Detroit Tigers Trade Rumors: Jeff Samardzija and Clay Buchholz Targeted


In one of the first legitimate trade rumors of the season, the Detroit Tigers are reportedly looking at starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Clay Buchholz.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Detroit Tigers are one of nine teams who have checked in on the trade availability of Clay Buchholz of the Boston Red Sox and Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago White Sox.

"Teams are tempted but don’t know what to make of [Jeff Samardzija] because of his 4.53 ERA and struggles this season. His affordability as a rental and the fact that he’s not a No. 1-caliber starter in the eyes of most scouts but a good second or third guy in a rotation make him worth looking at. But the White Sox likely wouldn’t receive a great return. That’s why the same teams looking at Clay Buchholz are looking at Samardzija — the Royals, Tigers, Twins, Blue Jays, Yankees, Cardinals, Orioles, Angels, and Dodgers."

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That’s a long list of teams there — pretty much anyone who could be looking to add starting pitching ahead of next month’s non-waiver trade deadline — so it doesn’t appear to be anything serious at the moment. We learn more that the Tigers are indeed pursuing starting pitching help than that they’re particularly interested in these two names.

Just a few days ago, however, Rob Bradford of WEEI wrote that the Red Sox aren’t showing interest in dealing Buchholz away:

"According to major league sources, the Red Sox have shown no interest in dealing Buchholz. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he is currently one of the team’s best pitchers (3.87 ERA), with a financial commitment easy for the Sox to swallow."

Buchholz’s apparent lack of availability is another indicator that this probably represents more due diligence on the part of the Tigers (and the other teams mentioned) than serious trade negotiations of any kind.

If a deal were to come to fruition, however, either Buchholz or Samardzija would represent an upgrade over the current crop of fourth and fifth starters. The Tigers are currently penciling in one of Kyle Ryan, Shane Greene, Kyle Lobstein, and Buck Farmer every five days making an upgrade appear necessary.

According to projections found on baseball statistics website FanGraphs, either pitcher would be expected to add about a win or a win and a half to the Detroit Tigers’ rest-of-season win total.

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