Minnesota Twins offseason trade partner profile: Detroit Tigers

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 06: Detroit Tigers fans show their support for Miguel Cabrera
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 06: Detroit Tigers fans show their support for Miguel Cabrera /

The 2017-2018 offseason is here for the Minnesota Twins. Who could be their trade partners this offseason?

Now that the Minnesota Twins have entered the offseason, they are looking to improve the roster through trades and through free agent signings. In this series, we’ll look at how the Twins match up with teams in trade scenarios.

We will first cover the team’s 2017 and what they may be looking for this offseason and then look at whether the Twins could be a good fit for a possible trade this offseason. If there’s a fit, we’ll try to put together a feasible trade that would work for both sides. We will go alphabetically through the league, and today we will look at a division rival going through a rebuild in the Detroit Tigers.

Tigers 2017

Midseason 2017, the Tigers made a decision that many saw coming for a long time – they chose to rebuild. From July until the end of the season, the Tigers played at a pace near their 119-loss season of 2003.

A big reason that this happened was the decline of a pair of the leaders of the Tigers offense for so many years. Miguel Cabrera hit .249/.329/.399 with 16 home runs. Victor Martinez hit .255/.324/.372 with 10 home runs.

The Tigers did see young Nicholas Castellanos take a big step forward as a hitter, putting up a line of .272/.320/.490 with 36 doubles, 10 triples, 26 home runs, and 4 stolen bases, though he did struggle with nearly 4 times as many strikeouts as walks.

While young righty Michael Fulmer took another step forward as a starter, but he had surgery on his elbow after 25 starts, so the team didn’t get to see a full season out of him. The other young arms didn’t see as much success as Matt Boyd had a 5.27 ERA, Daniel Norris had a 5.31 ERA, and Buck Farmer had a 6.75 ERA.

The Tigers traded away Justin Verlander, Justin Wilson, Alex Avila, Justin Upton, and J.D. Martinez in the season. They will lose Jim Adduci, Efren Navarro, Alex Presley, and Anibal Sanchez to free agency. Even if they are doing a rebuild, the Tigers will need to have a few guys at the MLB level.

Possible Trade Interest

Tigers may want: Prospects, pitching depth, bench depth, outfield. The Tigers have some depth in the minor leagues that can fill in some spots, but they want to be careful about pushing some of those guys too quickly.

Twins may want: A power bat for the DH position, starting pitching, relief pitching

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Trade proposals

With those needs how could the Twins and Tigers match up? Here are three ideas:

Trade proposal #1: Twins trade Ryan Pressly, Felix Jorge, and Zack Littell to the Tigers for Shane Greene. Greene found his comfort in the bullpen in 2017, taking over as closer when Justin Wilson was traded and pitching well. The Twins would be offering three pitchers near or at the MLB in this deal in part because of Greene’s skill level and in part because of his status being in his first year of arbitration, so he’ll be controllable yet for a few more years.

Trade proposal #2: Twins trade LaMonte Wade and Lachlan Wells to the Tigers for Alex Wilson. After a number of years being a quality middle reliever for the Red Sox and then Tigers, Wilson had a struggling year in 2017 before suffering a broken leg that ended his year. He has a very good sinker, slider, cutter combination that gets plenty of grounders and may not be a closer, but he could be a very good veteran piece in the bullpen for the Twins for a likely $2 million in arbitration.

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Trade proposal #3 Twins trade Nick Gordon, Stephen Gonsalves, Aaron Slegers, and Zack Granite to the Tigers for Michael Fulmer. This one could be changed a bit, but I have the top pitching and position prospect in the organization as well as a legit 4th outfielder now that could possibly start in center as well as a guy who would fit in the 5th starter spot. The Tigers may prefer more prospects and younger prospects, preferring guys like Brusdar Graterol, Wander Javier, or other top guys in the lower levels rather than Slegers and Granite. The Twins would be very interested in Fulmer, and they very possibly would be willing to offer the type of prospects to bring in a pitcher of Fulmer’s quality.