The Detroit Tigers are looking to upgrade the roster to compete in 2022, and with the Baltimore Orioles making it known that their all-star centerfielder is up for grabs, would Cedric Mullins be a good fit in Motown?
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that the Orioles “would listen” to offers on Mullins, however with four years remaining before Mullins hits free agency, it would take a heck of a haul to get the deal done.
The Greensboro, North Carolina native is still under club control for 2022, and won’t have his first year of arbitration eligibility until 2023 when he will turn 28. Now would be the best time to secure Mullins as he is seemingly hitting his prime.
Who is Cedric Mullins?
Originally a thirteenth-round draft pick by Baltimore in 2015, the Campbell University product has made appearances in the majors since 2018 but didn’t find any real success until this past season. Mullins made his first all-star game, and aside from Trey Mancini’s return from cancer and winning American League Comeback Player of the Year, was the most enjoyable story from the last-place Orioles.
Mullins clobbered 30 home runs seemingly out of nowhere, while also hitting a spectacular .291 and stealing 30 bases. You can see why teams are lining up for his services. While that kind of production can’t be expected going forward, a smidgen of that out of your leadoff hitting centerfielder would do wonders for an organization currently lacking in CF depth.
At What Cost?
The Orioles are going to be seeking a king’s ransom for their left-handed hitting speedster. Seeing as the organization is willing to get rid of one of their young, controllable stars, one would assume they are seeking prospects as opposed to major league caliber talent. That means the organization who is able to land Mullins must have the prospect package to get it done. The Tigers certainly have the ability to make it happen.
Why The Detroit Tigers?
General manager Al Avila said the team feels pretty set in the outfield, but this was before the Mullins news hit the wire. The Tigers have an outfield combination of Robbie Grossman, Victor Reyes, Akil Baddoo, Eric Haase, Derrick Hill, and Daz Cameron, to name a few.
Top prospect Riley Greene will also be added to that mix in the near future. Mullins would instantly surpass enough names from that list to be a starter. Mullins would immediately take over leadoff duties for a team still searching for a true leadoff hitter, and set the tone for the rest of the lineup.
As mentioned above, the Tigers have the prospect package to get the deal done. A name from the Tigers farm that has been mentioned in trades recently has been shortstop Ryan Kreidler. The 2019 Detroit fourth-rounder put together a nice 2021 minor league campaign jumping around levels, ultimately smacking 22 homers.
The Tigers also have a plethora of pitching prospects, and if the team wanted, I’m sure the new addition Ty Madden would be sought after in trades.
If I had to put together a package I think would get the deal done, I’d say Kreidler, Madden, Hill, or Cameron, and one other prospect would seal the deal. Who says no? Probably Baltimore, but the Tigers have the depth and room to make the move without it destroying their farm system. Especially if the Tigers sign one of the heralded free agent shortstops.