Trade talks between the Angels and Tigers in regard to hurler Matthew Boyd have run cold for the moment, according to a tweet from Jon Morosi of the MLB Network citing unnamed sources (link). According to Morosi, Angels outfield prospect Brandon Marsh was one name discussed.
Chatter on Boyd has been somewhat quieter than one might’ve expected heading into an offseason relatively light on clear-cut pitching trade targets. Boyd, under Detroit’s watch through 2022, may not factor into the Tigers’ next championship-contending team, making his forthcoming arb awards somewhat superfluous for a rebuilding club. On the other side of the coin, his projected $6.4MM award for 2020 and promising underlying metrics paint him as an attractive target for a club looking for near-term pitching reinforcements.
The 28-year-old has been a consistent presence in the rumor mill for a few years now, although his bottom-line results have left something to be desired. An interested club would have to overlook the fact that the lefty has yet to post a full season pitching beneath a 4.00 ERA, but Boyd did demonstrate in 2019 that there may yet be some gold within the pyrite. A 4.56 ERA across 185.1 innings won’t quicken many heartbeats, but the hurler posted career-best 11.56 SO/9 and 2.43 BB/9 rates last year; his 3.88 xFIP would also indicate that there’s a better pitcher in Boyd beyond the surface-level numbers.
Even if Boyd promises to be a solid trade target for many clubs, it’s understandable that Angels GM Billy Eppler may have balked at the mention of Marsh’s name. The 22-year-old outfielder and former second-round pick just wrapped a Double-A season that saw him hit .300/.383/.428 with seven home runs and 18 steals—production that added up to a 137 wRC+ in the Texas League. The Indians were also said to have asked for Marsh in a potential Corey Kluber deal with L.A., so it would certainly seem that teams around the game have taken notice of Marsh’s promise.