We're back with more wild trade proposals. It's that time of the offseason where things are incredibly slow, even though there are still plenty of marquee free agents available. So with not much going on, it's time to get weird.
Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report recently did a list of six hypathetical trades that would shift the MLB playoff races in 2024, and one of them included the Tigers. He had them acquiring All-Star slugger Kyle Schwarber from the Philadelphia Philles in exchange for minor league lefty Brant Hurter. Yes, that's it. That's the trade.
If Hurter was all it took to acquire Schwarber, than the Tigers should do this trade, 100%. Schwarber would be a massive addition to the Tigers lineup. They need someone who can put the ball in the seats, and Schwarber is one of the best in the league in that regard. He's hit 46 and 47 homers each of the last two seasons, respectively.
Now one thing to mention is that he is very much a three-true-outcome hitter. He slashed .197/.343/.474 last season with a 17.5% walk rate and a 29.9% strikeout rate. But when your home run totals are in the mid 40s, you'll take the bad with the good. This guy is simply one of the best power hitters in the game.
To his credit, Hurter is no slouch. He's a very good lefty pitching prospect, ranked as the 12th-best Tigers prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He's an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-6, 250 lbs, and uses a sinker/slider combo as his main course, and mixes in a changeup as a side dish.
Hurter pitched 118 innings in Double-A last year and had a 3.28 ERA, a 2.91 FIP, and a 10.14 K/9. He's put up consistent numbers at every level of the minors so far.
The only real downside with him is that he's relatively old for a prospect. He'll turn 26 at the end of the upcoming season. He seems like a solid prospect, but the upside might be limited considering that he hasn't even reached Triple-A yet and is already 25.
So what's the probability of this trade actually happening? Well, I hate to say it, but it's close to zero. There really isn't any reason for the Phillies to consider trading Schwarber in the first place. They are very much in win-now mode, and trading away a 40-home run hitter doesn't exactly align with their goals.
Even if they were to trade him, it's going to take a lot more than Brant Hurter to acquire him. He has two years left on his contract at roughly $20 million a year, so he's a tad expensive, but he's still performing at a high level, so he'd be 100% worth it.
He is pretty much a DH only, which does diminish his value, but he's a highly productive DH. Hurter is a solid prospect, but the Tigers would likely have to give up more if they wanted to acquire Schwarber...which, I don't think they do.
Scott Harris hasn't really shown any urgency since taking over as president of baseball operations. The Tigers have made some decent moves this offseason, but nothing really jumps off the table. Combine that with his nearly $40 million due over the next two years, and this something the Tigers likely wouldn't even consider, as sad as that sounds.
So while we would absolutely support this trade, it's not going to happen