When it comes to the flaws of the first-place Detroit Tigers, their shaky bullpen, which has posted a 4.48 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP, may be the first thing that comes to mind. Another problem that some have pointed out, however, is their serious lack of left-handed hitting. For the most part, it would be safe to say that switch-hitting Victor Martinez has been the only truly consistent left-handed threat that the Tigers have had in 2014.
The Tigers are, however, still hoping to get Andy Dirks back at some point, but it is tough to know what to expect from him upon his return given the fact that he has missed so much time. Some Tigers fans have wondered what trading for Colorado Rockies‘ slugging outfielder Carlos Gonzalez might look like, even though the Tigers have not been seriously linked to him in any way. Truth be told, the Tigers would probably be wise to steer clear of him.
Gonzalez is currently in the midst of a down year, slashing just .243/.294/.432 with 10 home runs, 14 doubles and 36 RBIs. However, that is not the reason the Tigers should avoid him.
Despite the fact that some have labeled him as injury-prone, there is no reason to believe that Gonzalez cannot get back to being where he was just a few years ago, given the fact that he is still only 28 years old. From 2010-13, Gonzalez was averaging a .311 BA, 27 homers and 91 RBIs per season. He also won a batting title back in 2010, hitting .336 and recording a league-leading 197 base hits. He finished third in the NL MVP voting during the 2010 campaign as well. The reason the Tigers should not pursue him, however, is because of what he would cost — both in terms of money and talent.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Gonzalez is making $10.5 million this season, but he is signed through 2017 and will make a total of $53 million over that time span. Then there is also the issue of what it would cost to acquire him.
At the very least, Gonzalez would be likely to pry a top prospect or two away from Detroit, and the Tigers already parted with two highly-valued members of their organization in Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson in the Joakim Soria trade. Even if the Tigers do have enough pieces to make a trade for Gonzalez possible, they may not have enough to spare without seriously hurting their hopes for having winning teams in the future.
The Tigers could certainly make a big splash by trading for Gonzalez, but it’s likely a safe bet to say that it won’t happen; which is probably a good thing.