Detroit Tigers: 5 Players Most Likely to be Dealt
5 Tigers Likely to be Traded
The Detroit Tigers are one of the league's best teams. In fact, they are currently in first place in the American League's Central Division.
While they may have one of the better overall teams in all of baseball, they still have a few needs and a few guys they can deal in order to fill those needs. Last year around the trade deadline, the Tigers were active, trading for starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante.
Both of those pick-ups have paid off so far for the Tigers as Sanchez is a solid top-of-the-order starter, and Infante is having success as well, hitting over .300 a quarter of the way through the season.
Detroit has been one of the AL's best teams for the past few years and won the pennant last season before getting dismantled by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. They just couldn't put their strong playoff push into their World Series appearance.
This wasn't the first time that Detroit made it all the way to the Fall Classic before being bounced easily by the National League pennant winner. In fact, in 2006, the Tigers made the final series before being virtually manhandled by the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Tigers may have some of the best talent in all of baseball, if not the most, and could very easily contend for another World Series title. They haven't been victorious since 1984, making it a nearly 30-year slump for the stripe squad.
This team is solid from top to bottom, but here are five guys that are likely to be dealt when the trade deadline rolls around.
Don Kelly, OF
Not many guys have played every position in the big leagues. However, Don Kelly has done just that since joining the MLB five years ago. He can play the outfield, infield, catch and, heck, he can even pitch if needed. Kelly can do it all, but he is wearing out his welcome in Detroit. His batting average has hovered around .200 all season, while his career average is at .230. He is 33 years old so his prime has come and gone — better shop him now before it's too late.
Brayan Villarreal, RP
Brayan Villarreal was great for the Tigers last season, posting just a 2.63 ERA with seemingly electric stuff. However, the 26-year-old right-hander has struggled so far in 2013. His electric stuff lost power and he was sent down to the minors after a few miserable weeks to begin the season. With an ERA of over 20 in just seven appearances, the Tigers should shop him before he loses even more of his command.
Rick Porcello, SP
I have been one of the biggest critics of Rick Porcello since his second year with the team. He has regressed every season since his rookie year, and has made no serious improvement in any statistical category. With an ERA over 6.68 but a few good pitches, he might be a viable candidate for a solid fifth starter or long reliever on a team seeking such pitchers. He has some good movement on his offerings, but rarely pitches past the sixth inning, averaging about 5.2 innings per start. That just won't cut it for a team looking to make a World Series run.
Ramon Santiago, IF
Ramon Santiago has had probably the worst start to a season that he's had in his career in 2013. He is hitting just .167 with a single RBI, but his defense is consistently solid. The 11-year veteran from the Dominican Republic is the kind of backup shortstop or second baseman that can get you a .270 average with five homers and around 30 RBIs a year while playing solid defense. It's hard to find a team that wouldn't be sold on those numbers for a backup infielder.
Jhonny Peralta, SS
You may be asking yourself: why the heck would they trade Jhonny Peralta after his red-hot start? Well, I have a simple answer for you: sell him while he's a hot commodity. Peralta may be a bit past his prime, having his best season as a professional two years ago with the team while dropping off a bit in 2012. Peralta is hitting near .330 with three homers and 17 RBIs this season. What better time to trade the aging shortstop for some young infield or pitching talent?