Isaac Parades being named All-Star shows just how bad a trade Tigers made

Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays v Kansas City Royals / Kyle Rivas/GettyImages
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Full rosters for the 2024 All-Star Game have been finalized, and two Tigers will be headed to Arlington for the main event on July 16. Riley Greene and Tarik Skubal, both first-timers, were selected by player vote, narrowly avoiding a snub for Greene and giving Skubal a real shot to be the AL team's starting pitcher.

A former Tiger is also headed west — the Rays' Isaac Paredes, Tampa Bay's lone representative. Paredes is hitting .266 with a .820 OPS this season and leads the Rays in almost every conceivable offensive stat. He was perhaps the only choice MLB really had to represent Tampa's cruddy offense this year, but his first All-Star nod should still give the Tigers pause and reflect on the trade that sent him away from Detroit.

He came over from the Cubs along with Jeimer Candelario at the trade deadline in 2017 but had to wait a few more years to get his major league debut. He could never really make anything happen at the plate in 57 games from 2020 to 2021, and the Tigers traded him to Tampa in 2022 in exchange for Austin Meadows, who only appeared in 42 games for the Tigers from 2022 to 2023 before stepping away from the game.

Former Tiger Isaac Paredes set to represent the Rays at the 2024 All-Star Game

By the time he was traded away from Detroit, Paredes was the Tigers' No. 6 prospect (he peaked at No. 4 in 2019) and Meadows had garnered MVP votes for his 2021 season with the Rays. The trade made some sense at the time, though; Spencer Torkelson was Detroit's No. 1 prospect and getting very close to the majors, which would've blocked Paredes, who'd struggled in his trial runs, from getting a more full-time spot in the infield.

Meadows' best year was 2019, when he batted .291 with a .922 OPS and 33 home runs to grab his first All-Star appearance and place 14th in MVP voting. He struggled through the COVID-shortened season before picking this up well again in 2021, when he hit 27 homers.

However, things went bad almost as soon as he came up to Detroit, battling a host of injuries in 2022 and going onto the IL with anxiety issues in 2023 after just six games. The Tigers non-tendered him at the end of the year, making him a free agent, but he hasn't made any indication that he'll return to baseball.

Greene and Skubal getting their flowers at the All-Star Game this year is more than enough consolation even as we reflect on this trade, though. Both have done more than enough to warrant selections, and at least the Tigers can say they have two players there to the Rays' one.

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