New York Yankees
I had trouble picking between the Yanks and the Dodgers for this last team, but the Bronx Bombers were dealt a huge blow to their bullpen last night as RHP Michael King, one of the best arms in that ‘pen, suffered a fractured elbow and will be out the rest of the season. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for the Detroit Tigers to deal one of their bullpen arms.
New York’s bullpen has been absolutely dominant for pretty much the entire season up to this point, ranking second in MLB in ERA, only behind the Houston Astros, and one spot ahead of the Tigers. Clay Holmes has been a revelation in the backend in the absence of Aroldis Chapman, who hasn’t been great even when healthy.
This seems like a perfect destination for Michael Fulmer. He’s a rental, so he wouldn’t cost too much, but the Tigers could still get something of value in return. Longtime Yankees outfield prospect Estevan Florial seems like a perfect candidate to head the other way to Detroit in a hypothetical trade.
Florial has lost a ton of value over the years, falling all the way down to No. 29 in MLB Pipeline’s prospect rankings for the Yankees. He’s been blocked by the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Hicks, among others. He’s got an .898 OPS and finally showing some power in Triple-A this year, so the 24-year-old could easily get some ABs with the Detroit Tigers if they were able to acquire him.
A Gregory Soto trade to the Bronx seems unlikely for a couple of reasons. For starters, they already have one Aroldis Chapman, why do they need another? Yes, Chapman is 34 and likely on the downside of his career and is a free agent at the end of the year. But for the time being, having two hard-throwing lefties with control issues at the backend seems a little counterintuitive, although it could be a lethal combo if they’re both on.
Second, the Yankees seem unwilling to part with their top prospects. Soto, again, has three years of team control left, so he’ll command a haul. If they won’t trade their top prospects for Juan Soto, why would they trade them for Gregory Soto?
These aren’t the only teams that the Detroit Tigers could be dance partners with at the trade deadline. There are bound to be a number of suiters when you have as many valuable relievers as Detroit has. These are just three teams with prospects that could be of interest to the Tigers.