Detroit Tigers Need to be Trade Deadline Buyers


With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, it makes sense for the Detroit Tigers to be buyers in the trade market.

We’re at a point in the season where it’s essentially fourth down with one yard to go. Do you punt it and regroup for the next drive, or go for it?

It’s exactly where the Detroit Tigers find themselves at right now. They’re at a crossroad with two different paths that can be easily followed.

Punting on this fourth down would require the Tigers to sell at the trade deadline, like last year. Last season turned out to be a lost cause, and David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, and Joakim Soria were all pieces of the puzzle that brought in young talent.

Deciding to go for it on this hypothetical fourth down would look like acquiring a starting pitcher and possibly another arm for the bullpen, and preparing for the fifth postseason appearance in six years.

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The Tigers sit at 49-45, 3.0 games out of the second wild card and 6.5 behind the surging Cleveland Indians. If it were up to me, deciding to be buyers at the deadline makes the most sense. For the last few weeks, they’ve been within reach of both wild card spots. One acquisition could potentially slingshot the Tigers into contention for Game 163, or better yet, a shot at a division title.

There are several reasons why we should hope that Al Avila shops until he drops come August 1.

Unlike last July, there seems to be optimism in the clubhouse this time around. The Tigers reached their 49th win of the season after Monday’s 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins when last season their 49th dub came on July 29.  On July 19, 2015, the Tigers were one game under .500 (45-46), and exactly one year later they found themselves five over (49-44).

It was so blatantly obvious that selling last season would better the team for the future. It may have been hard to watch, but now we have Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, and essentially Justin Wilson to thank for that. It wasn’t a complete fire sale, just a reboot. There’s no need for that this year because this team can compete.

Another big reason is the fact that the New York Yankees are on the fence on whether to buy or sell. The Yankees are on the outside looking in at a stacked AL East. With a 47-46 record, they’re in fourth place and 6.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles. There’s no way in hell the Yankees leapfrog the O’s, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Boston Red Sox into first place. While playoff baseball in the Bronx seems so far-fetched, they’ve yet to give in. So why should the Tigers?

Not to mention, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez aren’t getting any younger. Sure, they’re both in slumps that are painful to watch, but, they’re still two of the best bats in Brad Ausmus’ lineup. Deciding to sell and stalling the idea of competing until next season takes away a year from the Venezuelan sluggers. You might as well use all you can from them while they still have it.

And, lastly, I’m still not convinced with the Indians. Before the All-Star break, the Tribe’s starting pitchers were 52-36 with a 3.63 ERA in 88 games. In 14 games since the start of July, however, they are 6-8 with 4.62 ERA. With the exception of two weeks worth of games in July, their pitching has been unbelievable, but can they really keep it up for two and a half more months?

Over the course of a season consisting of 162 games, every team goes through a stretch where nothing clicks. The Tigers, for example, lost eleven games out of twelve in early May. The Indians are yet to have that rough patch.

Once the Indians come back down to earth though, it is imperative the Tigers find a way to pounce and position themselves for a chance at winning the division.

Next: 5 Tigers Who Could be Traded at the Deadline

Selling is essentially writing the team off and preparing for the next season. Buying guarantees that the club is readying for October baseball. The Detroit Tigers should be anticipating a playoff run, and a few moves at the deadline can do just that.