The Detroit Tigers and the hot stove have been getting nice and cozy lately. Big names such as Yoennis Cespedes, Jacob Turner, Placido Polanco, Brennan Boesch, Gio Gonzalez, Joel Zumaya, Daniel Murphy, and plenty more continue to be tossed around the rumor mill.
Eventually something is going to stick and the Tigers will have a new face or two on their roster. Let’s take a quick look at the biggest rumors being floated right now.
Gio to the Tigers:
Despite being an All-Star, it is not my position that Gio is the one, and especially not at Oakland’s expected asking price. And this is coming from a big Gio Gonzalez fan.
The bugaboo on Gio = walks, and lots of them. He has handed out 264 free passes in 535.1 big league innings. His lifetime WHIP is 1.41. These numbers bring a phrase to mind: unsustainable success. Of course, he might gain command down the road as he is only 26 years old, but don’t bet the house on it.
Rumors indicate the Tigers would potentially be willing to give up #1 prospect Jacob Turner and budding outfielder Brennan Boesch in return for Gonzalez. Oakland is asking for much more. Apparently the A’s want Nick Castellanos, the phenom 3rd baseman that dominated low-A ball for the Tigers in 2011, in addition to several other top prospects.
Detroit will not trade Castellanos so the Gio rumors might go up in flames very quickly. But if Oakland comes to their senses and lowers the asking price to a more Turner-Boesch like package, I’d still say no.
Yes, the Tigers need a lefty in the rotation, and Gio is attractive. He was 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA in 2011, earning his first All-Star selection along the way. But if we learned one thing in 2011 from the Tigers’ brass, it’s that they hate walks. They won’t bid too high for Gonzalez. Don’t expect this move to happen.
I will say this; Jacob Turner for Gio straight up is something that I would do, in a heartbeat. Turner is further away from a starting gig in Detroit than most thought he’d be at this point.
The Tigers have emerged as possible front-runners for the services of Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes. A potential outfield of Cespedes, Austin Jackson, and Brennan Boesch sounds young and special.
The obvious question is: what happens with Delmon Young? Either the Tigers sign him via arbitration and keep him, thus making Boesch an obvious trade piece, or they look to move DY right away. With Young expected to net $6-7M in arbitration on a 1-year deal, moving him could be a little tricky, but should still be doable.
Either way, the notion of Cespedes joining the Tigers is gaining steam in a big way.
The Tigers have been on record saying they will not offer Joel Zumaya a major league contract, and that is more than understandable given his track record. A truckload of teams are checking out the fire-balling righty and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he showed enough to somebody to earn a 1-year major league deal.
At this point, don’t expect to see Zumaya wearing the “D” again. The fear is if he ends up landing too close to home. Hopefully if he goes elsewhere, it’s via the National League so the Tigers aren’t forced to watch his potential resurrection right before their eyes, and helpless bats.
The Tigers were rumored to be interested in bringing Placido Polanco back as the everyday 2nd baseman. Scouts around the league are suggesting that he no longer possesses the athleticism to man the middle of the diamond, making 3rd base his only viable position.
The funny thing is, the Tigers need help there too. Polanco would obviously be a great clubhouse fit and the professional hitter the Tigers need in the 2-slot in the batting order.
The Mets are looking to move Daniel Murphy. Murphy is a utility infielder who broke out with the Mets in his 2nd full season in the bigs.
He hit .320 and boasted a stellar .362 on-base%, making him a possible fit atop the Tigers’ order, where they need the most help. He is a left-handed hitting 26-year old who can conveniently play 2nd or 3rd.
In theory, the Tigers could look at bringing him and Polanco into the mix, but more likely only one of them, and preferably Murphy. The Mets have expressed interest in Andy Dirks as part of a potential Murphy deal. If that’s the case, then let’s get to it. Murphy’s solid, yet short track record is worth the risk.
Murphy has extra-base power, including 18 homers and 66 doubles over the past 2 seasons, and could potentially provide the perfect fit for the Tigers at either 2nd or 3rd base. Keep your eye on this one.