OT: Report - Tigers trade Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the Cubs

Submitted by ckersh74 on July 30th, 2017 at 11:52 PM
Okay, here it is. Per Lynn Henning (who I despise) on Twitter:
Cubs get: Justin Wilson and Alex Avila
Tigers get: Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes, and PTBNL or cash.
Candelario is arguably the Cubs' #1 prospect, a 3B in AAA. Paredes is an 18 year old SS in A-ball.
EDIT: Here's the link to Henning's tweet: 



July 31st, 2017 at 12:17 AM ^

About 5-7 years ago we had 3 CAN'T-MISS!!!!! shortstop prospects.....and they missed about as badly as Brandon Inge swinging at a curveball. Brent Dlugach, Danny Worth and Cale Iorg, anyone? 

My initial impression is that Candelario might be another Castellanos. Decent stick, below average fielder. 

Paredes is in A-ball. He could be the next Omar Vizquel. He could hit .135 in high-A next year and never be heard from again. He's a complete crapshoot. 


July 31st, 2017 at 8:17 AM ^

Danny Worth gave us an amazing pitching performance or two. So there's that.

For the fucking life of me I can't imagine why we're stocking middle infielders in the minors. Ok, replacement for Kinsler, Castellanos, and Iglesias. Trade chips? Is there such a dearth of SS prospects that we'll be able to flip all these guys for SOMEONE FUCKING USEFUL??!!

Has Avila made one trade that actually helped us? Honestly, I can't recall one...


July 31st, 2017 at 8:42 AM ^

Well Avila did trade for his son this year...  nevermind, it wasn't a trade and he then gave him away for yet another shortstop.  If he's worried about Kinsler's longevity, shouldn't he expand his vision and maybe get, you know, a second baseman?  And what about backup catching now that McCann is there full time with his lifetime .242 BA?


July 31st, 2017 at 9:04 AM ^

that it is the most difficult defensive position on the spectrum so often times if a guy isn't good enough or if he is blocked it's much easier to slide him down the scale to another position - 2B and CF are 2 of the most frequent moves. Problem is that if the bat isn't premium then they are limited to the middle of the field because the power guys play the corners.

That's why if you look at the international free agent signings a majority of guys coming from Latin America are SS.

You know like the comment right below said the same exact thing......


July 31st, 2017 at 9:28 AM ^

For the fucking life of me I can't imagine why we're stocking middle infielders in the minors.

I asked myself the same question when the entire return on JD was infielders.  It turns out that our infield pipeline is absolute horseshit.  Or was.  Toledo didn't have an infielder under 30.  Kody Eaves is the only one hitting in Erie.  The shortstop situation in Lakeland was unspeakably shitty.  West Michigan started off the season with decent hopes and that crashed and burned by June.

We're stocking middle infielders in the minors because on July 1 there was literally nobody you could expect to make any kind of real major-league contribution within three years (that would be Eaves, who is nothing close to a guarantee, after which, zip, zilch, nada), and Kinsler won't be around forever and Castellanos probably isn't a long-term solution at third.

If you can't imagine why we're loading up on infielders, realize that it's because our infield up and down the farm system was the absolute worst in baseball, probably by a very long distance.


July 31st, 2017 at 3:35 PM ^

Sounds like Avila subscribes to the old adage that you need to be "strong up the middle" to win championships.  Years of "reloading" a team that couldn't quite get it done have taken their toll on the farm system.  

Sadly, the Tigers are going to have to go through a year or two of being an "AAA team for contenders" for a year or two: maybe even three.  When they finally hire a new manager, he will hopefully be set up to succeed like Joe Maddon was in Tampa Bay before they pulled the plug on him.

The next manager will also get something Maddon never had in Tampa Bay: a high payroll to attract free agents.


July 31st, 2017 at 3:42 PM ^

Sounds like Avila subscribes to the old adage that you need to be "strong up the middle" to win championships.

I wouldn't say that necessarily; the top two prospects (Lugo and Candelario) are third basemen.  Plus, minor league shortstops are like high school quarterbacks - often they're playing short because they're the best athlete (or infielder) on the team.  Later on they might move somewhere else.  I think it's just that the infield stinks up and down the farm system and Avila has decided to use this opportunity to restock it.


