Tigers trade deadline could take a hit with latest Jack Flaherty injury news

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels
Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

The Rays and Brewers broke the trade season ice on Wednesday with a trade that sent starter Aaron Civale to Milwaukee, officially heralding the start of what is likely to be an avalanche over the next four weeks.

The Tigers are in a similar position to a lot of teams that are hovering in the .400s in winning percentage, unclear of whether or not they'll be big sellers or mostly sit out (there's no way this team is doing any buying). But what is clear is that Jack Flaherty will be on his way out the door with only a little more than half a season in Detroit under his belt.

But also, maybe not. Flaherty has been dealing with a recurring back issue that's already pushed back a few of his starts. Now, there's another. The Tigers said they would be scratching him from his scheduled July 3 start as he dealt with more back discomfort, and added that he had received an injection to help treat it, which he's already done once before.

There couldn't be a worse time for Flaherty to be dealing with any kind of injury, and it's highly likely that the Tigers' front office is punching a wall right about now.

Jack Flaherty's recurring back injury couldn't have returned at a worse time for the Tigers

If Flaherty were to be in tip-top shape when July 30 comes around, the Tigers could probably get a few top prospects in return for him. With any kind of injury concern, his stock drops dramatically, and the Tigers could find them in a position where offers are low-ball enough that they end up just keeping him and not adding anything that might give Detroit a fighting chance for a winning season.

There could be upsides to keeping Flaherty, if we have to find a silver lining. He's eligible to receive the qualifying offer at the end of the season. If he gets better and is healthy through August and September, he could raise his stock for the offseason as he heads into free agency. The Tigers could extend the QO knowing it'd be likely he'd turn it down and get a compensatory draft pick.

Still, that's far from ideal. If the Tigers are putting off a successful season for another year, then fans want to see something that they can actually attach hopes to (aka exciting prospects or young major league additions), so Flaherty's health is paramount to how Detroit's second half is going to look.