A Braves-Tigers trade for a real ace after Max Fried injury

Detroit Tigers ace Eduardo Rodriguez is finally pitching up to his potential after signing a huge free-agent contract in the Motor City. Could he be traded to the Braves?

Yes, I know. As fun as it is for the Tigers to be relevant again in the Motor City, we have to be realistic. The Tigers are hot right now, but when looking at the depth of this team, eventually they’ll falter, even in the lackluster AL Central.

So, with that in mind, should Detroit just trade ace Eduardo Rodriguez now? E-Rod has been among the best pitchers in baseball over his last few starts. While I’d love to believe that’ll continue, the more likely option is that he comes back down to earth a bit prior to the trade deadline.

Trading Rodriguez while his value is highest is what a good general manager would do, or at least consider. The Tigers are more than a few pieces away from a legitimate contender. Scott Harris knows this.

FanSided’s Roger Castillo came to the same conclusion in his recent article on the subject:

“To be blunt, Detroit is not yet equipped to contend and needs more assets. Lefty Tarik Skubal, who performed solidly before a last-season injury, is expected to resume bullpen work soon. Depending on his progress, there’s no urgency for Detroit to deal Rodriguez.”

What would a Braves-Tigers trade for Eduardo Rodriguez look like?

The Atlanta Braves are a good suitor for Rodriguez, as they just placed Max Fried on the injured list for the second time. Kyle Wright is out until August, as well.

Any trade for Rodriguez would likely require some young MLB talent in return. Atlanta’s farm system is rather barren, but there are some players who would bring back a pitcher like E-Rod in return.

Tigers Get

SS, Vaughn Grissom

OF, Jesse Franklin V

C, Tyler Tolve

Braves Get

SP, Eduardo Rodriguez

Vaughn Grissom was the darling of the offseason for Braves fans, as they assumed he would replace Dansby Swanson at shortstop. That hasn’t materialized, as Grissom has struggled to adapt to the position defensively. Orlando Arcia and Braden Shewmake are now above him on the depth chart for a reason. However, Grissom has plenty of potential at the plate, and if A.J. Hinch can find a position for him, he’ll be productive in any lineup.

Franklin V is a capable, athletic outfielder with some holes in his swing. He missed the majority of the 2020 and 2021 season with injuries, which explains his fall down the organizational rankings. Still, Atlanta is bullish on Franklin and thinks he can be an MLB outfielder. We’ll find out in Detroit.

Tolve offers some organizational depth at catcher, where the Tigers are relatively thin. He has at least two prospects in front of him in Atlanta.

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