MLB Hot Stove rumors: Tigers having trouble finding a trade fit for J.D. Martinez
The Tigers are looking for nifty assets to trade their sweet-swinging outfielder
Entering the offseason, the Detroit Tigers were rumored to be taking a long-term approach to their winter. That meant, in the most basic terms, looking to unload payroll in exchange for talented prospects.
While the Tigers haven't done anything crazy yet -- like trading Justin Verlander or Miguel Cabrera -- they appear to still be thinking about the big picture. Consider Jerry Crasnick's latest tweet about J.D. Martinez:
#Tigers continue to field calls on J.D. Martinez, but they want young, controllable talent in return. It's been a challenge to find a fit.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 17, 2016
Martinez, 29, is entering his final year of team control. He's a valuable player all the same, seeing as how he's averaged 28 home runs and a 145 OPS+ during his three seasons in Detroit. Granted, he's a below-average defender, but you live with a bad glove if it comes attached to a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat.
At the same time, it makes sense for the Tigers to shop Martinez for a quality youngster -- especially if they aren't interested in signing him to a long-term deal. Best-case: they find a taker who gives up consider future value for an instant upgrade; worst-case: they don't, and Martinez brings back draft-pick compensation at season's end (or something good at the deadline).
Oh, and one other reason the Tigers appear to be shopping Martinez so hard? They're out of money. Really:
#Tigers would love to sign Alex Avila as LH bat to complement James McCann. But Avila made $2.5M in 2016. Even that's too rich for Detroit.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 17, 2016
Considering Martinez is set to make close to $12 million in 2017, maybe trading him isn't just about getting better in the future -- but about having the money to get better now, too.
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