Detroit Tigers: Reevaluating the Shane Greene trade

Last season at the 2019 trade deadline, the Detroit Tigers dumped off relief pitcher Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves. Some initially criticized the move, but heading into 2020 should that opinion change? Take a look at the reevaluation of the trade to get a better idea.

The Detroit Tigers moved closer Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves for starting pitcher Joey Wentz and outfielder Travis Demeritte. Originally, some people thought the Tigers got fleeced for the all-start closer in exchange for a Triple-A low ceiling outfielder and a pitcher to add to the plethora of pitchers the Tigers already have.

With the 2020 season creeping closer and closer, taking another look at this trade leads to a different conclusion, the Tigers did well, getting a good return.

After sending Greene to the Braves, he was converted the eight inning guy where he would throw in twenty-seven games, totaling 24.2 innings pitched. Greene had a 4.01 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and twenty-one strikeouts, which was much different from the sub-two ERA he had with the Tigers to start the season.

Greene recently could not reach an agreement with the Braves for the 2020 season and is heading to a salary arbitration hearing. Greene is one of the twenty players who did not settle across the league. He is the only player the Braves did not come to a settlement with on a contract for the 2020 season.

Now, on the return, fans got a taste of Demeritte to end the 2019 season as he was the starting right fielder a majority of the time as the team traded Nicholas Castellanos to the Chicago Cubs.  Before his trade to the Detroit Tigers, he had not been promoted higher than Triple-A, but as fans know, the Tigers basically were a Triple-A team last year, so the promotion of Demeritte should shock no one.

Demeritte would go on to log forty-eight games with the Tigers, totaling 169 at-bats where he would hit .225/.343/.286 with three home runs and ten RBI in his first big league stint. The issue with Demeritte is his strikeouts; he lacks discipline at the plate, which hopefully will improve over time in the big leagues. In 2019, after reaching the big leagues, his discipline developed minimally, and ideally, this will continue for him in 2020.

The other player, the Tigers, received who is the better of the two, Wentz, who is a former first-round draft pick. Wentz was stationed on the Double-A Erie Seawolves with the Tigers’ astounding crop of young pitchers. In a small sample size of starts, Wentz had five starts with the Double-A Seawolves.

In those five starts, Wentz was 2-0, with a 2.10 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, with thirty-seven punchouts over 25.2 innings pitched. Coming into 2020, Wentz is slotted as the Tigers’ tenth-best prospect in the organization. He was the sixth-best starting pitcher in the organization as well, according to MLB pipeline’s top prospects list.

If Wentz can be as dominant as he was to end the 2019 season, the Tigers may have another top left-handed arm alongside Tarik Skubal, who has emerged as a dark horse prospect.