From David Price to Yoenis Cespedes, from Joakim Soria to Rajai Davis, from Alfredo Simon to Alex Avila, the Detroit Tigers have a lot of pieces they can move before the July 31 trade deadline.
In fact, the Tigers might have the most assets to sell in all of baseball.
“Yeah, they can hold the market pretty good as far as what they’re doing,” USA Today MLB columnist Bob Nightengale said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They have the best pitcher on the market; they have the best position player on the market. They just got to decide whether they want to sell or not. They haven’t sold since 2008. This is a team that’s always been built for the playoffs, built for the World Series. But you take away the first week of the season and they’re six game sunder .500. So reality is setting in. I really think (general manager) Dave Dombrowski would love to sell here, love to sell his pieces off from what he’s told different people. Yet, it’s going to fall into the decision of the owner, Mike Ilitch – whether Mike Ilitch really wants to sell and give up or kind of go for this thing, even though they’re four games out of the No. 2 spot in the Wild Card race.”
The Tigers traded for Price last July and gave up a lot to get him, including Drew Smyly and Austin Jackson. Dombrowski, however, believes the Tigers can get more than that in return if they deal Price this July.
Unfortunately for Dombrowski, it’s not his call.
“Yeah, the big question is whether Ilitch will sign off on it or not,” Nightengale said. “I think Dave Dombrowski definitely wants to do it, and I think he thinks, ‘You know what? We’re not going to win this year. We know that. But if we deal Price and Cespedes and the other guys, we can get a great return and go for this thing in 2016 and win the division.’ I think if they sit tight, they’re not going to make the playoffs and they’re going to be left only with draft picks, so 2016 is going to be a wasted season as well.”
The Tigers (46-47) are 10.5 games behind the Royals in the AL Central and four games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card spot.
“There’s no way they’re going to catch the Kansas City Royals,” Nightengale said. “They can go for a Wild Card spot. They can get the No. 2 Wild Card spot, (but) so what? We know what the Giants did with it last year. They went to a World Series. But realistically, the No. 2 Wild Card spot, what good is that? If you’re one-and-done like the Oakland A’s were last year, it’s a complete waste of time. I think the Tigers realize, ‘You know what? If we can get some pieces for Cespedes and pieces for Price, we can rebuild in a hurry. If we hang tight and don’t make a move, all we get is draft picks and then you’re talking about slowing down the rebuilding process for several years.’”