Detroit Tigers have personnel to trade some veterans, still contend
Why the Detroit Tigers can trade J.D. Martinez and stay competitive
Even if the Tigers trade all three players, they still have a nucleus that will keep them competitive. This is the case when Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler frequent your lineup and Michael Fulmer, Justin Verlander and Jordan Zimmermann compose 60% of your starting rotation.
However, not only does the team have the players elsewhere on the roster to potentially make up for the aforementioned trio’s absences, the Tigers might simply be able to plug in ready-made replacements.
In Martinez’ case, the Tigers could conceivably promote Christin Stewart to get his feet wet in the Majors before taking over right-field duties on a permanent basis in 2018.
Stewart is Detroit’s best position player prospect, and is showing plenty of promise at Double-A Erie.
In 285 plate appearances for the club, the 23-year-old is batting .260 with a .264 ISO, a 138 wRC+, 50 RBI, 33 runs scored, 16 home runs, 12 doubles, three triples and three stolen bases.
Of course, if the team doesn’t want to bring up Stewart just yet, they could see what Jim Adduci can produce given consistent playing time.
The journeyman outfielder impressed in limited playing time this season before hitting the disabled list.
In 49 plate appearances, Adduci hit .318 with a .888 OPS. He also collected eight runs scored, seven RBI, five walks, two triples and a stolen base, notching a 0.7 WAR and a 136 wRC+ in the process.
Detroit could also acquire a young outfielder in a trade at the deadline to replace Martinez.