Tigers Should Buy, Won’t Have Much To Bargain With
The Detroit Tigers should be buyers before the August 1st non-waiver MLB trade deadline, however their lack of valuable prospects will make that difficult.
The Tigers are in the middle of a five game winning streak over the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, both of which are in the same wild card hunt as Detroit. In their last 10 games Detroit boasts a 7-3 record.
They are trending upwards and distancing themselves from the cluster that used to be the middle of the AL central, because of this they should attempt to buy before the trade deadline. It doesn't mean they can though.
Take, for example, Brewers catcher Jonathon Lucroy. The Tigers desperately need an upgrade at catcher in the offensive categories. Lucroy hits about 100 points better average wise and is just as if not more serviceable defensively than the Tigers current catching tandem.
That being said, the Tigers will not have the bargaining chips available to outbid other teams for the top players available for trade deadline deals. Lucroy is also being sought by the Rangers, Indians and other playoff caliber teams who have better prospects to deal out.
There's a lack of experience at the top of the Tigers prospect list. The Tigers top two prospects are their last two first round picks, neither of which has seen a league higher than A+ Lakeland. The Tigers other bargaining chips are guys already on their roster or fringe AAA guys who might crack a roster elsewhere, but they probably won't fetch too much value.
This problem fits over the Tigers' other areas of need including starting and relief pitching.
The long and short of the next 48 or so hours is to not expect the Tigers to be able to buy at the deadline, but they are definitely not sellers. If moves can be made by Detroit, they should be to try and make a push for the wild card spot or even the division if Cleveland's grasp of the division slips.