Four Second Basemen Tigers Can Acquire To Compete With Dixon Machado
The Detroit Tigers recently traded their starting second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Los Angeles Angels, and now are in the market for a veteran to compete with their other Major League second baseman, Dixon Machado.
While the Tigers are rebuilding, it wouldn’t hurt to acquire a veteran or two to help mentor the younger guys that will filter into the Major League roster within the next few years. This is part of the reason I suggested Detroit as a possible destination for Rafael Palmeiro should he actually make a comeback.
With this information in mind, let’s run down four second basemen the Tigers can acquire through trade or free agency to compete with Dixon Machado.
1) Chase Utley, Free Agent
Chase Utley is currently a free agent, and after his struggles with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, he might be a cheap grab for Detroit. Utley hit 8 home runs and drove in 34 runs while slashing .236/.324/.405 in 127 games.
Utley began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003. He became a main stay with the Phils in 2006 when he was an All-Star and finished top ten in the NL MVP voting. He won the World Series with the Phillies in 2008 and went back with the team in 2009, which was a losing effort.
Utley was then traded to the Dodgers in 2015 and assisted the team to the postseason. They lost to the New York Mets in the 2015 NLDS and the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 NLCS before beating Chicago in the 2017 NLCS. Utley’s shot at a second championship was vanquished by the Houston Astros in seven games this past October/November.
Utley is a World Champion and can be a vastly important leader in this rebuilding clubhouse. As for questions about whether he wants to play, he turned down a chance to be Gabe Kapler’s bench coach in Philadelphia, stating that he intends to play in 2018.
2) Johnny Giavotella, Free Agent
Johnny Giavotella spent 2017 with the Baltimore Orioles, but only registered 10 at-bats. He spent two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels before joining Baltimore, and handled himself well with the glove. His offensive production is minuscule, having just 318 hits in seven big league seasons. It’s quite possible that Detroit can sign Giavotella on a minor league contract with Major League incentives.
Giavotella may not be a veteran, but he is a serviceable second baseman who can play a few other infield spots.
3) Starlin Castro, Miami Marlins
Out of the four on this list, this one may be a bit out of the Tigers reach, both in prospects and in financial terms. Castro, who was apart of the Giancarlo Stanton blockbuster trade, has two years left and a third year option on his contract. He’ll make $10M in 2018, $11M the year after, and his option sits at $16M with a $1M buyout. The Marlins are now looking for the best prospects in any trades, so that might deter Detroit.
However, if Al Avila can work out a deal where Miami will pay a bit of the salary and/or the Tigers aren’t sending their top prospects, I believe this could be worth exploring. However, chalk this one up as “extremely unlikely”.
4) Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies
The Tigers could swing a deal for Cesar Hernandez, who was connected to them last year in Ian Kinsler trade discussions. Hernandez is going to make $5.1M in 2018 and is under arbitration control for another two seasons. Hernandez, 27, has a superb glove, but a question mark at the plate.
The Phillies may sell low on Hernandez with their second baseman of the future, Scott Kingery, rising through the minors rather quickly and could make his debut in 2018.
Featured Photo Credit: Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group
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