The Tigers are 47-53, 12 games behind the White Sox for the division lead. Their fate was sealed by a disastrous April when they went 8-19 to start the year. Since then, they’ve actually put together three consecutive winnings months, including an 11-8 mark so far in July. These Tigers have played perhaps the most enticing stretch of baseball we’ve seen from Motor City in years, but they’re still sellers heading into this trade deadline.
Jonathan Schoop, Jose Cisnero, Kyle Funkhouser, Gregory Soto, Daniel Norris, and Jeimer Candelario are the names most likely to draw trade interest here in the week before the deadline, per Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. Schoop’s name has certainly been bandied about the most in the Twitterverse, mostly as a lower-cost option for teams not interesting in paying presumably high-end returns for other available infielders like Trevor Story or Adam Frazier.
Schoop, after all, is a free agent at the end of the year and making just $4.5MM. He doesn’t have the controllable contract like Frazier or the long-term track record of Story, but he would nonetheless be a valuable addition for someone.
With a 116 wRC, he’s an above-average bat for the third time in five years (he was exactly average with a 100 wRC+ in 2019. He’s slashing .289/.330/.471 with a .182 ISO that’s actually a little low for Schoop’s norms. He’s doesn’t strike out over much and his bat carries consistent pop.
Defensively, he’s not garnering the plus marks that he has in the past, but he can still handle multiple positions as a first and second baseman. He absolutely crushes left-handed pitching to the tune of a 161 wRC+ this year. He’s a first division platoon bat with the capability of being an everyday, impact player on a playoff team. He fits the Howie Kendrick mold from the 2019 Nationals, and though it’s not fair to put Hendricks’ heroic expectations onto Schoop, he can be that kind of all-purpose, veteran bat that won’t cost an arm and a leg to acquire.
Like Kendrick, his physical abilities don’t leap off the page, and he doesn’t play a premium position, but he’s a textbook professional hitter. Schoop isn’t the big name that many fan bases might be hunting, but if the Tigers are inclined to move him, he can absolutely be a difference-making piece for a contender. Just a couple weeks ago, MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk did the work of finding the best fits for Schoop, but let’s hear from you: which contender would benefit the most from adding Schoop’s potent right-handed bat to their first base/second base/DH/bench crew?
(poll link for app users)