With All-Star weekend coming around, the trade rumors have started up and will last until the end of July. In the middle of the rumors, the Detroit Tigers lie, possessing many valuable assets for contending teams.
Most Detroit Tigers fans came into the season with only one goal, win it for Illitch, the owner who passed away during the offseason. The Tigers who were struggling with their cap space, due to aging veterans, decided to send Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a wild and struggling prospect named Victor Alcantara. Many fans at the time were puzzled by the move trying to understand why a team would trade a spark plug, a fan favorite, and most of all the best centerfielder on the roster.
The Tigers earlier in the offseason realized one thing, their window to contend was about shut. They had an aging Miguel Cabrera locked up for years to come while making an insane salary of 31 million, an aged Victor Martinez who again had surgery during the offseason, and Justin Verlander who is locked up for 27 million per year. The Tigers saw that the plethora of veteran’s windows were closing, rumors were swirling around about a Tiger’s rebuild while most thought that the Tiger’s would contend.
As the season has gone on the Tiger’s have struggled and fallen down to last place, extremely underperforming in many minds. Trade rumors have started to whirl on around a core that caused the success that the Tiger’s had in the past. Whether it was Houston Astros interest in Justin Verlander, the Chicago Cubs interest in Alex Avila and Verlander, or the Washington Nationals interest in Justin Wilson. It was bound to happen.
With the trade deadline less than four weeks away, the Tiger’s will be busy on the phone. Justin Verlander who is having a down year from last year has dropped off in almost every statistical category may end up being traded to a team to not only help to pitch but to help and mentor younger guys. Alex Avila who is having an amazing year while reviving his career has been linked to teams in need of catchers, but not only for his defense but also for his bat in which he has 11 home runs and 28 runs batted in, along with a nice .431 on-base percentage. Justin Wilson who was promoted to the closer role while Francisco Rodriguez was struggling has done his job while having a WHIP of .978 and having a strikeout to walk rate of 3.833/1. This has yet to mention J.D. Martinez who has hit with an average of .307 along with 14 home runs, all while missing the first month with a foot injury.
If this season has shown anything about the Tigers it is that their window to contend has closed and the worst has come. The Tigers have been facing the possibility of a rebuild for the past few year and now it is more than likely that it will happen.