Detroit Tigers trade for former Central Michigan standout Zach McKinstry
By Tyler Kotila
Detroit Tigers bring in former MAC standout in minor trade.
The Detroit Tigers continue trimming their roster and making cuts from training camp. As the 2023 season inches, closing in on less than 48 hours at time of writing this, things are getting down to the wire. There was still time to sneak in a minor trade, though.
The Detroit Tigers were able to go out and secure an infielder who Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Central Michigan Chippewas fans will know quite well. In a minor trade with the Chicago Cubs organization, the Detroit Tigers were able to go out and acquire infield prospect, Zach McKinstry.
The Tigers brought in McKinstry, an infielder who played for the Central Michigan baseball program for two seasons before getting drafted. The Cubs received Carlos Guzman, who has been with the Tigers organization for the last five seasons since 2017.
McKinstry was initially drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 33rd round of the 2016 MLB Amateur First-Year Player Draft. He was traded to the Cubs for relief pitcher Chris Martin at the trade deadline in 2022.
He had an amazing career back in 2015-16 when he spent his time with the Chippewas. In 2016 as a draft-eligible sophomore, McKinstry hit .325/.415.383 with 12 extra-base hits, 26 RBI, and 12 stolen bases over 61 games played and 243 at-bats.
He's another infielder to add to the mix as he comes to the Tigers organization. However, the now 28-year-old infielder has not had the best Spring performance. In his time at Cubs Spring Training in 2023, McKinstry played in 30 games with 38 at-bats logged, where he had just three hits.
In an attempt to be positive and look at the bright side, McKinstry did only have eight punchouts, so the bat-to-ball seems to be there, just unlucky and unable to get the ball to land on the grass. The trade was minor and adds some depth, but it will be interesting to see how McKinstry slots into the team's depth spots.
He will likely serve as a bench bat or be depth for the Tigers after being acquired. With some of the team's latest roster moves, it seems McKinstry will try and carve out time as a left-handed hitting infielder on the team's bench.
While he may not be the most exciting addition, and the team re-assigned Cesár Hernández to the minors instead, it will be interesting to see how McKinstry factors in.