Detroit Tigers fans have long seen the team operate with a high payroll. While still in contention this year, Detroit could pay the price in the future. One way to save money would be to deal Jose Iglesias.
The shortstop has routinely posted positive numbers in a number of defensive, statistical categories including DRS, UZR and UZR/150.
While the Tigers used to rank as one of baseball’s worst fielding teams, Detroit has steadily improved.
While Iglesias has stood out for his defense, his offense has also been a positive.
He hit an even .300 with a 97 wRC+ in 2015. The shortstop also proved to be the most difficult batter to strike out in the American League last season, with a 9.7 strikeout percentage.
However this season has been different, and not in a good way.
Below are stat lines for three Tigers players:
- Tigers Player A: 79 wRC+, .295 on-base percentage, .289 wOBA, 7.0 walk percentage
- Detroit Player B: 38 wRC+, .281 on-base percentage, .230 wOBA, 9.1 walk percentage
- Tigers Player C: 35 wRC+, .220 on-base percentage, .225 wOBA, 3.1 walk percentage
To narrow things down, the above players are Detroit’s three top options at shortstop.
However, Iglesias has been the most underwhelming of all.
Fortunately, all three players are excellent fielders. In that regard, the Tigers wouldn’t be losing anything if the team went with with one or both of Machado and Romine full time.
Shortstop is one of the few areas where the team has significant depth, so making a change from Iglesias would work in that regard.
Considering Iglesias is making $4.1 million this season (per Spotrac), the Tigers would be in an excellent position to shed some salary if they dealt the former Boston Red Sox player.