Lin may not be the sexiest name on this list, but the 23-year-old showed promise in a limited role with the Red Sox last season. Enough promise for the Tigers to take a gamble on him as a potential second baseman.
Lin was originally signed by the Red Sox as an 18-year-old out of Taiwan for $2.05MM dollars.
He struggled with the stick in the lower levels of the minors, but his defense kept him coming up through the system.
Lin’s bat came alive in 2017. He hit .302 with a .379 on-base percentage and a 139 wRC+ in 159 at-bats at Double-A.
After a brief stop at Triple-A Lin was promoted to the show, replacing the the injured Dustin Pedroia.
Lin earned 56 at-bats with the Red Sox, hitting .268 with a very solid .369 OBP and a 94 wRC+.
While his power is virtually non-existent, Lin has a high-contact approach at the plate and shows a lot of patience. His 13.6% walk-rate with the Red Sox was extremely good, small sample size aside.
Lin’s calling card however, is with the glove.
The 24-year-old saw action at third base, shortstop and second base last year, rating very well at all three positions defensively. His 30.7 UZR/150 at second base was unreal, even if it only came in 44 innings of work.
In a lot of ways, Lin is a left-handed hitting version of Dixon Machado. However, Lin has shown more patience at the plate and better base running ability, making him likely to earn a spot over Machado should the two compete for the starting job.
The Tigers would likely want a prospect along with Lin if they were to part with Greene.
The Red Sox are always looking to bolster their bullpen and are trying frantically to keep up with the Yankees in the AL East. It certainly seems plausible that they would be willing to part with Lin and a mid-level prospect to acquire Greene’s services. Greene would slot into a middle relief role in Boston, bridging the gap between their rotation and closer Craig Kimbrel.
The departure of Ian Kinsler leaves a big hole at second base for the Tigers.
While none of these candidates will immediately replicate Kinsler’s numbers, they represent a solid option to place at second base during the upcoming rebuild.