To start, this isn’t a bad trade by Al Avila, but it really takes the wind out of Tigers fans already deflated sails. Upton, by far the Tigers best player this year got off to a rough start after signing a 6-year $132MM deal last year and not sure he really ever became a fan favorite or really attached to Detroit. J-Up was one of those Mike Illitch signings where he told Al to go out an sign him no matter what and the team paid for it with a very distressing long-term contract, with an opt-out after this year.
Regardless of the money that would have been tied up and yes, it’s great to get dollars off the books, it still feels like a solid kick to the groin when you lose your best player and seemingly get little in return.
That little in return, is the 9th best prospect in a horrible Los Angeles Angels organization named Grayson Long. What I can tell you about Long is that he was the 3rd round pick by the Angels in 2015 out of Texas A&M, is a right handed pitcher who was most recently pitching for Mobile in the Southern League (Double-A). The numbers look to be up and down, with struggles in high-A last year (5.79 ERA, 8 HR in 14 IP) and success at Burlington, in the Midwest League (A), as he was 3-3, with a 1.58 ERA in 40 IP.
This season, Long struggled once again at High-A Inland Empire, but has flourished in 23 starts at Mobile (AA) with a 8-6 record, 2.52 ERA, in 121.1 IP, has a 1.134 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, and a strong 8.2 K/9.
In three seasons in the Minors, Long has a 3.63 ERA, 1.209 WHIP, walks 3.2 per 9, and strikes out 8.9 per 9.
In addition to Grayson Long, the Angels are to send either another player to be named or cash.
Straight away, this is a salary dump and from everything I read, he wanted to play for a contender vs. riding out his contract in Detroit. Regardless of what you think of the trade, this team has mailed it in this season and for the next couple seasons in my opinion…