Detroit Tigers fans were forced to wait until nearly the last possible minute for any big trade deadline news, but the organization did make two deals involving a couple of Detroit’s biggest trade pieces.
It was a whirlwind end to the trade deadline for baseball fans in Motown, as the Detroit Tigers made two trades with just moments to spare before 4:00 pm EST. Starter Matthew Boyd will remain a Tiger, but other trade chips, closer Shane Greene and OF Nicholas Castellanos, have both been dealt away, each to National League contenders.
The first deal of trade deadline day for the Tigers came a bit after 3:00 pm EST when it was reported that closer Shane Greene would be heading from Detroit to Atlanta. The Tigers later confirmed that they are to receive pitching prospect Joey Wentz and OF prospect Travis Demeritte in exchange for the All-Star closer.
At 21 years old, Wentz was ranked as the seventh overall prospect in Atlanta’s farm system at the time of the trade, according to MLB Pipeline. The lefty starter has a 4.72 ERA and a 5-8 record through 20 Double-A starts this year and could find himself among star prospects Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tarik Skubal with the Erie SeaWolves’ starting rotation to begin his time with the Tigers.
It’s with Travis Demeritte where things become a bit more interesting. The 24-year-old is hitting an impressive .286 in Triple-A this year along with 20 home runs and 74 RBI in 90 games. According to Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila, Demeritte could find himself finally getting his shot in the majors thanks to this trade.
After the Castellanos trade, there is an opening in the outfield for Detroit. Yes, it could be filled by someone like Victor Reyes, but why not give the new guy a chance to show what he’s made of right away.
Tigers fans were biting their nails as 4:00 pm approached and there was still no news on the team trading away Nicholas Castellanos. As the right fielder is set to hit free agency after this season and had a seemingly contentious relationship with the organization, trading Castellanos seemed like an obvious move, and a few moments after the deadline closed, the news came in.
According to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, the Tigers gave cash considerations to the Cubs as part of the trade as well to try and lessen the damage of Castellanos’ salary. This move was likely made by Avila at the last second to seal the deal before time was up.
In return, the Detroit Tigers received two right-handed pitching prospects in Paul Richan and Alex Lange. Ranked at numbers 16 and 23 respectively on MLB Pipeline’s rankings of Cubs prospects, both Richan and Lange should require at least another year or two of development, and could possibly both experience a move from the starting rotation to the bullpen in the Tigers organization.
Richan is 22 years old and was selected by the Cubs in the second round of last year’s MLB Draft after three seasons at the University of San Diego. Richan has started 17 games in 2019 for the Single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans with a 10-5 record and 3.97 ERA.
The Cubs selected Alex Lange in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft with the 30th overall pick. Lange has a 3-12 record with a 5.82 ERA in 18 minor league starts between single and double-a this season. With the Erie starting rotation already stacked with talented starting pitching prospects, the Tigers could likely start Lange in Single-A Lakeland or begin transitioning him to the bullpen.
It was a crazy end to the 2019 trade deadline not only for the Detroit Tigers but for the entire league. Now that the deadline has passed and Detroit has acquired more pieces for the future, it’s time to see how the late-season call-ups do to round out the year.