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Inbox: Who will Tigers move before Deadline?

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers questions from fans
July 27, 2017

As Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, many fans are wondering what Detroit will get done.With that in mind, it's time to clear out the Inbox.

As Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, many fans are wondering what Detroit will get done.
With that in mind, it's time to clear out the Inbox.

The Tigers will do some dealing by Monday. They might not do anything huge, such as trading Justin Verlander, but they have a couple deals they can swing without much trouble by trading Justin Wilson and Alex Avila.

There really hasn't been much yet that overlaps with what Detroit is dealing. The Rays, who were among the many teams interested in Wilson, added a lefty reliever by trading for Dan Jennings from the White Sox, but they'll reportedly keep shopping for more bullpen help. The Rockies were similarly interested in Wilson, scouting him both last homestand and while the Tigers were in Kansas City, but they acquired Phillies righty Pat Neshek instead. Again, though, Colorado could still find room for him.
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If anything, it's inactivity that's having a bigger impact. If the Orioles don't become sellers, that takes Zach Britton off the market and raises the profile of Wilson, who had about 14 teams interested last week and has retained about half of that. The big comparison for Wilson has been San Diego's Brad Hand, who remains on the market, with the Padres seeking a big return. Normally one would set the market for the other, but if both remain on their current team on Monday, it might not play out that way.

I think Detroit was always going to wait until the final days before making a Wilson deal regardless. If the Tigers are going to deal Verlander before the Deadline, they would seem to have a better chance if they package him with another player, be it Wilson or somebody else. But with a contract as big as Verlander's, a package gets balanced out with a younger player.

You almost have to see a Verlander trade to believe it. As well as he has pitched lately, the balancing act between his remaining contract and the prospect return Detroit wants for a franchise icon is very complicated. Add in the fact that Verlander is likely to go down as a big part of the late Mike Ilitch's legacy as Tigers owner -- drafting him, developing him, signing him long-term -- and it's not as simple as swallowing pride and lowering demands.

I thought there might be a sneaky market for Shane Greene, but other than a passing call and a couple scouts watching him, there hasn't been much activity. If anything, there might be more attention on him as a potential closer for Detroit if and when Wilson is traded.

The Tigers are running into the same issue with the market now as last offseason: There just aren't enough contending teams that need a shortstop enough to create much of a market for Jose Iglesias. The Astros can use Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Bregman at shortstop until Carlos Correa returns. The Nationals seem content with Wilmer Difo and Stephen Drew filling shortstop with Trea Turner out for the year. Unfortunately, it has left Dixon Machado as something like a Rule 5 draft pick on Detroit's roster, and one worries if the lack of playing time this season will affect his development.
As for Romine, as useful as his pitchability is, I don't think that will move the trade market.

In past years when the Tigers were buyers, it was always interesting to track which teams were following Detroit's affiliates to figure out who were the prospects the club could deal. It's different with the Tigers being sellers, but it still raise eyebrows once in a while. The Cubs had a scout following Double-A Erie for several days last week, raising intrigue that maybe the two clubs could do a prospect swap as part of a larger deal, but nothing much came of it.

Somewhere on the field for the Brewers, you'll likely see Hernan Perez, who has forged a good career for himself in Milwaukee after the Tigers lost him on waivers two summers ago.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.