By: Kurt Snyder
I tried. I really did. But no one would bite. In Thursday’s edition of One Topic – Two Takes, on my side of the ledger, I insinuated the Tigers may need to give up a front line player in an attempt to acquire another strong starting pitcher for the stretch run.
I didn’t give a name, but I had one in mind when I mentioned it. You’d think someone would ask, but nope, not a single nibble.
Do we agree that the Tigers may need to include a front line player in a trade this season? Do we agree we have someone in our lineup today, one we could afford to move, who could help them get the pitcher they desire?
Coupled with a lower level minor leaguer, I think we need to include someone with higher value who, at the same time, could save them from continuing to deplete the farm at the level they have in many past trade deadline deals.
I don’t think the Tigers have any intention of dealing Steven Moya until they decide whether or not to take a run at resigning Yoenis Cespedes. I think we are finding out how impactful Cespedes can be when healthy, in a year he has rarely left the lineup. He’s been an important player and could be someone the Tigers would like to have stick around, despite what would be for big dollars (obviously a nice juicy topic for another time).
But, beyond Moya, the Tigers are not loaded with coveted players in their farm system, although Dombrowski seems to bring fairly good value in trades that have involved players from the minors.
If they want that strong number #2 or a second number #1 to pair next to David Price for a last gasp run at a playoff spot, Moya is going to be at the top of the list of players teams will covet in return, unless of course, we make a deal with a team in need of a young third baseman.
Nick Castellanos has been a player the Tigers have continually protected over the last few years. Before finally winning a spot with the big club following the trade of Prince Fielder, he was considered one of our untouchable prospects. Until reaching “the show,” he was touted as the real deal.
I thought he had a decent year offensively last season and anticipated he would take a big step forward this year. In the first half so far, he hasn’t taken that step, but may be on his way as he has gotten hot of late.
Defensively though, Castellanos struggles. And as I watched the game against the Twins Thursday evening, Nick didn’t make two plays at third, in the same inning, that he should have, costing the Tigers 2 runs. He’s been a defensive liability and does not possess one of the strongest arms either in comparison to some of the other third basemen in the league. But again, this is only his second year and in time could become a decent third baseman. I think he has that ability.
But, when it comes to guys who have trade value, you look at 2 things; youth and potential. Castellanos has shown the ability to hit, and offensively, has a bright future. And being only 23 with major league experience, he would certainly be someone who could help bring a quality pitcher, should the Tigers decide to make another run at the playoffs.
Who plays third should we deal Castellanos? Well, that’s Dombrowski’s job to figure out. But I would be more than happy to pick up a guy, who’s much better defensively at the hot corner, coupled with a top of the line starting pitcher.
You tell me. Who else on this team offers more trade value? To me, Nick is our most talented trade commodity with the potential to bring the highest reward.
I don’t think this is the year that a package of strictly minor leaguers is going to bring the Tigers what they need. I believe Nick Castellanos is a good young player, but also an expendable talent we could move and still improve the team.