The last thing the Detroit Tigers need to open the 2017 MLB season is to see one of their star players begin the year on the injury list. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is going to happen. According to a MLB Trade rumors report, right fielder JD Martinez could miss the entire first month of the season after suffering a sprain in his right foot.
MLB expert Jason Beck tweeted that Martinez has a sprain of the lisfranc ligament in his right foot and could miss the entire month of April. With all of the improvements the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians have made over the offseason, the Tigers need to make a move as soon as possible if they are going to compete with the Tribe in the AL Central. The Tigers slugging outfielder will require a cast for seven to ten days before starting any kind of rehabilitation program.
So with Martinez on the shelf for possibly the first 25-30 games, what will the Detroit Tigers do to fill his spot?
Many Detroit fans were left shaking their heads when the Tigers traded veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin over the winter. Maybin seemed to be a perfect fit for the Tigers leadoff spot, and he definitely grew into a fan favorite in Motown. Now with Maybin gone and Martinez hurt, the options don’t look so great.
Detroit will now need to fill two outfield positions in a hurry – with their options being Tyler Collins, Mikie Mahtook or JaCoby Jones. The Tigers also could turn to Alex Presley or Steven Moya to possibly take over in right field as well.
Detroit is once again expected to contend in the AL Central in 2017, but with the big holes in the outfield now, could they be thinking about a possible trade to fill the vacancy?
How about Andrew McCutchen in the old English D?
McCutchen has had trade rumors swirling around him before spring training even began, and it has been no secret that he isn’t exactly the happiest camper for the Pittsburgh Pirates right now.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicates that McCutchen recently said in an interview with the USA Today that he is not happy with Pirates’ management. For starters, the team has moved McCutchen from centerfield to right field against his wishes. Pittsburgh has also made no bones about their desire to try and trade McCutchen, as they have aggressively looked to attempt to deal him during the offseason. While McCutchen knows baseball is a business first and foremost, he still is hurt by the way management has dealt with him over the past year.
“It hurts. Of course, it hurts,” McCutchen told USA Today. “It stings. I’m not to the point of being upset and mad about it, but I’m not smiling about it. And I’m not walking around saying everything’s great, either.”
The ugly fact of the business side of sports has always been the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately factor and coming off of his worst season, McCutchen knows this.
So if the Pirates were thinking of dealing McCutchen anytime soon, should the Tigers jump in? Absolutely. Trading Maybin was a bizarre move, but losing JD Martinez is huge. With the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals in the same division as the Tigers, Detroit can not afford to get off to a horrible start.
With all the starts on this team, including Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez, adding a solid figure like McCutchen could be what Detroit needs to make another run at the postseason.
McCutchen wants to play centerfield, and Detroit needs a centerfielder. That’s called a win-win situation. An outfield of Upton, McCutchen, and Martinez could compete with the best in the majors.
Since coming over to the Detroit Tigers from the Houston Astros, JD Martinez has become one of the best hitters in all of baseball. He owns a.299/.357/.540 batting line with 83 home runs over the past three seasons.
[Featured Image by Leon Halip/Getty Images]