Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers Rumors: Tampa Bay Rays interested in Justin Wilson

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CHICAGO, IL - MAY 27: John Hicks #55 and Justin Wilson #38 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate a win over the Chicago White Sox in game two at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 4-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 27: John Hicks #55 and Justin Wilson #38 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate a win over the Chicago White Sox in game two at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 4-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers rumors are once again in the headlines. With July winding down, there have been plenty of rumors. The latest reportedly involves reliever Justin Wilson

Detroit Tigers rumors are back.

A new week seemingly means new rumors. That’s certainly the case this week, as Detroit closer Justin Wilson has reportedly been linked with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin tweeted the following on Monday morning:

"“Hearing #Rays have expressed legit interest in #Tigers LHP Justin Wilson and there is some traction in talks.”"

Tampa Bay doesn’t exactly have a need at closer given the presence of Alex Colome. However, teams always seem to be looking for bullpen reinforcements.

Rays’ relievers currently rank 21st in the league in WAR. The group also sits second-to-last in strikeouts per nine innings with 7.89 punch outs per nine frames.

Adding a reliever of Wilson’s quality would certainly help.

Detroit’s closer has notched a 0.9 WAR, a 2.29 ERA, a 2.89 FIP, a 3.29 xFIP, a 2.67 SIERA and 12.74 strikeouts per nine innings.

Wilson also owns a 35.1 ground percentage, 10 saves and a 0.91 WHIP. He’s struck out 36.5 of the batters he’s faced.

From a Tigers perspective, the Rays have a number of promising prospects close to the minors who could be fits in Detroit.

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This is all speculative mind you, but Willy Adames, who went to Tampa Bay in the David Price deal, may be out of the question given his status as one of the elite prospects in the league.

The Rays have other high-end prospects, including right-handed starters Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon and first baseman and outfielder Jake Bauers.

All three are on the cusp of sticking in the Majors full-time, so Detroit could conceivably plug any of the three into the team’s roster.

Honeywell in particular is intriguing considering he compliments a solid fastball with a handful of off-speed pitches, including an excellent screwball.

The Rays also employ a number of young players in the Majors, including speed merchant and center fielder Mallex Smith and starting pitchers Blake Snell and Jacob Faria.

However it remains to be seen if the team would move those players.

Reliever Brad Boxberger and infielder Tim Beckham are also hypothetical fits.

Potential replacements

If the Detroit Tigers don’t acquire another reliever in any trade deadline deals, they have a handful of internal options with which to replace Justin Wilson.

Shane Greene could slide into the closer’s role, but Detroit may want to keep him in his multi-inning role.

Joe Jimenez is a potential replacement at closer. The Tigers could use him in some save situations down the stretch to get him ready for a larger role in 2018.

Next: Houston Astros trade fits and hypothetical targets

Other potential Wilson candidates at the back end of the bullpen include Bruce Rondon, Daniel Stumpf and Alex Wilson.

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