Detroit Tigers trade target: Kolten Wong

Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers
Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

A trade for Kolten Wong makes sense for the Detroit Tigers

With the Detroit Tigers looking for a left-handed hitting infielder, we've been on the hunt for potential players they could target. With very few options available in free agency, most of our targets have come via trade. Today's target is no different.

The Milwaukee Brewers are looking to shed payroll. They already shipped off Hunter Renfroe to the Angels last week, and rumor has it that second baseman Kolten Wong could be the next one to go.

Wong is set to make $10 million next year in the final year of a three-year, $26 million deal. The 32-year-old would be a one-year rental for the Tigers, so he wouldn't be too difficult to acquire.

Wong has had a solid career up to this point. He came up with the Cardinals, where he quickly developed a reputation as a great defender. He won back-to-back Gold Glove awards in 2019 and 2020.

He signed with the Brewers ahead of the 2021 season, where he's had his two best seasons, putting up 2.5 fWAR in each of the last two years. The bat has started to come alive a bit each of the last two years as well, hitting a combined 29 homers and having his best two seasons in terms of wRC+, including a career-high 116 in 2022.

Wong has always had a contact-first approach at the plate, walking a slightly below average amount (7.7% walk rate) and always keeping the strikeouts down (15.7% K rate). He doesn't hit the ball very hard, but as A.J. Hinch always says, "contact is your friend." He doesn't swing and miss very much, which would certainly be a welcome addition to this Tigers lineup.

Wong has pretty much exclusively played second base throughout his career, so the likelihood of him playing a different position in Detroit would be pretty slim. The question then becomes, what do the Detroit Tigers do with Jonanthan Schoop?

The first option is pretty simple—they look to move him and his $7.5 million salary. It would be a total salary dump, as they would get nothing of value for the worst hitter in the league in 2022, but it's something Scott Harris and Co. would have to consider.

The other option would be to move Schoop around the infield. They can either platoon him at first base with Spencer Torkelson, or they could even move him to third base. He's got the arm for it, so he could definitely pull it off. I still think Schoop is destined for a utility role anyway next season, so this may very well be the most realistic solution.

Again, because he'd be a one-year rental, Wong would not be very difficult to acquire. The Detroit Tigers would likely just have to give up one noteworthy prospect (Parker Meadows, Andre Lipcius, etc.) and an A-baller or two to get it done.

In their search for a left-handed hitting infielder, Kolten Wong seems like a pretty good fit. Stick him at second base and near the top of the lineup for a year and don't even think about it.

Next. Detroit Tigers need to trade Joe Jiménez if an offer presents itself. light