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MLB Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers’ Top 5 Trade Assets

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Detroit Tigers' Top 5 Trade Assets

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers should be able to get whatever they want at the trade deadline with the pieces they have. It is simply a matter of what they are willing to give up.

The Tigers’ bullpen has been the topic of discussion this season, and many have said they need to add bullpen arms in order to contend. The bullpen is starting to look a little more in order since Jose Valverde left the scene. If they were to make a deal, they would likely only have to give up one of their top position players.

The Tigers have a couple of options. They could package a young shortstop with a starting pitcher, or possibly get away with dealing their top prospect and getting a couple of arms in return.

The longer they wait, the less they will have to give up. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski is a master at 11th-hour trade deadline deals. He landed Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante at the last trade deadline without giving up too much and will be ready to pull the trigger at a moment’s notice.

The key to not losing too much in a trade deadline deal is to wait it out. The teams who decide to buy early often pay the price with some of their top prospects. If a team knows they aren’t going to contend right before the deadline hits, they are willing to settle for a lesser deal in order to get a return on their investment. Dombrowski is great at taking advantage of this and he will take what the market gives him if the Tigers decide to make a deal.

David Fouty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, and add him to your network on Google+.

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5. Eugenio Suarez, Double-A Erie Seawolves, Shortstop

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Eugenio Suarez is starting to build a name for himself with the Erie Seawolves. He wouldn't bring in nearly the same type of bullpen help that some of the top prospects could. He's known for his defense, but his bat is starting to come around lately. He would need to be packaged with another player if the Tigers hope to get MLB-ready talent for him.

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4. Jose Alvarez, Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, Starting Pitcher

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Jose Alvarez got a chance to show off his stuff while Anibal Sanchez was on the disabled list, and he did pretty well. The left-handed hurler had a rough outing his last time out which may hurt his value, but the Tiger's won't have a place for him over the next year and a half. Teams won't go too high on Alvarez, but he could definitely be dangled out there for a decent reliever.

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3. Andy Dirks, Detroit Tigers, Outfielder

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dirks is on this list because the Tigers appear to be pretty deep with major league-ready talent at the corner outfield spots. Nick Castellanos is waiting for his name to be called up. Avisail Garcia would likely get the opportunity to play every day if they were to deal Dirks, but it's only a matter of time before Castellanos gets his shot. With Torii Hunter on a two-year deal, right field is unlikely to open up before he's done. This leaves the Tigers with two or three solid left fielders, not to mention Matt Tuiasosopo, who has been an exceptional pinch-hitter this season.

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2. Avisail Garcia, Toledo Mud Hens, Outfielder

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The rap on Avisail Garcia is that he needs consistent at-bats in order to develop. The Tigers can't offer that right now, which is why he's been playing in Toledo unless they need him. Garcia boosted his trade value even more on Sunday when he hit for the cycle. He could command a lot in return, and wouldn't necessarily need to be packaged unless the Tigers were looking for one of the top relievers on the market.

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1. Nick Castellanos, Toledo Mud Hens, Outfielder

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Castellanos is the Tigers' most prized possession as far as prospects go. He earned a spot on the Triple-A All-Star team and is proving his value on a daily basis in Toledo. The Tigers would get the most in return if they decided to deal Castellanos. He's made a successful transition from third base to the outfield because that spot was blocked by Miguel Cabrera. Castellanos hasn't been called up yet, which has probably helped his value. He hasn't had a chance to hit major league pitching, so no one knows how quickly he can rise to that level.