3 surging Tigers bullpen arms Yankees should try to steal at deadline

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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JULY 06: Will Vest #19 of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch while playing the Cleveland Guardians at Comerica Park on July 06, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

2. Will Vest

Will the Tigers trade Will Vest, or will Vest’s additional arbitration years vest? Either way, the Yankees will have a vested interest.

Vest went from a struggling 2021 Mariner to yet another surging 2022 Tiger, turning a 6.17 ERA into a 3.55 mark the very next season. There’s still plenty of work for Vest to do below the hood, though.

He’s in the Statcast red in terms of strikeout percentage and fastball velocity, but he’s largely middling in terms of spin (hello, Matt Blake!). His expected averages all fall in the meaty center, too, meaning he might become … exactly what he is. A solid arm with a mid-3.00s ERA who could continue to take advantage of his velocity to induce swings-and-misses and avoid home runs (just three in 33 innings thus far in 2020, as well as 35 strikeouts).

Vest is one of multiple Tigers under control for an extremely long time (through the 2027 season, with options), so there’s a chance he won’t be available at all. However, if the Tigers take a step back and see how they were able to turn a 6.00+ ERA Mariner into a 3.55 ERA Tiger in just one year, they should have full faith they’d be able to do it again.

Why not flip him for a single top-20 prospect if possible, then start the cycle once more?