Detroit Tigers: Austin Romine could be 2020 dark horse trade candidate

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Tigers have plenty of trade candidates for the  2020 season, but catcher Austin Romine might be a dark horse candidate.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season may be a long shot to happen, but if it does, the Detroit Tigers might need to make some changes to the roster. The team should make any trades they can to better the team’s farm system.

Austin Romine was signed by the Tigers this offseason to one-year, $4.1 million contract that could end up with him becoming trade bait that nets the Tigers some more prospects for the rebuild. There is no guarantee that the Tigers play any baseball during the 2020 season, but if they can expedite the rebuild.

The rebuild is far from over, but the team should make sure that they have enough prospects to be competitive for the long haul. Romine is not an all-star catcher, but he is someone who could provide catching depth to a competitive team. He would be comparable to how Martin Maldonado was a hot commodity at the trade deadline.

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For example, the Houston Astros acquired him at the trade deadline for two seasons in a row because of his abilities to handle a pitching staff.

Romine may possess some similar qualities, but not as valuable. The thirty-one-year-old backstop is an eight-year veteran of the big leagues.

In 2019, Romine played in 72 games for the Yankees, while hitting .281/.310/.439 with eight home runs and 35 RBI on the season. Sticking with the Maldonado comparison, he was worth 1.3 WAR last season, where Romine was worth 0.7 WAR.

Keep in mind that Romine was the backup catcher for the Yankees behind Gary Sanchez, and with the Tigers, he should be the “starter” in a platoon role. Romine should get the chance to prove that he can be a reliable starter for the Tigers even in the midst of a rebuild.

Romine will be accompanied by Grayson Greiner and eventually Jake Rogers at the big league level, but he will be the “starter” out of the gates if the gates ever open up. Tigers General Manager Al Avila should go into the season being open to moving Romine.

Solid hitters on this Tigers team are going to be hard to come by, but in a starter role, Romine might be a substantial addition to a competing team looking for a defensive catcher. He may not be an offensive threat, but he can provide an excellent catcher to handle a staff as well as an extra bat off the bench even though he is not great.

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If the opportunity presents itself than Avila and the Detroit Tigers should move Austin Romine for prospects to further their window of competition.