Detroit Tigers: Exploring Shane Greene to Pittsburgh Rumors

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 04: Shane Greene
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 04: Shane Greene /

The Detroit Tigers have yet to pull off a trade deadline move, despite having many tradable assets. Sending reliever Shane Greene to Pittsburgh makes sense for both sides.

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila has yet to step up and make a trade before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Despite having multiple assets that should command attention, including Jose Iglesias, Mike Fiers, Leonys Martin and Francisco Liriano, Avila has stood pat while other teams have sold away.

One team that has only recently emerged as a potential buyer is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates went on a nice 11-game winning streak in July and are only 5.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers for second place in the NL Central. They are known to be looking not only for bullpen help, but specifically for controllable bullpen pieces. They don’t want to mortgage any of their prospects for a half-year rental, especially in the highly competitive NL Central. However, they would love to add controllable relief help that can have an immediate impact this season, and that they can have in the bullpen for a few years beyond that.

Shane Greene, who is under team control through 2020, fits the bill perfectly. Greene has 21 saves on the year, along with a 4.09 ERA and a 9.41 K/9. He would slot right into the back-end of Pittsburgh’s bullpen, providing some insurance for current closer Felipe Vazquez.

However, closers with team control don’t come cheap at the trade deadline, and Pittsburgh will need to pony up a pretty penny to acquire Greene’s services.

A Potential Return

Cole Tucker is a 22-year-old shortstop prospect who is currently at Double-A. He is a switch-hitter, although he hits better from the left side. His power is still developing, and he should have at least gap-to-gap power in the major leagues. If he is able to fill out his six-foot-three frame, he could start to see more balls leave the yard.

The 2014 first round pick is expected to stick at short long-term, and has demonstrated excellent plate discipline and speed in the minors. He swiped 47 bags last season, and has 28 in just 99 games at Double-A this year. He is slashing .260/.326/.355 this season.

Tucker could be a slightly better hitting version of Jose Iglesias in his prime, although his defense won’t be quite that elite. In a system that lacks shortstops, Tucker would be a nice get for Greene.

If the Pirates balk on Tucker, a few other names in Pittsburgh’s system to keep an eye on would be Kevin Newman, Will Craig and Ji-Hwan Bae.

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With less than two full days until the trade deadline is over, the Detroit Tigers will have to get busy if they want to acquire premier young talent in exchange for their veteran players.