Adding a younger, Major-League ready player like Travis would also help to accelerate Detroit’s rebuild.
The sooner the franchise’s young players start making it to the Majors, the sooner they can develop. The sooner they can develop, the sooner the Detroit Tigers will contend again.
Speaking of young players near the Majors, there’s also Michael Chavis in this hypothetical trade.
Chavis recently wrapped up the 2017 campaign with Double-A Portland in Boston’s minor league system.
He hit .282 with a .347 on-base percentage, a .563 slugging percentage and a .910 OPS in 524 plate appearances.
Those 524 plate appearances also yielded 94 RBI, 89 RBI, 35 doubles, 31 home runs, two triples and two stolen bases.
A slugger in his own right, Baseball Prospectus wrote the following about the third baseman on August 24:
"“Chavis’ game is built on his ability to drive the baseball, but everything else is a bit fringy. His swing is strong, powerful, compact and fast, but his bat-to-ball is inconsistent due to his aggressiveness and some approach issues. He has enough natural skill to hit for a workable average with power … His glove and footwork make me question whether third base is his long-term defensive home, but he has enough natural range to work in second or left field.”"
Potential in Detroit
If the Tigers acquired Chavis, a move off third base would perfectly fine considering the franchise’s other options.
With Candelario entrenched at the moment at third, Detroit doesn’t need another third baseman.
What the team does need is a second baseman.
Long term however, the slick-fielding Machado seems more like Jose Iglesias’ heir apparent at shortstop.
As it stands, Dawel Lugo is Detroit’s only other candidate at second base long-term, so adding Chavis would certainly give the team another option.
At worst, if his offense plays in the Majors, the Tigers can shift Chavis elsewhere on the diamond.
Add in players like Travis and Smith, as well as some of the other top prospects in the system, and the Detroit Tigers will be in for an extremely bright future.