Detroit Tigers Rumors: Alex Avila linked with Chicago Cubs
Detroit Tigers rumors are once again in the headlines with the trade deadline on the horizon. The latest rumor involves catcher Alex Avila and the Chicago Cubs.
Detroit Tigers rumors continue to stick around with the month of July coming to a close.
The Tigers have already dealt J.D. Martinez, but more players could conceivably head out the door.
One of those players is catcher Alex Avila.
Originally signed to compliment James McCann at catcher, Avila is in the midst of an excellent campaign for Detroit.
The 30-year-old has turned in a 2.2 WAR in only 70 games. He also owns a 149 wRC+, a .286 batting average, a .416 on-base percentage, a .508 slugging percentage, a .924 OPS, a 17.7% walk rate, a .395 wOBA and a .221 ISO in 243 plate appearances.
Said plate appearances have also included 11 home runs, 29 RBI and 29 runs scored.
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As of late, Avila has received most of his plate appearances in the second spot in the lineup.
These plate appearances generally come against right-handed. In 227 plate appearances against right-handed pitching, Avila is batting .297 with a .955 OPS and 22 extra-base hits.
USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale tweeted the following in a pair of tweets about the veteran on Thursday:
"“The #Tigers next trade chip to fall will be catcher Alex Avila, and no team as expressed stronger interest than the #Cubs. It’s a perfect fit.”"
"“The #Tigers ideally would get mid-level prospect for Avila, who’s having terrific season, and would be perfect fit in #Cubs clubhouse.”"
Chicago is currently using 25-year-old Willson Contreras and 23-year-old rookie Victor Caratini behind the dish.
Considering Contreras plays the outfield on occasion, the team would be able to incorporate Avila into the team without having to lessen Contreras’ impact.
Detroit would do well in a hypothetical deal sending Avila to the Cubs. Even after the Jose Quintana deal, Chicago has depth in the farm system that would benefit the Tigers.
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This is all purely speculative mind you, but prospects like starting pitcher Adbert Alzolay, fellow hurler Ryan Williams and reliever Jose Rosario could be fits.
Right-handed Double-A starter Duane Underwood is a power arm who could be a fit in the Detroit system.
In a perfect world, the Tigers would trade Avila for a useful prospect or two at the deadline and then re-sign him in the offseason to continue his time share with McCann.
If Avila is dealt, John Hicks would likely see a major uptick in playing time for the rest of 2017.
The 27-year-old has seen limited action with the Tigers so far this season, but has shown well, with a .841 OPS and a .299 batting average to show for in 69 plate appearances. He also chipped in with 12 RBI, 11 walks, six doubles, three home runs, two walks and a stolen base.
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That spits out to a 121 wRC+, a .353 wOBA and a .224 ISO. Hicks’ WAR currently sits at 0.4.