The torches were burning brightly on social media in 2019 for the Detroit Tigers to trade Matthew Boyd last season. Turns out, no one was asking.
The Detroit Tigers have made plenty of trades since Al Avila took over as General Manager. Depending on one’s perspective, the trades can be viewed as simple attempts to cut payroll, or the first step in the rebuilding process.
Here are the Avila trades so far, to refresh your memory:
July 18, 2017: J.D. Martinez to Arizona for Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King.
July 31, 2017: Alex Avila and Justin Wilson to the Cubs for Isaac Paredes and Jeimer Candelario
August 31, 2017: Justin Verlander to Houston for Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers
August 31, 2017: Justin Upton to the L.A. Angels for Grayson Long and Elvin Rodriguez.
December 13, 2017: Ian Kinsler to the L.A. Angels for Wilkel Hernandez and Troy Montgomery
July 31, 2019: Shane Greene to Atlanta for Joey Wentz and Travis Demeritte. Nick Castellanos to the Cubs for Paul Richan and Alex Lange.
So, with that in mind, everyone assumed Matthew Boyd was going to be traded and get a series of prospects back in return. Turns out, that may not have been the case.
Two ways to look at this:
The usual radio “hot take” that could be the case here is the Detroit Tigers, like the Detroit Red Wings, overvalued their own player. That type of analysis is usually followed up with “the Wings need to get bigger on the blue line,” but I digress. You may not always agree with Lynn Henning, but he has a valid point. No team liked what they saw in Matthew Boyd.
Based on the returns of Avila trades so far, any prospect received in a Boyd trade likely would have taken a few years to reach the majors, and that would have been a tough pill to swallow for Tigers fans. So when faced with the possibility of holding onto Boyd or trading him for lottery tickets, they chose to keep him. Most lottery tickets aren’t winners, and none of the players Avila acquired in trades have provided average value in the big leagues yet.
Grayson Long and Troy Montgomery are out of baseball, and Jose King may be in a witness protection program. The jury is still out on Candelario, but if they were so sure of him, they wouldn’t have gone so heavy on picks at third base the past few drafts. Granted, you don’t draft for a position, but you get the idea.
If the Tigers had managed to move Boyd, the people out there now yelling about them team waiting too long to move him would instead be complaining about Detroit not getting enough in return for best big leaguer. It’s clear the Tigers didn’t get an offer they liked, and Boyd did not help his own cause by struggling in July.
Matthew Boyd will try to get back on track and continue to be the great professional he is. The Jon Heyman rumor from last season of Gleyber Torres for Matthew Boyd was rather laughable to me. I want a million dollars, but that doesn’t mean I am going to get it. Whether that was a true ask or a rumor floated out there to get clicks, it was clear Detroit wanted a player who could play now. If a deal like that came about then they should have pulled the trigger. Tigers fans have had enough of scratching lottery cards.