Tigers GM Al Avila says that his organization is willing to begin listening to inquiries on the organization’s players, Evan Woodberry of MLive.com reports (Twitter links). While that doesn’t mean the club is specifically seeking to make early deals, says Avila, it will be amenable to considering them.
It’s not particularly surprising, at this point, to learn of the Tigers’ current approach. The organization announced last fall that it intended to pursue a younger, less costly roster; while that never really came to pass over the winter, it obviously remains a broad strategic imperative.
With the club now bringing up the rear in the AL Central, with the second-to-worst record in the American League, contention seems unlikely. Instead, it seems, the team will look to add the kind of young talent that will support a more sustainable approach to contention in the future.
Detroit’s most obvious trade asset is slugger J.D. Martinez, who has been outstanding since missing the early part of the season due to injury. Current closer Justin Wilson also stands out. Otherwise, the club will have to navigate no-trade protection and big contracts to find trade partners for many of its best players. Second baseman Ian Kinsler can block moves to ten teams and is controlled with a $10MM option for 2018, though stars Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander enjoy full no-trade rights and much larger salary commitments.