Detroit Tigers: Free agent shortstop depth options if Jose Iglesias is traded
By Ben Rosener
Detroit Tigers fans could conceivably see shortstop Jose Iglesias traded this offseason. If that happens, the team could be in need of some added depth at the position.
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias had another strong defensive season in 2017.
Iglesias finished fourth among all Major League players in Def, or defensive runs above average with a 14.3 number.
Were the Tigers a contending team, Iglesias would be a long-term answer in the Motor City.
However, the reality is that Detroit is rebuilding.
That coupled with Iglesias’ contract, which according to Spotrac will expire after the 2018 season, makes the veteran a conceivable trade chip.
The former Red Sox player is perhaps, hypothetically speaking, more likely to be dealt than second baseman Ian Kinsler considering Detroit has a ready-made replacement for Iglesias in Dixon Machado.
While Machado can also also play second base, his long-term home should be at shortstop, where he offers a similar skillset to Iglesias in terms of being more than a capable fielder.
Machado hit .259 with a .302 on-base percentage and a .319 slugging percentage. The shortstop also added a 64 wRC+ and a .273 wOBA.
In the long run, it would obviously be ideal if the 25-year-old can hit more.
While that could come down the line, it is conceivable Detroit could need a veteran insurance policy to deputize for Machado in case the younger shortstop struggles at times.
Said insurance policy could come from the free agent market.
This year’s free agent, shortstop class isn’t particularly deep. Zack Cozart may be the only starting-option of the bunch.
However, there are a number of players who could step in to play a complimentary role to Machado.
It’s also possible that some of these players could see time at second base as well if Kinsler is traded sometime during the coming months.