July 31st, 2017 at 11:17 AM ^

Is set in stone.  Jose Ramirez made it to the majors as a SS before Francisco Lindor did.  It all worked out, Jose plays 3rd and 2nd base when needed, and Frankie is playing SS because he was obviously better in the field.

Odds are that an infielder who is good enough to play SS could easily get moved over to 3rd or 2nd.

Obviously not every player turns out exactly like they are supposed to, so you stack the deck and just bet that one of them will.


July 31st, 2017 at 2:45 PM ^

Maybe before you judge Avila poorly, take a look at the farm system.

Prior to these trades, the Tigers had a whopping ZERO infielders (two catchers though) in the top 20 prospects in the organiation. They now have three. In that aspect, Avila did wonders in addressing the weakest link in the entire farm organization with the addition of some quality prospects.

Tigers have top pitching prospects. They had three outfielders in the top 10 of the organization. But ZERO infielders in the top 20. And yet you have people complaining about adding infield prospects.

Maybe, just maybe, if you took the time to do some research before bashing the moves, you'd see that the guy actually knows what he's doing and he is addressing a pressing organizational need.


July 31st, 2017 at 12:01 AM ^

Part II

The thing about having excessing shortstops is this: if it's done PROPERLY (no warranty is implied here with our front office), you can move them in the infield. A SS can be moved to 3B or 2B. It's much easier to do that than to move a 2B, or especially a 3B, to shortstop. You can buy yourself some flexibility there. 


July 31st, 2017 at 2:51 PM ^

Could also move one of them to outfield if needed. There's enough flexibility that you could easily make a lineup with those players.

You're also making the assumption that all of these players will MAKE the majors. Which is statistically unlikely. Odds are maybe one or two of them actually make it to the big leagues and contribute anything of note. Let alone finding a starting role for all four.


July 31st, 2017 at 8:11 AM ^

Exactly. I had this discussion with my girlfriend, who couldn't understand why the Tigers would trade for so many players at the same position, and at the cost of their best relief pitcher.

I appealed to her degree in Economics (UM, Class of 1985), and told her not to think of them as "players," but as "assets." The more valuable assets you have, the more other teams will want them, and the more you can spin them off for players at positions you need.

But isn't that a big gamble?, she asked.

Sure, I replied. Isn't that a big part of Economics?

She's not speaking to me now.


July 31st, 2017 at 3:11 PM ^

Well for starters, that only works if the other teams are willing to give you prospects at the positions you are looking for. If the only interested teams don't have prospects of value at your targeted positions, what do you do?

Then, you have to realize that the Tigers DID trade for players at positions of need. There is a major absence of infield prospects in the organization. And the Tigers were just able to add a few quality prospects with positional flexibility in the weakest part of the farm system.


July 31st, 2017 at 2:40 PM ^

The good thing is, SS/2B are pretty interchangeable. Same with 1st and 3rd. More than one of these prospects have been billed as potential utility infielders. There's also the potential for a switch to the outfield.

There's also the fact that you don't put all of your eggs into one basket. Odds are not all of them will pan out.

Regardless, You have
Candelario (3B/1B)
Parades (SS/2B)
Lugo (3B/SS)
Alcantara (SS/2B)

It's easy to turn that into:
Candelario 1B
Paredes 2B or SS
Lugo 3B
Ancantara 2B or SS

Bam. "Problem" solved.

Everyone Murders

July 31st, 2017 at 12:10 AM ^

I generally like Henning when he writes about the Tigers. When he's knob-gobbling MSU, he's intolerable.

In the meantime, I suppose the Avila Thanksgiving conversation will go something like this -"well son, we had to make a move, since we were running low on shortstop prospects."


July 31st, 2017 at 12:13 AM ^

I remember the Tigers being 5-10 years away from contention......in 2005.

I remember Jhonny Peralta being about to be released because he had a bad first 10 days of spring training.....and then playing here another 3 years.

I remember Joba getting that 5 year, $50 mil contract that SOMEONE was sure to give him.


Lynn Henning wrote all three of those things, in between columns about how the fences were TOO FAR!!! That guy hit the ball a whopping 380 feet and it didn't go into the 14th row!!! No one will EVER hit a home run in Comerica Park......and then Miggy went and won 4 batting titles, 2 HR titles and a Triple Crown. 


