Detroit Tigers: 3 potential trade partners at the MLB Trade Deadline

Tigers general manager Al Avila answers questions during a press conference at Comerica Park.
Tigers general manager Al Avila answers questions during a press conference at Comerica Park. /
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The trade deadline is Aug. 2, and the Detroit Tigers are likely to be sellers

Another year, another trade deadline where the Detroit Tigers are selling off pieces. They could always get creative and add to the roster with some buy-low trades, but they will most likely be selling in exchange for prospects once again.

The team’s most valuable pieces will come from the bullpen, with Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, Gregory Soto, and Joe Jimenez all potential names that could be dealt. They have a couple position players—mainly Robbie Grossman and his .992 OPS against left-handed pitching this season—that could be dealt for smaller returns, but most of the moves will come from a bullpen that has been surprisingly good all season long.

Relievers are always overvalued at the trade deadline, so it’s possible the Tigers could net a nice return, especially for Soto, who has three years of team control left after this season. Contenders are always looking to add bullpen help at the deadline, so Detroit should have a ton of potential suiters.

With less than two weeks left now until the trade deadline, talks should be heating up very soon. Here are three teams that could be trade partners with the Detroit Tigers between now and Aug. 2.

Milwaukee Brewers

Detroit Tigers
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 15: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the bottom of the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on July 15, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

You’d think a team with a bullpen that includes Josh Hader and Devin Williams at the backend would have a bullpen ERA better than 14th in the league, but that’s just the reality for the Brew Crew. Hader has had a rough stretch as of late, allowing five homers in the month of July, with an ERA over 20 and a WHIP over 3.

This comes after he didn’t allow a single run over the first two months of the season. He’s still striking out 15.6 batters per nine this year, but the stretch he’s going through right now is the worst of his career.

The Tigers have dealt bullpen arms to the Brewers before—just last season, as a matter of fact. Detroit sent LHP Daniel Norris to Milwaukee for pitching prospect Reese Olson, who’s emerged as one of the team’s top arms in the system since the trade.

The Brewers have quite a few interesting hitting prospects to choose from, but whether Detroit could actually score one of them in a deal is a big question mark. Outfielders Sal Frelick and Joey Wiemer are ranked second and third in Milwaukee’s farm system, respectively according to MLB Pipeline, but Soto would probably be the only arm Detroit could trade and get one of those guys in return.

A more realistic return could come in the form of second base prospect Tyler Black, Milwaukee’s No. 7 ranked prospect. Black was drafted 33rd overall in last year’s draft out of Wright State and is known for his advanced plate discipline. So far in 2022 at High-A, he’s walked one more time (45) than he’s struck out (44). Add a lower level guy or two to the deal, and that wouldn’t be a bad return for a bullpen rental.

One thing to note is that current Tigers Director of Player Development Kenny Graham came from the Brewers organization, so he probably has a leg up on what they have to offer in terms of prospects. Heck, that’s probably how they discovered Olson. These two teams could easily hook up again at this year’s trade deadline.