MLB Hot Stove rumors: Tigers having trouble finding a trade fit for J.D. Martinez

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:

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:

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.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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