Detroit Tigers: Should they sell high on Mikie Mahtook?
Should the Detroit Tigers sell high on Mikie Mahtook?
Yes, but maybe down the road.
Executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila and the rest of the front office should do everything they can to see if Mahtook can net a premium trade return this winter.
If they can’t get proverbial top dollar for him, the team can always keep the 27-year-old around and start him in the outfield along with Nicholas Castellanos.
At this point, the former third baseman is the team’s only other established option in the outfield.
What’s more, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Castellanos moved off the position if he continues to struggle in right field like he did down the stretch last season (-80.5 UZR/150, -7 DRS, -3.2 ARM in 173 innings).
Still, if the Tigers are going to struggle next season, it shouldn’t matter what the outfield grouping looks like so long as Gerber and Stewart are ready to be in the lineup at some point in the second half.
In this situation, moving Mahtook makes sense.
However, in a perfect world, Detroit would hang on to Mahtook for the first half of 2018, see him build on his play from this past season and then flip the outfielder to a team with a significant need for a prominent haul.
That way, the Detroit Tigers will have ready-made replacements in Gerber and Stewart while still adding pieces for the future.
It’s also possible that Detroit adds another young, Major League-ready outfielder in a trade this winter.
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Whether it be in a transaction for someone like Kinsler, Iglesias, Greene or Alex Wilson, acquiring another outfield solution would add another variable to the mix and make Mahtook conceivably more expendable.