Detroit Tigers: James McCann to the Nationals?

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Marcus Semien
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Marcus Semien /
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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 30: Erick Fedde
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 30: Erick Fedde /

The Nationals have outright refused to include top prospects Victor Robles and Juan Soto in a trade for J.T. Realmuto. Number three prospect, shortstop Carter Kieboom, is unlikely to be moved for McCann.

However, Washington’s number four prospect is 24-year-old right-hander Erick Fedde. While the Nationals may be hesitant to give up the former number 18 overall pick, they have a stacked rotation and a need at catcher.

Fedde would immediately compete for a spot in the Tigers rotation. While he struggled in his three starts with the Nats last year, he has pitched well through the minor leagues and is almost ready to be a full-time big leaguer.

Fedde was taken 18th overall in 2014. Tommy John surgery delayed his professional debut until June of 2015, but since then he has rapidly progressed through the minor leagues.

He has three above average pitches and very good command, all which points to him succeeding in the starting rotation. From’s prospect watch:

"Fedde operates at 91-94 mph with his fastball, but can top out a few ticks higher, and the pitch tends to jump on opposing hitters due to its late life. His slider is a plus offering, registering in the low 80s with enough depth and tilt to miss bats, and he completes his arsenal with an average changeup that plays nicely relative to his heater. Fedde also stands out for his strike-throwing ability and command, both of which should continue to improve as he further distances himself from the surgery."

Fedde alone would be a good haul for the Tigers. However, they should still target one or two lower level prospects as well. A three prospect package headlined by Fedde should be the only way the Tigers are willing to part with their starting catcher.

Other prospects to consider

Anderson Franco – Franco is a 20-year-old corner infielder who the Nationals signed as a 16-year-old. He did not hit particularly well last year, but scouts see an increase in power (11 home runs) as a sign that he is still developing. He’s a project, but one that could develop into a power-hitting infielder.

Jose Sanchez – Sanchez is only 17 years old, but scouts already feel he can be an every day shortstop in the big leagues purely because of his defense. He has a short, compact swing and if he develops he could have average power. Think Dixon Machado, but with the potential for more power. Worth taking a risk on.

Austin Voth – Voth was knocking on the door to the big leagues after a strong 2016 season. He regressed tremendously in 2017 however, even getting demoted back down to AA. However, scouts still feel he projects to be a back of the rotation starter. This may be a great time to buy low on the 25-year-old right-hander.

Any of those players, along with Fedde, might be enough to entice the Tigers to trade McCann away.

Next: Jose Iglesias to the Padres makes sense

While not having McCann weakens the Tigers, they have a couple veteran options in the minor leagues who could fill-in.

Additionally, prospects Grayson Greiner and Jake Rogers are the future behind the plate in Detroit. While they may be a year or two away, the Tigers can afford to fill the gap with cheap veterans if it means acquiring a young, solid rotation option for the future.