There is little doubt the Detroit Tigers will be sellers as the MLB trade deadline approaches at the end of July, and possibly the most valuable piece the team has to deal away is starting pitcher Matthew Boyd.
In a starting rotation that has been hampered by injuries, Matthew Boyd has emerged as the closest thing the Detroit Tigers have to an ace in 2019. His impressive performance this season has caused him to emerge as one of the Tigers’ most valuable trade assets, along with closer Shane Greene, and will almost certainly finish the 2019 season in another city that is not Detroit.
Although the MLB trade deadline isn’t until the end of July, plenty of rumors are already surrounding Boyd and where the Detroit Tigers could end up dealing him. In these rumors over the past week or so, it has become somewhat clear that there are currently two frontrunners in the hunt to land the lefty: the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees.
In regard to the Phillies, Joe Giglio of NJ.com wrote a piece on how the Phillies could work a favorable deal for Boyd. Giglio references an article by Jim Bowden of The Athletic which outlines a possible deal between the Phillies and Tigers in which Philly could receive Boyd without having to give up top prospect Alec Bohm.
Philadelphia is looking to upgrade both its bullpen and starting rotation, so there is the slight possibility for a blockbuster deal sending both Greene and Boyd to the city of brotherly love. If that were to be the case, then Detroit would almost certainly have to demand to get Bohm in return, but in a deal including just Boyd, then another solid prospect such as Adam Haseley could come to Detroit rather than the prized Bohm.
The Phillies seem to be the clear favorites at the moment to try and make a move for Matthew Boyd, but don’t rule out the New York Yankees. New York, like Philadelphia, has a “postseason or bust” mindset for 2019 and are also looking to upgrade their starting rotation before making a playoff push.
Earlier this week, Joel Sherman of the New York Post included Boyd near the top of a list of which starters the Yankees should pursue in a trade. With their recent trade for Edwin Encarnación, the Bronx Bombers have plenty of juice on offense to be serious contenders in October but need one or two final pieces on the mound to really complete their squad.
New York doesn’t have an outstanding farm system, and many of their top prospects are pitchers, which is something the Tigers have plenty of already. If Detroit could land a solid hitting prospect from the Yankees system like Estevan Florial plus some additional pieces, it may not be a bad deal for either side.
Although the trade deadline is still over a month away, putting off trading Matthew Boyd is really just delaying the inevitable for the Detroit Tigers. Right now, it looks like the Phillies could provide the better deal, but don’t be surprised if other teams besides Philly or New York enter the bidding war in an attempt to add another starter.