MLB Trade Rumors: Yoenis Cespedes to the Detroit Tigers?


Just when you think the MLB Tigers rumors might briefly settle down, yet another one pops up. The latest involves the Boston Red Sox and their crowded outfield. The Red Sox recently agreed to a four-year contract with former shortstop-turned-left-fielder, Hanley Ramirez.

Ramirez was initially considered Boston’s next third baseman, but the team’s quick one-two punch signing of Pablo Sandoval leaves Ramirez without a position. It now appears as though he will be added to an outfield already consisting of Daniel Nava, Mookie Betts, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Jackie Bradley, and of course Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes joined the Red Sox last year, but may find himself the odd man out in Boston. He is a very productive player with a relatively cheap contract, and several teams have already begun to express interest in him.

Corey Brock of said it’s believed the Padres have talked with the Red Sox about a potential trade for Cespedes and Tony Paul of the Detroit News believes a trade between the Tigers and Red Sox makes sense as well.

Last season, he had a career high 3.4 WAR and is projected to put up another three win season in 2015. Cespedes has been worth 8.5 WAR in his three MLB seasons and has a career wRC+ of 115. Furthermore, he is also a solid defender, compiling +17 defensive runs saved and a UZR of 14.5 in 2360 career innings in left field.

The 29-year-old Cuban national has 71 home runs, (22 in 2014) in his three MLB seasons. He also has 82 doubles and 15 triples.

With those things in mind, is Cespedes a good fit with the Tigers?

The thought of Cespedes in a Tigers uniform in 2015 is certainly enticing. He is a big time power hitter, however his on-base percentage and low walk rate are at least slightly discouraging. There is also the blunt truth that Cespedes basically swings at everything.

His 38.7 percent O-swing percentage ranked 16th among qualified hitters in 2014 and he only walked in 5.4 percent of plate appearances.

Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

What would it cost to bring him to Detroit?

Though Cespedes current MLB contract is relatively affordable, ($10.5 million in 2015 according to the cost to acquire him will likely not come cheap. In fact, for the Tigers, it would be comparable to robbing Peter to pay Paul.

It’s currently believed that in order to trade for Cespedes the Tigers would have to offer up a key piece of their starting rotation, by offering up either David Price or Rick Porcello. Truthfully, Detroit is in no position to trade away anyone out of their starting rotation.

Now, in the hypothetical situation that the Tigers are able to re-sign Max Scherzer, then maybe the deal makes much more sense.

The fact remains for now that finding a corner outfielder is generally easier than finding a solid mid-to-front rotation starter. I like the idea of Cespedes stepping up to the plate for the Tigers in 2015, but it’s really an implausible idea at the moment.

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