Detroit Tigers Rumors

Detroit Tigers: Exploring Jose Iglesias Trade Scenarios

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DETROIT, MI - JULY 8: Jose Iglesias #1 of the Detroit Tigers makes the throw to first base during the sixth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on July 8, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 8: Jose Iglesias #1 of the Detroit Tigers makes the throw to first base during the sixth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on July 8, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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ST. LOUIS, MO – JUNE 11: Kolten Wong #16 of the St Louis Cardinals fields a ground ball against the San Diego Padres in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on June 11, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO – JUNE 11: Kolten Wong #16 of the St Louis Cardinals fields a ground ball against the San Diego Padres in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on June 11, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Why Iglesias May Be a Fit

The Cardinals are a less obvious fit than the Brewers and Diamondbacks. St. Louis sits in third in the NL Central, and have a handful of teams to pass in the Wild Card chase as well. Not to mention their current shortstop duo has been handling things just fine.

Paul DeJong and Yairo Munoz receive the majority of playing time at shortstop, but they aren’t the problem. Second baseman Kolten Wong and his .208 batting average are the problem.

Wong turned in a career-best .285/.376/.412 slash line last year. Entering his age-27 season, Cardinals fans expected big things from the former first rounder. He rates out as one of the top defensive second basemen in the majors this year, but his 77 OPS+ negates much of that value.

If the Cardinals wanted to send Wong to the bench, DeJong could handle second, with Iglesias taking over at short. Iglesias is vastly superior defensively to St. Louis’ current duo, and pushing the struggling Wong to the bench could give their offense a little boost.

DeJong hasn’t played any second base this season, but played 20 games there a year ago. Munoz profiles more as a utility player, and is better served filling in around the infield or outfield as needed. Inserting Iglesias improves a Cardinals defense which ranks in the bottom half of Major League Baseball.

A Potential Return

Consistently rated as one of the best farm systems in baseball, the Cardinals have plenty to offer. St. Louis possesses a solid mix of position players and pitchers, giving the Detroit Tigers brass many options to pursue in a potential deal.

Junior Fernandez

A 21-year old flamethrower, Fernandez has yet to surrender an earned run for High-A Palm Beach since returning from the disabled list about a month ago. The righty pairs his fastball with an above average change up and a breaking ball which lacks consistency.

St. Louis moved him to the bullpen this year following injuries last year and at the start of this year. The move was likely to happen anyway, with his lack of a third consistent pitch at this point in his career. Despite his lack of strikeouts thus far, Fernandez’s blazing fastball would make him a very intriguing late-inning option for the Detroit Tigers down the road.

Jonatan Machado

The Cardinals signed Machado as an international free agent two years ago. In his stateside debut last year, he slashed .323/.381/.435 for the GCL Cardinals. St. Louis continued to be aggressive with the 19-year old outfielder, starting him out at Class A Peoria this spring.

After posting just a .185 mark in 23 games in the Midwest League, the Cardinals sent him back to extended spring training. He joined rookie-level Johnson City when their season began last month and has torn up the Appalachian League. In 13 games, Machado boasts a .407 average. Pairing a solid hit tool with terrific speed would make him a welcome addition to the lower levels of the Tigers system.

Dylan Carlson

Another outfielder, Carlson was selected with the 33rd overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2016 draft. Carlson’s batting average may not turn many heads, but the 19-year old has shown impressive plate discipline in his young pro career.

He posted an 11.5 percent walk rate at Class A Peoria last year. He began 2018 in the Midwest League too, walking as often as he struck out before earning a promotion to High-A Palm Beach. Carlson also possesses a strong arm, which netted him 14 outfield assists last year.

Next: Exploring Michael Fulmer Trade Possibilities

With the Detroit Tigers rebuilding, it is likely to be a very busy month for General Manager Al Avila and his staff. A month from now, the team will look a lot different. Hopefully, the farm system adds several more promising players to its growing talent pool. Make sure to check out our trade deadline coverage all month long to keep up with the latest Detroit Tigers rumors and deals.

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