Detroit Tigers: Taking on contracts could provide useful in adding prospects

Al Avila, Detroit Tigers (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Al Avila, Detroit Tigers (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
KANSAS CITY, MO – MAY 29: Starting pitcher Jason Hammel #39 of the Kansas City Royals reacts as teammates Whit Merrifield #15 and Mike Moustakas #8 walk to the mound as he is about to be pulled during the 5th inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on May 29, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Jason Hammel

The Kansas City starting pitcher, per Spotrac, has a $9 million salary in 2018, followed by a 2019 mutual option for $12 million.

It remains to be seen if Kansas City will trade the starter.

However, Hammel did struggle to a 4.68 SIERA with Kansas City. He’s posting a career-low 37.8 ground ball percentage in 174.1 innings this season.

What’s more, Kansas City has a host of potential free agents this winter including Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Jason Vargas, Alcides Escobar and Melky Cabrera.

Additionally, according to Spotrac, Ian Kennedy could opt out of his contract.

Kansas City could conceivably look to free up money by moving Hammel.

The Tigers could take on the starter’s contract while using him as a place holder in the rotation.

If Detroit acquired Hammel, the Tigers could simply decline the team’s end of the mutual option, allowing Hammel to become a free agent after 2018.

What’s more, the starter could become an eventual trade chip.

Given the uncertainty in Detroit’s rotation, the veteran could start every five days while the likes of Franklin Perez, Grayson Long and Beau Burrows get closer to the Majors.

A consistent place in the rotation could allow the Tigers to build up Hammel’s trade value ahead of a July trade.