3 reasons why the Detroit Tigers need to stand pat at the trade deadline

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) smiles during the fifth inning against Kansas
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) smiles during the fifth inning against Kansas / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The AL Central is bad, but the Tigers are playing from behind

We touched on this before, but it is a given that the AL Central is a bad division this year with none of the teams being particularly scary. The Twins pitching staff is legitimately good, but their offense is very poor especially with Carlos Correa turning into a pumpkin this season. The Guardians have a middling pitching staff to go along with a poor offense. As for the bottom dwellers, the White Sox have been one of the league's biggest disappointments this season and the Royals are the second-worst team in all of baseball behind Oakland.

All of those sound like reasons for the Tigers to go for it, but the problem is that the Tigers are not in the driver's seat here. Detroit has to make up 4.5 games on a Twins team that has more motivation and cause to go for it at the deadline. Even if the Tigers decide to be buyers, the Twins are for sure going to be buying, too. Any gains the Tigers make at the deadline are likely to be matched by what Minnesota does.

That said, keeping those ahead of them in the division honest seems like the smart play. The Twins and Guardians are flawed enough that if the Tigers just keep doing what they are doing right now, they could catch them anyways. If they trade off guys like Eduardo Rodriguez, that plan becomes a lot tougher. This isn't the ideal plan if you care a lot about draft position, but this gives Detroit a chance in a bad division without making bad bets.

The Tigers have enough players returning from injury to give them their own private trade deadline

We touched on this over the weekend so we won't dwell long here, but the Tigers potentially have a bunch of solid players returning from injury at various points over the next couple of months. Riley Greene is the name that obviously comes to mind, but real talent on both sides of the ball is currently on the IL. While not all of them are locks to return, a lot of them should be coming back pretty soon.

That puts Detroit in the unique position of having their own private trade deadline without having to trade any prospects. I know, I know...the "it is like making a trade without making a trade" thing is a meme reserved for corny broadcasters, but in the Tigers' case, it is pretty true. The Tigers can do literally nothing at the deadline and still improve their roster in the coming months. After that, we will see where things stand at the end of the season.

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