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Three Players the Detroit Tigers Should Trade at the MLB Trade Deadline

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With the MLB Draft and All-Star festivities behind us, the focus shifts to the second half of the season and the looming MLB Trade Deadline, which is just under two weeks away on August 2nd. 

The Detroit Tigers are sellers yet again at this year’s Trade Deadline and well out of playoff contention. The team and fan base had very high aspirations coming into this season but after a disastrous first half of the season through numerous injuries, a historically bad offense, and multiple players currently not playing up to expectations, the Tigers have the second half of the 2022 season to focus on what direction the franchise will ultimately go. The Tigers are 38-56 coming out of the All-Star break after a split with the Oakland A’s and sit well out of the playoff race, 12.0 games back of the division-leading Minnesota Twins in the American League Central and 12.5 games back of the American League Wild Card race.

While the ship has essentially sailed on the Tigers’ playoff chances this season, the organization can focus on selling off assets they may bring back a decent return to set the team up for next season and beyond.

Michael Fulmer

Michael Fulmer has been the most active name brought up at the Trade Deadline over the past few seasons in Detroit. The 29-year-old found new life as a reliever and is one of the most solid assets out of the bullpen for the Tigers. In 36 appearances this season, Fulmer has a 2.31 ERA in 35 innings with a WHIP of only 1.114 and has allowed only one home run all season. Fulmer is not a big strikeout pitcher (1.89 SO/BB ratio this season) but his increased focus this season on his slider has resulted in the lowest hard hit percentage of his career (26.4%).

The Tigers should (emphasis added here) be able to capitalize on Fulmer’s trade value at this year’s trade deadline and receive a sizeable return of prospects in exchange for Fulmer from teams looking to add to their bullpen. If the Tigers do not, Fulmer has an expiring contract after this season and it would be a massive missed opportunity by the front office.

Andrew Chafin

Andrew Chafin is likely the other notable name that will be dealt at the trade deadline. The 32-year-old left-hander has done exactly what he was brought in to do as a reliever, posting 12 holds in 13 save situations this season. Chafin also boasts a 2.45 ERA, 35 strikeouts against only nine walks for a SO/BB ratio of 3.89, and a WHIP of 1.023. His ability to be inserted into high-leverage situations, get outs, and keep the ball in the park (only one home run allowed all season) make him a prime target for a contending team looking for depth in the bullpen.

Chafin signed a 2-year contract this past offseason with an opt-out after this season. If he is dealt at the deadline and decides to opt in, his option is for only $6.5 million. At the level he’s been pitching over the past few seasons, this is a very team-friendly deal.

Gregory Soto

The other Detroit Tigers’ all-star alongside Miguel Cabrera, Gregory Soto is an interesting conversation piece at the trade deadline. The 27-year-old left-handed closer for the Tigers has a 2.59 ERA, 18 saves in 20 appearances, and 32 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched this season but what teams really covet is his velocity. Soto’s 4-seam fastball and sinker both average around 98 MPH and he regularly touches triple digits.

The part of his game that gives the fanbase an accelerated heart rate each outing is what Gregory Soto are they getting each time he steps on the mound.

The really intriguing bit about Soto here is he still has three years of team control before becoming a free agent and the Tigers are reportedly would be looking for a high asking price for him. Unless a team really wants to acquire the lefty flame-thrower, he will probably stay put.

The Tigers will likely be very active in conversations with contending teams at the Trade Deadline but with Al Avila’s checkered trade history, the fanbase may be simply hoping for the best until a change is made in the front office.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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