The Detroit Tigers have been dangling on the edge of being sellers for weeks now, but they seem to have thrown in the towel with a trade of star outfielder JD Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a batch of prospects.
Martinez, 29, is on pace for one the best seasons of his career. His 162 wRC+ at the time of the trade would be a career-high over a full season, as would his .305/.388/.630 slash. He is also walking more than he ever has in his career (12.5 percent) and striking out less than he ever has.
And he’s now a Diamondback.
OFFICIAL: #Dbacks acquire outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Tigers in exchange for infielders Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 18, 2017
For the Cleveland Indians, the immediate impact of this trade will hopefully mean a better time against the American League Central. In 43 games against their division rivals this season, the Indians are 23-20; against the Tigers, specifically, the Indians are 6-6.
The Indians have been maddeningly inconsistent this season, but with the Chicago White Sox deep into a rebuild and the Minnesota Twins too young to truly compete, it shouldn’t be too hard to stumble to a division win, even if it isn’t pretty.
Detroit still has a ways to go before they deal off every part of their core that brought them an American League pennant in 2012 and division titles in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Now that Martinez is gone, it may only be a matter of time before the likes of Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and others are off the Tigers and the fire sale truly begins.
...unlike those brilliant Kansas City Royals, who seem bound and determined to be buyers at the deadline, despite every piece of their core leaving for free agency after this year. Don’t listen to the haters, KC, you got this. Heck yeah.