Detroit Tigers: Should they sell high on Mikie Mahtook?
Speculative trade partners
Given Mahtook’s ability to slot in at any of the three outfield spots, he could be a fit for pretty much any team in the league.
His defensive metrics in 2017 (-2.0 UZR/150, -13 DRS, -4.3 ARM) weren’t anything to write home about.
However, the former first-round pick showed much better in 2016 (10.9 ZUR/150, + 1 DRS, 0.9 ARM) and 2015 (29.7, -1 DRS, -0.1 ARM), suggesting 2017 could simply be an off year defensively.
Additionally, his second half surge this season should be any doubt about his hitting ability to rest after a down year at the plate in 2016 (33 wRC+ in 196 plate appearances) and a slow start (48 wRC+, .249 wOBA in 63 plate appearances through May 31) to 2017.
Mahtook hit .283 with a .356 on-base percentage, a .486 slugging percentage, a .841 OPS, a .203 ISO, a .358 wOBA and a 122 wRC+.
He also tacked on an 8.4 walk percentage and a 19.7% strikeout rate as his BABIP finished at .327.
All that being said, the Toronto Blue Jays stand out as a potential fit.
Detroit could look to combine their trade chips and move Ian Kinsler and Mahtook for a greater return from a Toronto team that will enter 2018 with an outfield mix of Kevin Pillar, Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Ezequiel Carrera and Steve Pearce.
The Jays also have a significant need at second base as well. The case could probably be made for Jose Iglesias in this situation as well, considering Toronto’s needs up the middle.
Seattle also has an outfield need with Dyson potentially departing. Mahtook would provide an upgrade over either Ben Gamel in left or Guillermo Heredia in center field.
There’s also San Francisco, a team that could use some youth in outfield that starts Denard Span and Hunter Pence on a regular basis.
Anaheim is a fit if Upton leaves town.
However at this point unless the Tigers can snag some combination of Jo Adell, Jahmai Jones and Griffin Canning, the team should probably look elsewhere after already acquiring prospects from a then-thin Anaheim farm system in past deals for Upton, Maybin and Jefry Marte.