In this idea, we go back to the Rockies to discuss if the Detroit Tigers should go after right-handed starter German Márquez.
If you are familiar with the term “reading the tea leaves”, for this trade situation, let me start by saying with all these ideas we have been posting the last month (Nolan Arnando, Carlos Correra), these are players that would make the most sense for the Detroit Tigers to make offers to and no way projected to happen.
I have been seeing a strange habit of people reading the headline before getting to the idea. We are in no way “reading the tea leaves” but trying to present a case that would make the most sense. Our idea might be either good or bad but we present the case accordingly.
Now that is out of the way, let’s look at Colorado Rockies starter German Márquez. and the facts behind this right-hander out of San Felix, Venezuela.
German Márquez facts
- Signed a five-year contract worth $43 million dollars in 2019 through 2023 with a team option for 2024
- He has a five-pitch mix. A four-seam fastball, curveball, sinker, slider, and changeup.
- Fastball average is around 96 MPH
- Has allowed the same amount of home runs home and away (43)
- fWAR of 2.3 in 2020 (1.7 bWAR)
Now, we present why this would be a good idea for the Detroit Tigers to even consider trading one of the consistent starters for the Rockies.
Márquez will be 26 in February and with the age and the contract around $8.6 million per season (give or take my bad math), that would be rather a bargain with the various contracts we have seen so far this off-season with Charlie Morton getting $15 million and Drew Smyly signing for $11 million from Atlanta on one-year deals.
Why would the Rockies be open to trading one of the aces? As Rockies owner Dick Monfort said to kick off the off-season that they do not have the flexibility next year to make up for the roster’s shortcomings and their new TV deal as he said, it’s not as lucrative as he wants it to be.
The Rockies have a lot of bad contracts and a farm system that does not have a lot on the horizon as far as pitching prospects go, Detroit seems like a good trade partner to help out their depth and a bullpen that was near the bottom of the league in 2020. Márquez is a proven starter that could help Detroit right away.
His curveball spin was among the 77th percentile in 2020 at 2732 RPM, which provided a Whiff% of 43.9%, good for a 24.7% PutAway. Batters were hitting just .110 off the pitch and his slider yielded at .150 batting average and it is good for 46% Whiff and 31.3% PutAway so both of his off-speed offerings really set up his fastball well.
If you are on the “don’t give up the prospects” train like Alex Fadeo or Matt Manning or anyone else in the system, then yes, it is a bad idea. Detroit does not have a lot of depth in the system from a starting pitcher perspective outside of Double-A that are rising up. But for sure, the Rockies would want at least two big prospects in return, maybe a reliever prospect who may be close to being ready.
The Rockies may not want to give up their most effective starter on a staff that actually was 14th among starting staffs in terms of fWAR with 4.1 and the Tigers, who were 27th in K per 9 of 8.04 among their starters, the Rockies were dead last at 6.07, which the next closest team, the Royals, was at 7.90. Márquez’s K per 8 was at 8.06, which is respectable.
Detroit could look ahead to the 2022 free agent pitching class in bringing back Justin Verlander or they could go after Dylan Bundy, Lance McCullers Jr, or another reunion in Max Scherzer (doubtful).
The current free-agent class may not excite you so perhaps the trade route may be the way to go. Detroit may let Manning earn his stripes and throw him into the rotation but they still need another starter. With the Rockies needing more help than Detroit, this scenario, while unlikely, would benefit both teams.