As the trade deadline approaches, the Detroit Tigers once again will be looking to sell, and their valuable assets include a couple of important bullpen arms.
So far this season, much of the trade rumors surrounding the Detroit Tigers have been concerning either Matthew Boyd or Shane Greene. However, another arm has now seemingly been placed on the Tigers’ trade block, with a couple of teams reportedly interested in reliever Joe Jimenez.
A few days ago, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press hinted that the New York Mets may be interested in acquiring the righty reliever. The Mets are currently in danger of falling out of contention in the very tough NL East, and adding to their bullpen seems likely to be the main priority for New York heading towards the deadline.
Fenech also pointed out that the Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly scouting Jimenez as well. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times also mentioned the Rays’ possible interest in Jimenez, stating they have shown more interest in the late-game reliever than Detroit’s All-Star closer Shane Greene.
If the Rays do decide to pursue a deal for Jimenez or Greene for that matter, it could present a lucrative opportunity for Detroit Tigers GM Al Avila. Tampa has a deep and talented farm system, ranked third in all of baseball in Bleacher Report’s most recent farm system rankings, with eight top 100 prospects currently ranked by MLB Pipeline.
Jimenez currently holds a 4.81 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 33.2 IP so far this season and was an All-Star in 2018. It’s hard to estimate whether he is worth a top 100 prospect, but if the Rays are truly invested in trying to compete in the AL East this year, then Avila could push to acquire a prospect like Ronaldo Hernandez or Vidal Brujan from Tampa in return for the All-Star reliever.
It seems fair to say that not many Detroit Tigers fans really would have predicted at the beginning of the season that Joe Jimenez would become a talked about trade commodity. The Mets are currently under .500 and who knows if they really will stay interested in making any trades. However, if the Rays are really interested in bolstering their bullpen, then they could be a very enticing trade partner.