The Detroit Tigers need to cut ties with these three players
The Detroit Tigers come into the 2023 season as underdogs, a team that nobody expects to compete for a wildcard. With that said, the Tigers are looking to be competitive regardless of what the win/loss record looks like at the end of the season. The Tigers have three players that have contracts to unload as they look to continue to improve by making moves.
General manager Scott Harris has three options to move contracts before the end of the season. These players most likely will not factor in the teams success this season and should be moved to unload their contracts. These potential moves have nothing to do with cap space because the Tigers enough money to spend and are not in danger. This has to do with term, performance, and money in their deals.
Two of the three players listed below could fetch a premium because they are left-handed starters and teams pay for that kind of asset. The Detroit Tigers could move these players for prospects, but at some point they need to receive major league rostered players in return. Harris cannot rely on all of the prospects they have received working out.
Left-handed pitcher Matthew Boyd could see a short return to the Motor City. Once a good pitcher who was an Opening Day starter and spent his entire career with the Tigers, Boyd has seen better days with his best days behind him. Harris brought back Boyd this off season to a one-year, $10 million deal to compete for a starter's role.
Boyd, 32, is a free agent in the 2024 season and the Tigers should move him and his contract by the 2023 trade deadline so they don't lose him for anything. Boyd spent most of his career with Detroit until last season when he played for the Seattle Mariners. With Seattle, Boyd pitched in 10 games, pitching 13 innings, posting a 2-0 record, accounting for 5.4 walks per nine, and a 0.1 WAR.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop is 31 years old and previously signed a two-year, $15 million deal. Schoop is an above-average Major League Baseball player with good, solid skills but $7.5 million per season is a bit high. He has not done enough offensively to earn that contract and could be on his way out.
Schoop is due to become a free agent in the 2024 season. Last season with the Detroit Tigers, Schoop played in 131 games, hitting 11 home runs and driving in 38 runs. That kind of offensive production is not good enough for someone making $7.5 million per year. Defensively, he is solid and can play a good infield.
Like Boyd, he could be gone after this season, so Harris might as well see if he can get some interest for Schoop and get something for him before he leaves and Detroit ends up with nothing.
Left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez was brought to Detroit to be a front-of-the-line pitcher in the starting rotation. He signed a five-year, $71.8 million deal and had high expectations from management. Rodriguez, 29, can opt out of his contract after this season if he is not dealt by the trade deadline.
The big left-hander was average in his first year with the Detroit Tigers. In 17 games, he posted a 5-5 record, 91 innings pitched, 3.36 walks per nine, and 1.19 home runs per nine as well. With his production and contract, there are pitchers that are a dime a dozen that have those stats for a third of that contract.
If he is still struggling at the All-Star break, or even if he's doing well, Harris could move him to a contender looking for rotation depth. Left-handed pitchers are a hot commodity and teams are willing to give up good prospects and MLB-rostered players for them.