In case you were under a rock yesterday, or at least not on social media, the Tigers finally moved J.D. Martinez in a four player trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks. With Martinez’s free-agency around the corner and a forecasting of a annual salary approaching or exceeding $20MM a year to sign him, the writing was on the wall if the Tigers found themselves out of the race, which of course they are. The Tigers received SS/3B Dawel Lugo, SS/2B Sergio Alcantara, and SS/2B Jose King. Dawel was rated by MLB Pipeline as the 4th best prospect in the organization, with Alcantara 15th, and King outside of the top 30.
The Diamondbacks get what some are referring to as the top bat available at the deadline in J.D., who was hitting .305 with 16 homers after missing the first six weeks of the season and just coming off AL Player of the Week honors. Before this season, J.D. had been averaging 28 homers a year and a .299 average with an OPS of .898. Again though, with the Tigers current payroll issues, and now in a rebuilding mode, it was time for J.D. to go.
With the trade Al Avila said that he wanted to “bolster the farm systems position players” and did so, but with three middle infielders, who have holes in their profiles.
The top rated prospect Dawel Lugo, is a 22-year old, right hand hitting Shortstop/Third Basemen from the Dominican. Lugo was playing above his age at Double-A Jackson in the Southern League before the trade. He was hitting .282, with a .753 OPS, 7 homers, 4 triples, 21 doubles, and 51 k’s in 369 plate appearances. This is Lugo’s 6th season in the Minor’s where his power has been developing and doesn’t strike out a ton, but doesn’t walk a lot either. MLB Pipeline calls Lugo a future Major League utility man with potential to have an everyday job in the big leagues.
Sergio Alcantara, is in his 5th season on Minor League ball, as a 20-year old, who was also playing above his age at Visalia (High-A) in the California League. Alcantara was hitting .279 before the trade, with a .706 OPS, 3 homers, and 28 RBI, 10 steals, and 57 K’s (34 walks) in 378 plate appearances. The three homers is already a career high, for the lifetime .255 minor league hitter, who has already seen the most plate appearances in a season for his career this year. MLB Pipeline says that Alcantara will be able to defend at the Major League level as a no-doubt Shortstop with a strong arm, good hands, and above average range. Offense with be the question mark around Alcantara his entire career and will be the determining factor if he makes the Majors and how long he sticks around.
Jose King, is the youngest of the three players acquired at 18 and was competing in his first season of rookie ball in Arizona before the trade. The lefty hitting Shortstop/Second Basemen, was hitting .261 with 2 triples and 20 K’s in 50 plate appearances to date. As a 17-year old in the Dominican Summer League last year, King hit .350 with 7 doubles, 4 triples, and 21 steals to go with 21 walks and 36 K’s in 274 PA’s. There isn’t a ton known about King yet, outside of good speed and solid defense to this point.
By the way, with the trade, MLB Pipeline ranks Lugo as the Tigers 11th best prospect, Alcantara at 18 and King is not on the board. Awesome job Mr. Avila, Double-D has to be shaking his head right now!!
At this point we know the Tigers are in fact rebuilding, but if trades continue to go this way, it may never happen. The return on the best bat as a rental player wasn’t going to be as significant as let’s say the, the Chris Sale trade, but what Detroit secured in return is a complete joke. To be fair, baseball expert Pedro Gomez was on ESPN and has claimed that the rental player market as cratered with these players being devalued, but if this was seriously the best you could get right now, why not wait until closer to the deadline to see if the team couldn’t get more interest, or maybe an injury occurs, and the market gets tighter. Not to mentioned, why not wait and see if there is another trader partner better than Arizona’s post-draft ranking of 26th by Bleacher Report (Detroit was 27th)
This one has myself and many others scratching their heads for sure. Here’s a few other reactions…
This seems like a very light return for JD Martinez even as a rental; I don’t think Arizona gave up any of their… https://t.co/bk8DIxIGwU
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 18, 2017
If that is the cost for Martinez, Yankees should be able to get a 1b for pretty much spare change.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) July 18, 2017