The time has come for the Tigers to enter the sellers’ market, writes Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Names like David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Rajai Davis, among others, should be marketed over the coming 10 days in an attempt to avoid a lengthy rebuild in the Motor City. However, Morosi notes that there’s more to the likely trades of veteran players than just a one-year selling cycle. Rather, he writes this could very well represent the beginning of a new philosophy for the Tigers. Sources tell Morosi that Christopher Ilitch (son of owner Mike Ilitch) has taken a greater influence over the Tigers’ business operations than his father, whose focus has shifted to the construction of a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings. As such, the Tigers’ aggressively escalating payroll may take a step back in the coming years. However, the team can avoid a lengthy rebuild by acquiring strong packages for stars Price and Cespedes. Specifically, he wonders if the Dodgers would part with a combination of Grant Holmes, Jose De Leon and Cody Bellinger for Price, while speculating that names such as Brett Phillips and Vincent Velasquez could be in play if Houston makes a run at Cespedes.
Here’s more from the AL Central…
- The Tigers have a brief window to change the front office’s mind on becoming a seller, writes MLive.com’s Chris Iott. Each of their next nine games will come against teams with negative run differentials, he points out. However, Iott also notes that if GM Dave Dombrowski is to extract maximum value for Price and/or Cespedes, he’ll need to begin laying groundwork for trades sooner than the final two days of the non-waiver trading period. The implication there, seemingly, is that it’s possible Dombrowski has already begun to do so, or will begin shortly, and could receive an offer he must take before Detroit has a chance to turn the tide.
- Morosi tweets that Indians infielder Jose Ramirez could make for an intriguing trade candidate in the next 10 days. He has a strong defensive reputation in the minors, and Ramirez is also enjoying a strong season at the plate in Triple-A. However, he’s blocked by Francisco Lindor, who rated as one of the best prospects in all of baseball prior to his debut. Ramirez hit .265/.307/.353 in 280 plate appearances with Cleveland’s big league club from 2013-14, but he slumped to .176/.243/.235 in 173 PAs this season before Lindor took the reins at short. Ramirez has played more second base than short in the minors, and some scouts feel he’s better suited there than at shortstop, but one can imagine clubs with needs at either middle infield spot showing interest.
- Twins top decision-makers got together on a conference call last night to discuss the club’s top need heading into the trade deadline, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. However, there’s somewhat of a divided camp among the Twins’ brass right now. That’s not particularly surprising, considering that despite their second place standing in the AL Central, the Twins could use upgrades in the bullpen, behind the plate and at shortstop.
- Berardino does note (Twitter link), however, that despite some reports connecting the Twins to a reunion with Carlos Gomez, Minnesota isn’t particularly interested in reacquiring its former center fielder from the Brewers. The Twins do have nice outfield depth, with Byron Buxton nearing a return from the DL, Aaron Hicks hitting and fielding well in 2015 and the likes of Torii Hunter, Eddie Rosario and Oswaldo Arcia to fill out the rest of the outfield.