Detroit Tigers Mythical Three Team Deal: Brandon Marsh and Jahmai Jones to Motown

Mar 24, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Brandon Marsh (89) catches a fly ball in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Brandon Marsh (89) catches a fly ball in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

MLB’s Hot Stove Season is supposed to about dreaming of better days ahead for the Detroit Tigers or your team of choice.

It can be about realism or fantasy for each of us…there are no rules. If some scribe notes an idea of an unlikely deal now is the time to consider it. Today let’s explore the idea of a hot three-way blockbuster involving the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, and the Tampa Bay Rays which boasts former Cy Young winner Blake Snell as the jewel of the deal.

This trade scenario was tossed out there by Anthony Castrovince writing in his column for where Castrovince gives his thoughts on five deals he’s conjured up to keep the Hot Stove cranking out the heat.

The deal would be an eye-opener with plenty of details to consider. Certainly, it’s timely speculation as rumors of the Rays putting Snell on the market have been swirling of late. It would a very Rays-like move and there is no question they’ve tended to make out just fine when moving on from their Aces in the last. Does this deal bring them enough for Snell? Does it satisfy the Tigers’ future plans? Is it enough to put new GM Perry Minasian off on the right foot in Los Angeles? Let’s see…

The LA Angels receive: Blake Snell

The Angels need pitching. This is a revelation to no one. They’ve missed out on playoff glory during the Mike Trout era and much of it can be attributed to a lack of good fortune with frontline starting pitching. Snell would be a large step forward to putting a competitive rotation together in the AL West and he comes with three years of club control left.

The Detroit Tigers receive: Brandon Marsh and Jahmai Jones 

The Tigers would be acquiring two players who are probably as ready as they’re going to be to start taking major league at-bats in 2021. Both are in positions of need as well.

MLB Pipeline’s #1 prospect in the Angels system, Marsh is a highly athletic center fielder who should be a plus defender who draws walks and has performed at every level. If his power eventually arrives under the “power comes last” theory, all the better. There is every chance he’d be the main CF by Memorial Day in Detroit.

Jones is ranked as the #7 prospect in LA’s system. He’s had an up and down minor league career but had his game heading in the right direction in the second half of 2019. Jones is no lock to be a regular at second-base but by most accounts, he’s a fairly disciplined hitter with a chance and he’d certainly be in the running against the players floating around the Detroit system. If the Tigers aren’t going to bring back Jonathan Schoop or make a move for a veteran like Kolten Wong or Tommy LaStella in free agency, Jones could get a look quickly.

The Rays receive: Spencer Turnbull, Victor Reyes, Joey Wentz, Jake Rogers, and D’Shawn Knowles

The Rays get a young outfielder from the Angels in Knowles. He’s the youngest and furthest away but definitely an athlete worth watching in the Rays system.

The bulk of the Rays largesse comes from the Tigers. Headlining the return is Spencer Turnbull coming off a fairly presentable 2020 for the last-place Tigers. Turnbull has solid velocity and, as noted by Castrovince, some spin rates the Rays should probably find interesting to work with as a two-times through the batting order starting pitching option. Joey Wentz is returning from Tommy John Surgery but Tampa has taken chances on TJ pitchers in the past. Reyes and Rogers give Tampa more depth even though it’s a system with incredible depth, to begin with. They’re handy spare parts.

Perhaps the biggest factor here is the AL champion Rays take on no significant money in the deal and gain players with plenty of control left.

The Verdicts:

For the Angels it’s a pretty easy yes. It boils down to Snell for three of their top 10 prospects with only Marsh as one who might be a little painful to part with.

The Tigers are also a “yes”. They give up a modestly successful pitcher in Turnbull who might be a 4th starter if the Tigers’ prospects flourish in the rotation, an injured pitcher in Wentz, a 4th outfielder in Reyes, and a defense-first catcher in Rogers. In return, they get their starting CF in Marsh for several seasons plus a guy who just might seize the 2B job with Jones. Two possible regulars at a time the Tigers need more position players added to the organization. Tigers GM Al Avila should do it.

The Rays? They can probably do better. This seems like a “no”. Snell should bring more quality over the quantity of modestly successful players from the Tigers and the lottery ticket teen from the Angels. Blake Snell doesn’t bring a Top 100 prospect but the Tigers get one? Seems questionable.

To be honest, Castrovince’s blockbuster is very fun to consider, but it might be too complicated. Why couldn’t the Angels just offer Marsh, Jones, Knowles, and perhaps a young arm like Reid Detmers to get their Ace in Snell?

This is what the Hot Stove is about, however. Any reasonable idea is always fun to pick apart and consider.