July 31st, 2017 at 7:02 AM ^

I think Henning is on balance a pretty good writer, but I lost a lot of respect for him over his HoF tantrum in which he refuses to send in any ballot at all because he can't name more than 10 players.  Most local writers will carry the water a little bit for their local players, if they're deserving; the fact that Alan Trammell had no local-media champion was almost certainly a factor in his failure to be enshrined.  Crossing my fingers and hoping that the Veterans' Committee is smarter than the media and brings Lou along for the ride.


July 31st, 2017 at 12:14 AM ^

Not an Avila fan by any measure but I think he did solid here as the market certainly doesnt look as glamorous as it did last year, look no further than Lucroy. The Rangers traded Brinson and Ortiz last year for him and now theyre getting a PTBNL for him, the market dictates the prices and with that said I think Al did what he could for 1.5 years of Wilson and 2 more months of his son.


July 31st, 2017 at 12:49 AM ^

I think a lot of Tigers fans overrate the value of JD Martinez. Yes, his offense is fantastic but his defense is a liability. You're not gonna get a lot of value out of a rental player who can hit but can't play defense (essentially a DH).

He did get a good value out of a BP arm who has 1.5 year left in his contract and rental backup C who happen to play well this season.


July 31st, 2017 at 12:17 AM ^

"Arguably the Cubs #1 prospect" doesn't meant what it meant three years ago.  He's a back end of the top 100 guy (midseason MLB rankings had him at 92).  Obviously not bad, but people shouldn't think he's Kris Bryant just because he's the Cubs' top guy.  


July 31st, 2017 at 8:18 AM ^

Ah yes, the man who popped out to Gary Templeton in Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. We will always remember him.

Of course, here in metro Detroit, for those unaware, we'll remember him a little better for making us appreciate Alan Trammell even more once Veryzer was traded to Cleveland.

Sac Fly

July 31st, 2017 at 12:37 AM ^

Because the Cubs traded all of their top prospects and a few others got promoted. He isn't a bad player, but he wasn't even in their top 10 last year.

Paredes is the bigger prospect. It will also be years before he makes the league.


July 31st, 2017 at 12:54 AM ^

Yup, Paredes is the one that might come back to sting the Cubs. He'd probably never usurp Addison Russell or Javy Baez, but he could soon be a top100 prospect, which would've given the Cubs more leverage in a trade down the road. He's really starting to shine in A ball.


July 31st, 2017 at 12:45 AM ^

who happen to be pitchers. It's not the time to be upgrading for bullpen when they're playing for the future. Plus they have Fulmer who is young.

Bullpen pitchers are pretty much crapshoot from year to year anyway.


July 31st, 2017 at 5:14 PM ^

Your mistake is trying to address issues on THIS Tigers team with prospects.

If you look at the farm system, the Tigers have a very strong crop of pitchers. Outfielders are pretty good too. Prior to these trades, zero of the top 20 prospects in the organization were infielders.

So maybe you need to realize the front office knows the organization better than you do.


July 31st, 2017 at 12:49 AM ^

Avid Cubs fan here. Jeimer Candelario is a nice player. His hitting hasn't carried over to the bigs when he's been called up (came up bc of injuries a few times). He can play solid defense and switch hits. He probably would've made the roster for a lot of teams, but the Cubs are logjammed with infielders and corner outfielders. He's primarily a 3B, but he can move around (like the Cubs do with most prospects). I don't think he'd ever be much more than a bottom of the order guy, but who knows. He could be a solid utility guy (3B, 1B, 2B, Corner OF). I think the higher ceiling guy is Paredes. He was shaping up to be the next big time SS prospect from the Cubs farm. Theo and his guys have been great at identifying middle infield talent, and they target those guys bc of their flexibility (the idea being that if you can hit and play SS, you can probably field most other positions -- Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Gleyber Torres [who they traded to NY for Chapman last year], and Ian Happ.) I definitely feel worse about losing Paredes than Candy. Mostly because it seemed like Candelario was shaping up to be one of those AAAA guys -- beast in triple A, but underperforming in the bigs.

As for the return, I've read good things about Wilson. It sounds like the Cubs might use him as the closer next year if they can't retain Wade Davis. What are your thoughts on him? Also, is Avila a decent backup catcher? I noticed his offensive numbers were sliding, and I know nothing about his defense ...