Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Boyd dismisses trade rumors: 'It's just noise' 

@JakeCrouseMLB
June 19, 2019

PITTSBURGH -- Matthew Boyd has been exceptional this year, pitching to a 3.35 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings. And unsurprisingly, Boyd's performance has brought his name into trade speculation six weeks from the July 31 Trade Deadline. So how is Boyd handling all the talk about him?

PITTSBURGH -- Matthew Boyd has been exceptional this year, pitching to a 3.35 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings. And unsurprisingly, Boyd's performance has brought his name into trade speculation six weeks from the July 31 Trade Deadline.

So how is Boyd handling all the talk about him? Well.

“It’s just noise, right?” Boyd said. “There’s no action that needs to be taken or anything. It’s just stuff that’s out of my control, and really no stock needs to go into it until something happens. So there’s nothing I can do.”

On a Tigers team without a clear, vocal leader, Boyd has become a leader by example, and his composure during this period of trade talk is part of that. It comes with focusing on the now, not the “if,” he said. As an example of this philosophy, he compared it to how he’d handle the rain in the forecast for Wednesday’s series finale if he were starting.

“Are we going to get the game in today? I don’t know. But we’ll see at 7 o'clock, and all we do is to prepare to play until then,” Boyd said. “And that’s truly it. That’s just what it is. You don’t really think of anything outside of that.”

Boyd is far from being a lone potential trade target on Detroit’s roster. Closer Shane Greene, who owns a sub-1.00 ERA and a 20-for-21 record on save opportunities, is likely to be sought after with bullpens struggling across the league. Even though Nicholas Castellanos would be a half-season rental, given his impending free agency at season’s end, his serviceable bat could be of use to a contending team.

Manager Ron Gardenhire hasn’t seen the rumors affect his players at all, though he sometimes he likes to lighten things up by asking things like, “Are you still here?”

“That’s about as light as I can keep it, really,” Gardenhire said. “[But] the one thing they have to understand -- the guys that should be worried are the guys that no one is interested in. So when people care and your name is being thrown around, it ought to flatter you. That’s what I throw out there. Just be happy that someone friggin’ wants you in this game.”

Stewart making defensive progress
There have been few questions about outfielder Christin Stewart’s slugging potential, but his defensive capabilities were called into question on Saturday, when he allowed Oscar Mercado to tag up from second on a routine flyout to left field. Stewart didn’t get to the hanging ball in a position to quickly fire a throw, and so it turned into a slow roller to third, allowing Mercado to take advantage of the weak throw.

But in Tuesday’s 5-4 win, during the pivotal eighth inning, Pirates catcher Elias Diaz flew out deep to left, and Stewart was able to hold the tying run in Melky Cabrera at first. Though Cabrera is a slow runner, the larger point was Stewart’s ability to get into a set position to throw hard and dead straight as the ball took a short hop to reach second baseman Harold Castro right over the bag.

Gardenhire said it was just one cog in “a really good night” in left field for Stewart. What he wants to see out of the rookie next is to add situational understanding to the fundamentals.

“It’s all about that time clock in your head, of when you have to really get after it and get the ball and get it in, then when you can take your time -- know who hit it, know who’s running,” Gardenhire said. “All those things come into play.”

Worth noting
• Jordy Mercer performed running drills on the field prior to Wednesday’s game, and Gardenhire said the Tigers shortstop has one more day before the team considers sending Mercer out for a rehab stint, which would likely last up until or through the All-Star break.

“We’ll see after [tomorrow] if it goes as good as it’s been going,” Gardenhire said. “He feels nothing right now, so he feels great.”

• The Tigers announced the signings of 2019 Draft fifth-rounder Bryant Packard, a left fielder, as well as first baseman Cole Zabowski (22nd round). Per MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis, Packard signed for $386,600, the full slot value for pick No. 142.

Tigers' 2019 Draft picks

This pair of signings brings the Tigers’ total to 27 of their 40 Draft selections.

Jake Crouse is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. Follow him on Twitter @JakeCrouseMLB.