According to MLB Network‘s Jon Morosi, the Detroit Tigers “will listen to offers” on left-hander Matthew Boyd, closer Shane Greene, and right fielder Nicholas Castellanos before the Major League Baseball trade deadline. Currently 26-46 and in fourth place in the American League Central, it’s reasonable to expect the Tigers to shop these players. Here are landing spots for those who could be on the move.
Matthew Boyd: Colorado Rockies
Kyle Freeland is in Triple-A; German Marquez and Jon Gray have been inconsistent; Antonio Senzatela and Jeff Hoffman have been getting hit hard; Boyd would be a welcome addition to the Rockies starting rotation.
Boyd is putting together the best season of his big-league career. Currently owning a 3.61 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 132 ERA+ while totaling 118 strikeouts, he has been the Tigers ace. He’s working through trouble, totaling walks at a low rate, and is coming into his own as a reliable left-hander. Capitalizing on him doing as such would pay dividends for the Rockies.
For starters, Boyd would be switching leagues, meaning his production should, in theory, increase — albeit he’d be pitching in Coors Field. The Rockies have the talent to contend for the National League pennant, but their pitching staff is holding them back. While it would cost some valued prospects to acquire him, Boyd is under contract through 2022, so the Rockies would have him for the long haul.
Acquiring Boyd would also allow manager Bud Black to experiment with a current struggling starter coming out of the bullpen, or, if he makes a return to the big leagues, Freeland. The Rockies need a pitching upgrade, and making a move sooner rather than later would be wise given the competition for the NL Wild Card.
Shane Greene: Atlanta Braves
You can never have enough reliable arms on a pitching staff, and the Braves would greatly benefit from the presence of a potent closer. Case in point: Greene would be an ideal trade target for Atlanta.
Outside of Luke Jackson and Anthony Swarzak, the Braves bullpen is an unreliable bunch. Josh Tomlin owns a 4.15 ERA; Dan Winkler owns a 4.98 ERA; Touki Toussaint owns a 4.68 ERA and 1.53 WHIP; Jerry Blevins owns a 4.61 ERA and 1.68 WHIP; A.J. Minter owns a 7.88 ERA and 2.06 WHIP.
Greene has been one of the best closers in baseball this season. He owns an 0.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP while totaling 29 strikeouts and converting 21 of 22 save opportunities. He’s deceptive, a transformed pitcher, and difficult to make hard contact off. The Braves have an elite lineup, an evolving starting rotation, and are in first place in the NL East, but if they want to win the pennant, or merely improve their roster, they must address their bullpen. A lockdown closer is something the Braves have been devoid of since they traded Craig Kimbrel in 2015.
Under contract through 2020, Greene would give manager Brian Snitker reliability in the ninth inning for the foreseeable future and potentially be the player who helps the Braves take off.
Nicholas Castellanos: Cleveland Indians
The Indians are nine games behind the Minnesota Twins for first place in the American League Central, but they still have the talent to make the playoffs; Castellanos would be a godsend for their depth chart.
The Indians had a confusing offseason, which was highlighted by moving on from some prominent contributors, yet bringing in power bats. With that said, they still have a roster that can compete for an AL Wild Card seed given how, outside of the three AL division leaders (New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros), the field is wide open. Castellanos would provide the Indians with two much-needed qualities: an elite outfielder and versatility.
Castellanos is a line-drive hitter. He hits for power, but also has a smooth swing. From 2017-18, he totaled 49 home runs and 190 RBIs. Having such a bat and presence in the Indians outfield — which is among the least productive in the sport — would provide depth to a lineup that features Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana, and Jason Kipnis.
Before becoming the Tigers full-time right fielder, Castellanos played third base. If it reaches the point where Ramirez — who is hitting just .207 — being on the lineup card is severally affecting the Indians offense, manager Terry Francona could play Castellanos at the hot corner. He’s a free agent at year’s end, but acquiring the Tigers star would make them a more complete team, considering the elite pitching staff they have in their back pocket.