Detroit Tigers should trade Shane Greene for second baseman
By Andy Patton
The Detroit Tigers may not be done making moves. Relief pitcher Shane Greene is known to be on the market, and could bring in a solid second base option for the Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers traded second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Angels on Wednesday, bringing back two prospects.
With Andrew Romine headed west to Seattle, the Tigers have little in the way of second base depth on the roster.
Dixon Machado is the front-runner to start at second base in the 2018 season.
The 25-year-old Machado hit .259 with a 64 wRC+ in 166 at-bats last season. He profiles more as a utility infielder thanks to his defensive versatility and strong fielding.
He is not expected to hit well enough at the big league level to be a major league regular.
Kody Eaves hit well at Double-A last season, but only has 27 at-bats at the Triple-A level under his belt.
The 24-year-old is likely going to start at Triple-A next year, but needs to prove he can hit at that level before he is ready for the big leagues.
That leaves the Tigers pretty thin at the keystone. Fortunately, the Tigers still have a solid trade chip remaining. A trade chip they can leverage into a young, big league ready second baseman.
That trade chip is closer Shane Greene.
Greene, 29, had the best season of his career last year in Detroit. He threw 67.2 innings, earned nine saves and had a 2.66 ERA with a stellar 9.71 K/9 ratio.
However, some underlying numbers point to some luck in Greene’s 2017 numbers.
Greene walked 4.52 batters per nine innings, the highest mark of his career. He was fortunate that runners were left stranded 84.2% of the time, much higher than the league average (around 70%).
While his 2.66 ERA was nice, his 3.84 FIP and 4.24 xFIP were more revealing about his 2017 performance.
Steamer is an analytical tool used by Fangraphs that predicts a players upcoming season numbers based on advanced stats.
It projects Greene to post a 3.95 ERA next year.
The Tigers should trade Greene now while he still has value. He is under team control for three more seasons, which gives him even more trade value.
Finding a team that is willing to move a legitimate major league second baseman is not easy, but here are a few options the Tigers could explore.