The Detroit Tigers may lose C.J. Cron to injury. If so, here are three first basemen they could trade for to take his place.
The Detroit Tigers are off to a surprising 9-5 start and, about a quarter of the way through the season, it’s time to talk about possible additions to the roster via trade if they decide they want to contend this year. They signed C.J. Cron to help bolster their offense over the winter, but he had to leave Monday’s game against the Chicago White Sox due to injury.
Cron was off to a nice start, with four home runs, eight RBIs, and nine runs scored in 42 at-bats. If the Tigers were to lose Cron for a significant length of time, they may need to look outside the organization to find a replacement. Here we look at three possible trade candidates from other teams:
Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox: Moreland is about to turn 35 and has been around for a long time. Though he’s never been a high average hitter – he’s batting .251 for his career – he’s hit at least 15 home runs and driven in at least 50 runs eight times. He also won a Gold Glove Award in 2016 with the Texas Rangers.
This year, Moreland is hitting as well as he has his whole career. He’s been one of the few bright spots for the Red Sox, batting .323 with six home runs and 12 RBIs so far. He has been on a lot of winning teams, including earning a ring with the Red Sox in 2018. If Boston makes him available, the Tigers should inquire.
Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants: The Giants are going nowhere fast and may look to unload Belt if they decide to go all-in on their semi-rebuild that they’ve started. Belt, 32, is another Moreland-type hitter, though unlike Moreland he’s off to a rough start so far, batting .133 with just one home run. If the Tigers think he can turn it around the rest of the way, they could probably get him for next to nothing.
Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates: This one seems a little less likely, as the Pirates are rebuilding but haven’t given much indication that they’re willing to part with Bell yet. He’s about to turn 28 and is coming off a career year in which he hit 37 doubles and 37 home runs while driving in 116. He’s not exactly known for his defense and, like Belt, is off to a less-than-stellar start, batting .213 with two home runs.
It probably would take some solid minor league talent to get Bell, and though the Tigers should definitely go for it if they’re in contention this year, they shouldn’t give up too much talent for Bell at this stage of the rebuild. Moreland and Belt are probably better options.