Detroit Tigers: Should they sell high on Mikie Mahtook?
Detroit Tigers fans saw a strong debut season in the Motor City from Mikie Mahtook. With the Tigers in full-on rebuild mode, should the franchise look to sell high on Mahtook in a trade?
Detroit Tigers outfielder Mikie Mahtook was one of the few bright spots for the team in 2017.
In a season that was a perfect storm, or imperfect storm if you prefer, of injuries, inconsistency and rough luck, the ex-Rays outfielder stood out.
Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for reliever Drew Smith in the offseason, the Louisiana State product was a cost-efficient replacement for Cameron Maybin.
According to Spotrac, Maybin made $9 million in 2017. Per the same publication, Mahtook took home $541,300 last season.
It’s also worth noting that the current Tigers player was a significant upgrade over his predecessor at the plate.
Cameron Maybin in 2017: 1.2 fWAR, 88 wRC+, .300 wOBA, .683 OPS, 20.9 strikeout percentage, .137 ISO.
Mikie Mahtook in 2017: 1.6 fWAR, 107 wRC+, .335 wOBA, .787 OPS, 20.8 strikeout percentage, .181 ISO.
While Mahtook’s season was certainly encouraging, this is a rebuild after all.
If the Tigers were still contending, the outfielder would probably be untouchable due to his controllability (per Spotrac he’s controllable for four more seasons) and youth.
But this isn’t a contending team, this is a rebuilding situation—and in a rebuild, any move that can make the team better over the long run is worth a look
That’s why there could be plenty of trade speculation and talk in the next year or two about Michael Fulmer. It’s why it makes sense for the Tigers to shop Shane Greene.
But should the Detroit Tigers try to sell high on Mikie Mahtook?