The Detroit Tigers’ off-season of trading has begun.
For their first move today, they traded centerfielder Cameron Maybin to the Los Angeles Angels for minor-league right-handed pitcher Victor Alcantara.
The Angels will exercise Maybin’s $9 million option for 2017.
Alcantara, 23, posted a 4.30 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 29 games – 20 starts – for Double-A Arkansas this season. He is not considered a top prospect. There is no money being exchanged in the deal, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Tigers assIstant general manager David Chadd said they'll get a look at Alcantara as a reliever, too.
"He's got a power arm, 95 to 100. Power slider. Trouble throwing strikes at times. He's gotta get that figured out. He's still young at 23," Chadd said.
In essence, the Tigers simply decided not to pick up Maybin’s option. This was not an unsurprising move, given the team’s plan to trim payroll this off-season in an attempt to become more flexible on and off the field.
In 2016, Maybin posted a career-best offensive season, hitting .315 with an on-base percentage of .383. He hit four home runs and drove in 43 runs.
After returning from a broken wrist and bum shoulder in mid-May, Maybin sparked the team at the top of the batting order with an energizing brand of play mixed with clubhouse leadership.
It showed in the standings: The Tigers were 51-38 when he started this season and 34-9 when he scored a run.
But with a payroll over $200 million, the Tigers needed to trim money somewhere and they decided Maybin, who has been oft-injured throughout his career – including this past season, when he played in just 94 games – was the first move to start the trimming.
The Tigers announced today they will pick up the $6 million option on closer Francisco Rodriguez for next season. The 34-year-old notched 44 saves this year.
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