Monday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that scouts were hearing the Tigers were so impressed by young Eugenio Suarez they might be open to dealing Jose Iglesias, their incumbent shortstop sidelined in 2014 by injured shins.
But, would the Tigers really deal the prize they acquired last July at this time while he's currently injured? That concept seems a bit farfetched on both fronts, yet is still worth a risk/benefit analysis. Below, some pros and cons of another potential Iglesias move during the 2014 trade deadline.
Pro #1: Iglesias is Detroit's best available trade chip. It's likely that even while injured, the pull of Iglesias becoming the best defensive shortstop in the game could still demand a few major-league ready young or established talents. If Iglesias is truly available, it could open the Tigers up to a variety of moves in the week ahead, all of which could help the team achieve its goals of getting better both this season and in the years ahead.
Con #1: Trading Iglesias now would be selling extremely low. Still, the injuries have cast a nasty pall over Iglesias's future development. Many wonder if he will be able to adequately recover from injuries, or if he's even injury prone. Knowing this, would rival GM's really engage the Tigers in serious talks regarding a player who won't be of use for them until 2015? Wouldn't they want to wait to see Iglesias in action before making that call? One would have to think so.
Pro #2: Coming from a position of excess, Detroit could afford the move, especially if Iglasias never recovers. With Suarez filling in great and young Dixon Machado currently playing well in Erie, it's not like Detroit doesn't have middle infield depth in the system. Whether it's a move to deal Iglesias or Suarez, the team could trade a player and still have fantastic depth at the position. Besides, Iglasias might be damaged goods anyway.
Con #2: Still, Iglesias might be the best shortstop in the system, both now and in the future. Defensively, Iglesias is probably responsible for preventing at least 1-2 runs per-game. While his offensive game might never be as consistent, having an eraser up the middle is something teams covet. Iglesias isn't old, either, meaning he could have plenty of years left as Detroit's shortstop of the future providing the legs hold up.
Pro #3: A log-jam at shortstop would be solved. At some point, even if Iglesias returns, someone is going to have to be dealt. Doing so now would help solve the problem of who goes when, while allowing the Tigers to add a quality piece for this season's stretch run. It could be a win-win from a roster standpoint.
Con #3: What would the Tigers actually get in return? Is there a position of need currently worth dealing a top position player for? Sure, the Tigers could use another outfielder, powerful left-handed bat or starting pitcher/reliever, but none of those needs is screaming for a fix that would result in the team dealing Iglesias this week. Better to wait, be prudent and see what's available later on.
Final Take: Cafardo never explicitly says when the Tigers might consider dealing Iglesias. Doing so now would require an opposing GM to take a significant leap of faith at the trade deadline. That's possible with rebuilding teams out of the hunt, but considering the specter cast by injury, still not plausible. It's more likely that one of Suarez, Iglasias or Machado go in the offseason as part of a bigger move designed to net a bigger fish. Right now, the Tigers will likely be content to hold on to everyone and let the chips fall where they may later on.
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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