in a trade late in Spring Training.

Whether Moya remains with Detroit past Spring Training remains to be seen.

In a perfect world, the team would be able to hang on to the outfielder and Machado as bench cogs without losing any other pieces.

Trade Potential

However, if Moya is dealt, there’s potential for the Tigers to nab a useful piece in a trade.

Purely based on the outfielder’s power alone, Detroit could conceivably get more of a return than the team did with Holaday.

The Tigers were able to bring in Myles Jaye and Bobby Wilson in a deal for the veteran backstop.

Wilson was later flipped back to Texas for southpaw Chad Bell.

Both Jaye and Bell are currently in camp with Detroit and could very well replace Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey as rotational depth pieces.

What’s more Jaye and Bell could also be fits as swingmen out of the bullpen.

In the right scenario, Steven Moya could develop into a similar player to Chris Carter in terms of swatting home runs.

Ideally, that would be in Detroit as a key bench cog and occasional starter.

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However, if the Detroit Tigers end up trading Moya, they could bring back an intriguing return to better the team for the future.

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