Detroit Tigers: Duo could make for intriguing depth pieces
Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila could do with more depth signings. Here are two fits in Kyle Kubitza and Zach Borenstein.
Detroit Tigers fans could see plenty of trades this offseason.
After a regular season that saw starting pitcher Justin Verlander, catcher Alex Avila, closer Justin Wilson and outfielder J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton traded to other teams, more moves could conceivably be coming as the rebuild continues.
Among Detroit’s potential trade candidates are second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Jose Iglesias, closer Shane Greene and reliever Alex Wilson.
It obviously remains to be seen just what the Tigers will do the rest of the way this winter, but the franchise has already started to offload veteran pieces from the 40-man roster.
Detroit removed utility player Andrew Romine, catcher Bryan Holaday, first baseman Efren Navarro, outfielders Jim Adduci, Alex Presley, Tyler Collins, starting pitcher Myles Jaye and relievers Jeff Ferrell and Kyle Ryan from the 40-man unit.
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Moving forward, the franchise could be in need of more players to serve as depth pieces.
Said players could begin in Toledo, but could also work their way into the Major League picture.
There’s plenty of potential up and down the free agent market.
Ideally some of these players could conceivably become a contributor or even an eventual trade chip for the Tigers.
Once again, this is all speculative, but here are a pair of hypothetical depth adds for the Detroit Tigers.
A former well-regarded prospect in the Atlanta and Anaheim systems, Kubitza is the brother of former Detroit Tigers prospect Austin Kubitza.
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Kyle had a solid if not unspectacular season with Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate last season. He registered a 93 wRC+, a .312 wOBA, an 11.8% walk rate and a .333 on-base percentage in 331 plate appearances.
The 27-year-old is a third baseman by trade. However, he’s expanded his defensive profile to include first base, second base and both outfield corners.
There’s super-sub, utility player potential here—especially with Andrew Romine now a member of the Seattle Mariners.
A 27-year-old outfielder, Borenstein could make for an intriguing outfield depth addition.
The former 23rd-round pick mashed 24 home runs, 27 doubles and seven triples in 433 plate appearances for Arizona’s Triple-A Reno in 2017.
That obviously came in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but Borenstein is worth a flier to see if he can partially replicate his .294 ISO, .388 wOBA, 132 wRC+ and .924 Triple-A OPS in the Majors.
Still, it’s worth noting that the outfielder draws a healthy number of walks.
He posted a 10.4% walk rate last season, the fifth different time in his minor league career that Borenstein reached double digits in the statistical category.
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With Mikie Mahtook, Nicholas Castellanos and JaCoby Jones the only outfielders remaining on the 40-man roster, Borenstein could provide the team with a potential fourth outfield option—not to mention a source of power.