The Detroit Tigers’ most coveted trade chip at the moment is right-hander Mike Fiers, who has contending clubs lining up for his services down the stretch after another dazzling outing on July 21. Fiers, 33, silenced the red-hot Boston Red Sox in his latest start with 6.1 scoreless innings. He struck out six batters and permitted seven hits in Detroit’s 5-0 win, marking Fiers’ fifth consecutive quality start.
After signing a one-year contract for $6 million in the offseason, Fiers has been the ace of the Tigers’ staff. He owns a 7-6 record and leads the rotation with a 3.49 ERA. He’s also boasting the best BB/9 rate of his career at 1.9 through 19 outings.
As the trade deadline looms, it seems the list of clubs interested in Fiers grows by the day. The Oakland Athletics were the first club to express their interest in the righty, per Chris McCosky of The Detroit News. The A’s have shocked many in the baseball world to a 57-43 record, and could make a second-half push for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Then it was the Red Sox, who after seeing first-hand what the crafty Fiers can do to a potent lineup, began to evaluate him. The Sox are on pace to win a franchise-best 113 games, and currently lead the AL East by six games.
Trailing the Red Sox, the New York Yankees look to be in play for a starting pitcher or two come July 31. Their starting corps has posted a 4.03 ERA, according to ESPN stats. Outside of Luis Severino and C.C. Sabathia, New York’s staff has wildly underperformed.
Another potential suitor for Fiers’ services could be the Milwaukee Brewers, who lost left-handed starter Brent Suter for the season courtesy of a torn UCL. Suter logged 101.1 IP and boasted a career-best K/9 mark of 7.5 for the Brewers, who are shadowing the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central by 3.5 games. Fiers was a member of the Brewers for parts of five seasons from 2011-15.By season performance, the @tigers' biggest trade chip is veteran right-hander Mike Fiers. Detroit is expected to move the surprisingly effective starter at the deadline.Click To Tweet
Barring an injury or anything unforeseen, Fiers will be moved on or before July 31.
He likely won’t reel in a top-end prospect, but he’ll at least bring something back. Give general manager Al Avila credit for this, whose winter signing of Fiers was more of a gamble than anything. In his last two seasons, he made 58 starts with a 4.85 ERA over 322 innings. He wasn’t considered a big “get” in the off-season by any means, but the Tigers will benefit from their gamble as Fiers has garnered plenty of interest while proving to be a dependable starter this season.
The Tigers’ inaugural season to their rebuild has pretty much gone as planned. Heading into Monday, they’re 42-59 and 13.5 games out of first place in the American League Central. Fiers joins Francisco Liriano, Leonys Martin, Jose Iglesias, and Shane Greene as potential trade candidates, as the Tigers should be active sellers for the back-to-back summers.
Fiers’ next start is slated for June 27 against the Cleveland Indians, which will serve as another big test against a contending club just days before the deadline.