Yesterday, we went over a wild trade proposal from Bleacher Report that had the Detroit Tigers essentially giving Jason Foley away for free. The proposal had Foley going to the Phillies in exchange for RHP Griff McGarry, a boom-or-bust pitching prospect. That's it. There's just no way the Tigers would do that trade.
So today, we're going to propose a trade for Jason Foley that actually makes sense — one where both teams would get something out of it. We're going to go with a different team, because after further review, the Phillies don't really have the assets to match what the Tigers could and should get in a Jason Foley trade.
Instead, we're going to turn to another contender that had some bullpen woes in 2023 — the American League Champion Texas Rangers.
Texas has made the World Series despite the seventh-worst bullpen ERA in the league during the regular season (4.77). They acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Royals midseason to try to help remedy the situation, but he's been very hit-or-miss.
Their bullpen has been better during the playoffs with an ERA of 3.67, but they've still had their fair share struggles. They could easily win the World Series this season — their first in franchise history — despite a subpar bullpen. But if they come up short, the bullpen could easily be the reason why.
Furthermore, they have the assets to pull off a trade. Their lineup is loaded, and they have some prospects that would be on many other big league teams. I think we have a match here.
Our proposed trade woud send Foley to Texas in exchange for INF prospect Justin Foscue and LHP prospect Antoine Kelly.
Foscue is the Rangers No. 6 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He's turn 25 during spring training next year. He spent the whole 2023 season in Triple-A, where he slashed .266/.395/.468 with 18 home runs, a 113 wRC+, and a .201 ISO. He also walked (15.1%) more than he struck out (12.4 %).
He used to have a bit of strikeout problem at the lower level of the minors, but has cut those down significantly over the last two years. Fangraphs gives him a 70-grade hit tool, and we know this new Tigers front office under Scott Harris really covets good hit tools in their prospects.
Foscue has played second and third base in the Rangers system. Both positions on the big league club are locked up long term by Marcus Semien and Josh Jung, respectively. He played a little bit of first base this past year as well.
While his defensive home is a bit of a question mark, the Tigers could probably hide him at second base and get away with it. He'd be a nice addition to the Tigers lineup.
Kelly is the Rangers No. 26 prospect in the Rangers system according to Pipeline. He's a left-handed pitcher, likely to be a reliever long-term. The Tigers really lack lefties in their farm system, so he'd be a really nice add.
He's got a nice fastball/slider combo, and is working on a changeup, which would make the Tigers pitching dev team happy. He's struggled with his command in the past, but it was better this past season. Kelly would be nice get for the Tigers farm system, and someone who could also play for the Tigers in 2024.
This trade proposal may not be perfect, and it may not even be that realistic. But it's certainly better than what Bleacher Report had. This is one where the Tigers would at least get some good value in return for a reliever with four years of team control left.