The Major League Baseball trade deadline is less than ten days away, and there’s a lot of waiting going on. Many teams are delaying simply because they want to see what other teams will do. Moving too soon can betray their hand and give other teams an advantage during the trading frenzy that is about to ensue. Some teams, however, have more importance when it comes to being watched than others. The Detroit Tigers, according to some analysts, are the key to the entire trade deadline, and there’s no clear idea of what they are planning on doing, if anything.
The Tigers have two players that might be traded that are considered to be roster changing players. These are pitcher David Price and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. They would both be upgrades for most teams, and they would leave room open in Detroit for expanding in the future. For example, Price would be the best pitcher available in the trading if he were to be made a possibility, yet he’s not the strongest on the team. That honor goes to Justin Verlander. And Cespedes is a great outfielder by any measure, He’s currently batting .289 and has 14 homeruns for the season. However, he’s been battling a minor quad injury lately and has underperformed. If the Tigers want to be contenders this year, jettisoning him might be in their best interests.
The Tigers are still contenders in their Division, and are also involved in the Wild Card race. They’re 10.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, but they have shown time and again that they are a great team. Even with this big disadvantage, they still have a couple months to recover and be solid contenders in the postseason. If a player is struggling now, it could be a good idea for them to get rid of them for the immediate benefit of someone else. Really, it’s all up to what team owner Mike Ilitch desires. He’s in his late 80s now, and this might be one of his last opportunities to put together a World Series championship team.
Remember, trades do not have an effect on your fantasy teams. They don’t even impact daily fantasy leagues if you’ve set your lineup already. The only thing that could happen here is that if there is travel involved, that player might miss a game or two until they join their new teammates.
However, a team that picks up someone like David Price might see some changes on their roster in order to accommodate his talents. If the Reds pick him up, for one, they would have to either move Johnny Cueto in the rotation, or trade him before his free agency begins. That would be a tough decision, but it is an example of a possible outcome.
It’s likely that Price will be traded. The Tigers have some huge contract players on the roster, and of all of them, Price is the easiest to let go. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Justin Verlander are far more important to the team than either Price or Cespedes, and some changes would help bring in younger and cheaper talent. This is the challenge of being a General Manager in MLB, after all. You want the best team possible, but you don’t want to break your boss’s bank at the same time. It’s also the challenge of being a fantasy manager as you draft the best team possible for the salary cap that you’ve been allotted. The Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski has tough choices to make in the next week or so, but it will be exciting for us all to watch.