By: Will Burchfield
Last week, Al Avila indicated the Tigers won’t trade Justin Wilson if they aren’t presented with a great offer.
Just how great?
According to Anthony Fenech of the Free Press, the Tigers are seeking a return similar to what the Yankees received last summer for four-time All-Star Aroldis Chapman.
The Cubs sent the Yanks three prospects, headlined by highly-regarded shortstop Gleyber Torres, and a big league-proven arm in Adam Warren.
At the time of the trade, Torres was the No. 1 prospect in the Cubs’ organization and No. 24 overall, according to MLB.com. Outfielder Billy McKinney, also packaged in the deal, was the Cubs’ No. 5 prospect.
It bears mention that Avila, while driving a hard bargain on Wilson last week, stopped short of saying the Tigers expect him to net the same haul as Chapman or Andrew Miller.
(The Yankees dealt Miller to the Indians for four prospects, including Cleveland’s No. 1, Clint Frazier, and No. 5, Justus Sheffield.)
“We’re not gonna say [like] Chapman and Miller, but quite frankly once you get past Chapman and Miller when you compare it to last year, he’s a great pitcher,” said Avila.
Still, if the Tigers are looking for even a similar haul, they may have a hard time finding it.
As well as Wilson has pitched this season, he has nowhere near the track record as Chapman or Miller. Nor does he have the same electrifying stuff. Chapman and Miller were proven stars when they hit the trade market last year. Wilson could be seen as a good reliever having a great year.
Yes, Wilson is controllable through 2018 whereas Chapman was a two-month rental. But the Cubs believed Chapman was the final piece to a puzzle 108 years in the making, and they paid accordingly. There is no such taker for Wilson this year.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine any team believing that Wilson is the make-or-break addition to a World Series run. He hasn’t built up that kind of reputation around the league.
His numbers this year? Fantastic: 2.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 12.6 K/9.
His numbers the three years prior: Not quite the same: 3.81 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 9.6 K/9.
Wilson’s a valuable trade chip, make no mistake about it, but not to the level of Chapman or Miller.
There are a number of teams reportedly interested in Wilson, including the Astros, Red Sox, Brewers, Nationals, Dodgers, Rays and Yankees.