Detroit Tigers should make this trade with the Seattle Mariners
By Ben Rosener
Detroit’s side of the (hypothetical) deal
In return, the Detroit Tigers would receive a potential first base solution in Dan Vogelbach.
The 24-year-old would come with six years of controllability (per Spotrac), including three years before he becomes arbitration-eligible.
Once a well-regarded prospect in the Chicago Cubs farm system, Vogelbach ran into a similar dilemma as current Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario as he was blocked in the Majors by a star player.
With Anthony Rizzo entrenched at first base, it prevented Vogelbach from breaking into the bigs with the Cubs. He was later flipped to the M’s in the Mike Montgomery trade.
The first baseman still has plenty of upside, however. Baseball Prospectus wrote the following about the prospect.
"“Vogelbach can really hit. He’s a disciplined hitter with excellent strike zone judgement, and his swing covers both halves of the plate. He’s a huge guy with loft in his swing, and above-average bat speed, all of which translates into plus raw power. … He won’t win many batting tiles—too many strikeouts and he’s not legging out many infield grounders—but he makes a lot of hard contact and should post a strong on-base percentage.”"
The first baseman would make for an ideal fit in Detroit, where he can take over first base duties from Miguel Cabrera as the future Hall of Famer transitions full-time to designated hitter.
At this point, the prospect doesn’t have much left to prove in the minors at this point after crushing Triple-A pitching last season.
Vogelbach turned in a 122 wRC+, a .374 wOBA and a .290 batting average. He also contributed a .844 OPS, a 14.0 walk rate and a 18.1 strikeout percentage in 541 plate appearances.
What’s more, the first baseman also added 83 RBI, 65 runs scored, 25 doubles and 17 home runs.
This came in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. However, it should be noted that raking is nothing new for the former second-round pick.
He owns a .287 batting average, a .390 on-base percentage, a .476 slugging percentage and an .866 OPS in 2,870 minor league plate appearance.
Trading the 25-year-old would also open up outfield room for both Stewart and Mike Gerber.