Trading Tarik Skubal and Gregory Soto Could Jump Start the Detroit Tigers Rebuilding Process
The Detroit Tigers should trade Tarik Skubal and Gregory Soto. If not by the Aug. 2 deadline, then this offseason.
Is it a signal the last seven years of “rebuilding” hasn’t worked? Absolutely. But there comes a point when you have to deal with reality. And the reality is, the Tigers’ strategy of rebuilding via starting pitching hasn’t worked.
Even before his injury, Casey Mize was trending as a mid-rotation piece, not an ace. Matt Manning? Who the heck knows, because he can’t put together a full season to save his life.
Tarik Skubal is 25 and Gregory Soto is 27, not exactly old men even by baseball standards. Realistically, the Detroit Tigers are not going to be playoff contenders for two to three seasons — even if all the right moves are made. Soto becomes a free agent in 2026 and Skubal the following year.
Looking at the bigger picture, Detroit’s best young talent ranges in age from 19 – 23: Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, Jackson Jobe, Jace Jung, Colt Keith, Izaac Pacheco, Roberto Campos and Dillion Dingler.
So while all that talent is making their way (hopefully) to the Major Leagues and then maturing, Skubal and Soto will lose trade value while playing on a losing team. Team control is king, right?
Detroit Tigers’ Pitching Depth
The other part of the equation is this, the Detroit Tigers have pitching depth. A combination of Eduardo Rodriguez, Beau Brieske, Spencer Turnbull, Mize, Manning, Dylan Smith, Ty Madden, Jobe, Reese Olson and Joey Wentz are all candidates for the rotation over the short and long haul.
In the bullpen, Alex Lange figures to be the closer in the not too distant future. Jason Foley, Wilmer Flores, Kyle Funkhauser, and Will Vest will all play roles, too. A few of the starting candidates not making the rotation will wind up in the bullpen as well.
What might Skubal or Soto bring in return?
As everyone with even a passing interest knows, the Detroit Tigers need positional help. Both Skubal and Soto should bring in multiple players. The goal should be a young, productive Major Leaguer and/or top prospect(s) for both.
Of the current contenders, St. Louis might be the best fit for Skubal. The Cardinals are in a fight with Milwaukee for the N.L. Central and are in desperate need of a starting pitcher and having the kind of young players Detroit needs.
Nolan Gorman would make a perfect centerpiece for the Tigers. Just 22, Gorman has posted moderate rookie numbers with the Cardinals with a slash of .234/.312/.431 with 9 home runs and 22 RBI. But the left handed hitter belted 15 home runs in Triple-A this season in just 133 at bats before being called up.
As for Soto, there are any number of teams that could use his services, including the Los Angeles Dodgers. While the Dodgers have run away with the National League West, they have to be nervous about relying on closer Craig Kimbrel.
The 34-year-old right hander has 17 saves but an ERA of 3.97, so Soto would seemingly buttress L.A.’s World Series hopes.
The Tigers should make prospect Diego Cartaya the center piece of a return for Soto. He’s one of the top catching prospects in baseball and would be a huge upgrade for the Detroit Tigers.