Welcome back to the 29 trades in 29 days series. Every day, I will be taking a look at a new MLB team in an effort to find a trade package that makes sense for the Kansas City Royals to hypothetically pursue. For some ground rules and an example, check out the first installment of the series. Today, let's continue our run with the American League Central as I examine a possible trade involving the Detroit Tigers.
This next trade is probably the dullest out of any of the ones I’ve done before and it pretty much all boils down to one simple reason. Both the Royals and the Tigers are operating in the same area when it comes to their rebuilds, as they are waiting for young talent to emerge out of the minor leagues. Throw in the fact that these teams finished next to each other in the standings, and there’s not much reason for these two to help one another.
Luckily for the Royals, they have the prospect of the year coming up next season in Bobby Witt Jr. while the Tigers will probably have to sit back and wait for Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene to work their way through the minors. Both of these clubs also have top-10 farm systems, meaning that there are probably not any top-tier caliber prospects that’ll be exchanging hands either.
Quite honestly, a trade between these two clubs is the least likely to happen but in the spirit of trying to drum something up, let's see if we can strike some sort of deal here.
Detroit Tigers Receive: LHP Angel Zerpa
Kansas City Royals receive: LHP Matthew Boyd
This is the most likely trade I could drum up between these two sides and the logic itself isn’t too far out there. The Royals are looking for experienced starting pitching to help bolster their rotation. The Tigers are looking to get younger when it comes to their starting staff, as they’ll be losing Wily Peralta and Jose Urena this offseason.
Enter Angel Zerpa and Matthew Boyd.
Zerpa only pitched one game this season for KC, but he was impressive. He pitched five innings of scoreless baseball, struck out four batters and put himself into the conversation of making the 40-man roster out of spring training. Boyd, after a bit of an up and down start to his career, managed to put together a very solid season for the Tigers despite his 3-8 record. In 2021, he put up a 3.89 ERA with an ERA+ of 109 — the highest mark of his seven-year career. Outside of this one good season, his career ERA was 5.08 with an ERA+ of 89, and both his FIP and WHIP backed up his struggles as well.
The question for the Royals is whether or not they should trade a pitcher that does show potential in order to gain a possible upgrade immediately? This move only really makes sense if the team signs Boyd to a new deal, as he’s set to hit to open market next year. There have been plenty of one-start wonders in the Royals' past, with Glenn Sparkman and Eric Skoglund being prime examples of pitchers who had one good start and not a ton else when it came to their Royals careers.
Again, this isn’t a trade that is going to set the baseball world ablaze. With that said, it's the trade that is reasonable between these two sides.