MLB Rumors: Tigers receive brutal injury news, but are they selling?
On Wednesday morning, the Detroit Tigers announced that both Eduardo Rodriguez and Riley Greene — their top-two leaders in WAR so far this season — had been placed on the injured list. Rodriguez hurt his left index finger, while Greene suffered a stress fracture. With Detroit hoping to hold on to second place in the AL Central race, or perhaps even usurp the Minnesota Twins, the timing couldn’t be worse.
“I think we have to admit that it’s really frustrating,” A.J. Hinch said. “At the same time, we have to collect ourselves and go out and find a different way.”
For the Tigers, a team that could sell at the trade deadline should things go south, it represents a missed opportunity. This is a club that invested in its roster after the 2021 season, but failed to meet expectations in 2022 despite the additions of Rodriguez and Javy Baez. Now with Scott Harris at the helm, Detroit needs to see what it has in this group, and move from there.
As surprising as this season has been, Harris has a tough call. Rodriguez, specifically, likely has the highest trade value of anyone on the Tigers roster, minus Greene. E-Rod has an opt-out after this season, though he is under contract for three more years if he declines to do so.
Teams like the Braves, Cardinals and more could come calling for Rodriguez, and he could net a return of several top prospects. Parting ways with an ace isn’t easy, but the Tigers need to decide if Rodriguez’s outings are fools’ gold, or a sign of things to come. That’s tougher to do with the right-hander on the IL.