Pour one out, slowly, for the fate of the Detroit Tigers fan, trapped in something called a “rebuild” since 2015, but without any discernible progress since the process began. At this point, there’s no forward momentum. The muck and the mire is the whole point of it … OK, long enough moment of silence. Now it’s time to lick your lips and figure out how the Yankees could benefit from the wreckage.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Detroit’s upcoming deadline is about to get a lot more eventful.
Initially, it seemed as if the Tigers and Yankees might be a match on, say, free-agent-to-be Michael Fulmer, but that convincing Detroit to part with controllable talent might be a tougher sell. After all, they signed Javier Báez with the intention of contending earlier this winter, aligning their timeline with the debuts of Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene.
Alas … never acquire a Javier. The 2004 and 2010 Yankees learned that the hard way. Nothing clicked, Torkelson was demoted, Green was injured, and now here the Tigers are, leaking to The Athletic that they’re willing to trade “pretty much everyone,” including ace left-hander Tarik Skubal.
In essence, the Tigers just opened Pandora’s Box to the relief-starved Yankees, if “Pandora’s Box” was managed extremely poorly by Al Avila.
Yankees, Tigers make excellent partners at 2022 MLB Trade Deadline
Skubal, no. The Yankees should not use a four-prospect package to pay for a studly, yet volatile left-hander in his early stages of development.
They should, however, be tied to any other Tiger reliever/platoon bat who isn’t held down, which certainly seems to be “all of them” at the moment.
All-Star reliever Gregory Soto is likely the new headline name (non-Skubal division), but his price tag and volatility make him less appealing to the Yankees than, say, Andrew Chafin, an extreme soft-contact-inducing throwback left-hander whose mustache would fit in perfectly in the Bronx. Though many thought he’d earn a three-year deal this offseason after a breakout campaign, Chafin inked a one-year deal with a player option for 2023. He’ll be much more likely to opt in if he’s traded to the Yankees.
[UPDATE: It has come to our attention Chafin is not vaccinated, and will miss his upcoming series in Toronto. The Yankees only play one more regular-season series in Toronto, plus a potential postseason matchup. So, there’s that.]
As for the rest of the roster, YGY speculated a few weeks back about some longshot targets that don’t exactly seem like longshots anymore! Relievers Will Vest and Alex Lange are both under control through 2027, and each seem to have higher ceilings to reach. Could Detroit listen there? If they’re considering cutting bait on Skubal (under control through 2026!), why wouldn’t they listen on some fungible relievers?
How about versatile infielder Harold Castro (108 OPS+), who’s played 15 games at short and hit .306 this year? Robbie Grossman’s having a horrific year, but he’s a switch-hitting outfielder with patience and poise — maybe attach him to a reliever?
All of a sudden, the possibilities are endless for Brian Cashman — and oh, look at that, the Marlins just opened up shop, too.