Nearly 20 Former Tigers Filling Prominent Roles On Playoff Contenders

By: Will Burchfield
@burchie_kid

It’s a staggering number, when you stop and think about it. And though it carries a few caveats, the fact remains that 18 former Tigers are playing prominent roles in baseball’s playoff race as the stretch run begins.

In fact, every division leader has at least one player who used to call Comerica Park home. Toss in a couple wild card contenders from each league, and there are enough one-time Tigers to nearly field a full team.

This isn’t an across-the-board case of the Tigers misjudging talent, although a couple such incidents stand out. Nor is it true that every player in question found immediate success on his new team.

But as the Tigers’ rebuild begins in earnest, it will become more and more common to see players who once wore the Old English ‘D’ chasing championships in different uniforms. Might as well familiarize yourself with this year’s list.

Red Sox, 1st in AL East 

  • Rick Porcello, SP
    • 2017: 9-16, 4.67 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Red Sox in 2014 for Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson and Gabe Speier
  • David Price, SP
    • 2017: 5-3, 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Blue Jays in 2015 for Daniel Norris, Matthew Boyd and Jairo Labourt
    • Currently on DL
  • Doug Fister, SP
    • 2017: 4-7, 4.19 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Nationals in 2013 for Robbie Ray, Steve Lombardozzi and Ian Kroll
    • Placed on waivers in 2017 by the Angels. Selected off waivers by the Red Sox.

Indians, 1st in AL Centeal 

  • Andrew Miller, RP
    • 2017: 4-3, 1.65, 0.79 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Marlins in 2007 as part of the package for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis
    • Traded by the Yankees to the Indians in 2016
    • Currently on DL
  • Austin Jackson, OF
    • 2017: 68 G, .311 AVG, .856 OPS
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Mariners in 2014 as part of the three-team deal that brought Price to Detroit
    • Signed as a free agent with the Indians in 2017

Astros, 1st in AL West 

  • Justin Verlander, SP
    • 2017 (with Tigers): 10-8, 3.82 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Astros on Aug. 31 for one pitching prospect, one catching prospect and one outfield prospect
  • Cameron Maybin, OF
    • 2017 (with Angels and Astros): 97 G, .233 AVG, 30 SB
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Angels in 2016 for prospect Victor Alcantara
    • Placed on waivers on Aug. 31 by the Angels. Selected off waivers by the Astros.

Yankees, 1st in AL Wild Card

  • Chad Green, RP
    • 2017: 3-0, 1.97 ERA, 0.71 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Yankees in 2015 as part of the package for Justin Wilson

Angels, 0.5 GB in AL Wild Card

  • Justin Upton, OF
    • 2017: 129 G, 28 HR, 94 RBI, .901 OPS.
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Angels on Aug. 31 for one pitching prospect

Nationals, 1st in NL East

  • Max Scherzer, SP
    • 2017: 13-5, 2.19 ERA, 0.85 WHIP.
    • Granted free agency by the Tigers in 2014. Signed with the Nationals in 2015.
  • Edwin Jackson, SP
    • 2017 (with Orioles and Nationals): 5-4, 3.62 ERA, 1.36 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Diamondbacks in 2009 as part of the three-team deal that brought Jackson and Scherzer to Detroit
    • Placed on waivers by the Orioles in June. Signed as a free agent with the Nationals.

Cubs, 1st in NL Central

  • Justin Wilson, RP
    • 2017 (with Cubs): 1-0, 5.56 ERA, 1.94 WHIP
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Cubs on July 31 for two infield prospects
  • Alex Avila, C/1B
    • 2017 (with Cubs): 23 G, .250 AVG, .798 OPS
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Cubs on July 31 for two infield prospects

Dodgers, 1st in NL West

  • Curtis Granderson, OF
    • 2017 (with Mets and Dodgers): 126 G, 23 HR, 60 RBI
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Yankees in 2009 as part of the three-team deal that brought Jackson and Scherzer to Detroit
    • Traded by the Mets to the Dodgers on Aug. 19 for a player to be named later

Diamondbacks, 1st in NL Wild Card

  • Robbie Ray, SP
    • 2017: 12-5, 2.80 ERA, 1.15 WHIP.
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Diamondbacks in 2014 as part of the three-team deal that brought Shane Greene to Detroit
  • J.D. Martinez, OF
    • 2017 (with Diamondbacks): 40 G, 18 HR, 40 RBI, 1.03 OPS
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Diamondbacks on July 18 for three infield prospects
  • Fernando Rodney, RP
    • 2017: 4-3, 4.34 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 34 SV
    • Granted free agency by the Tigers in 2009. Signed with the Angels.
    • Granted free agency by the Padres in 2016. Signed with the Diamondbacks.

Brewers, 1.5 GB in NL Wild Card

  • Corey Knebel, RP
    • 2017: 1-2, 1.25 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 32 SV
    • Traded by the Tigers to the Rangers in 2014 as part of the package for Joakim Soria
    • Traded by the Rangers to the Brewers in 2015

In total, that’s seven starting pitchers, six position players and five relievers. Some of them seem destined to meet in the postseason, at which point Tigers fans will have to choose sides. Justin Verlander versus Max Scherzer in Game 7 of the World Series.

Who ya got?

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