Three prominent Tigers players have cleared revocable trade waivers, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press. Infielder Jose Iglesias, lefty Francisco Liriano, and righty Jordan Zimmermann can all now be traded freely for the rest of the season.
Of course, deals need to be struck by the end of the month for any player to have postseason eligibility with a new organization. And any preexisting limitations — such as Zimmermann’s no-trade rights — remain in full force.
Of these players, the former two seem to be likely trade candidates. Both are pending free agents earning reasonably significant money. Iglesias, 28, is playing on a $6.275MM salary, while the 34-year-old Liriano is owed a total of $4MM.
Teams interested in upgrading their infield defense will surely consider Iglesias, who’s among the game’s best fielders at short. He’s also producing at a respectable rate at the plate for a defender of his quality, with a 88 wRC+ for the season. Liriano, meanwhile, likely won’t be pursued as a starter, as metrics don’t really support his 4.37 ERA. That said, he has handcuffed lefty hitters this year and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s stretched out.
As for Zimmermann, he’s earning $24MM this year and $50MM total for the following two seasons. That’s a big chunk of change. Plus, Zimmermann has full no-trade rights during the present campaign. (They’ll revert to partial rights at season’s end.)
While similar roadblocks did not stop the club from dealing franchise cornerstone Justin Verlander last August, Zimmermann hasn’t pitched well enough to force the issue in the manner of his former teammate. The 32-year-old Zimmermann has certainly fared better this year than at any prior point in his tenure with the Tigers, with a 4.31 ERA over 77 1/3 innings and improved mix of 8.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. But he has also had some health concerns and still likely won’t be valued at anything close to his remaining contract. Plus, there’s still no reason to believe he’d be interested in waiving his no-trade protection, as geography played a role in bringing him to Detroit in the first place.