The Detroit Tigers have a big decision regarding infielder Jonathan Schoop as the July 30th MLB Trade Deadline looms. Schoop has been Detroit’s top offensive threat over the past two seasons but is in the midst of another one-year deal. That may change this coming offseason, though, as he’s hired super-agent Scott Boras to be his representative moving forward.
Boras had quietly been the linchpin to the more recent glory years of Detroit Tigers baseball. Boras represented Hall Of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriquez when he signed his four-year $40-million deal before the 2004 season. Detroit had been historically awful, losing a record 119 games the year prior, but team owner Mike Illitch vowed to spend and turn the dumpster fire into a powerhouse. Rodriquez would be the first of many high-priced Boras free agents the Detroit Tigers would eventually add.
Boras also represented Magglio Ordonez, Max Scherzer, J.D. Martinez, and Prince Fielder, to name a few. Fielder was basically hand-delivered to Ilitch and the Detroit Tigers from Boras after Victor Martinez suffered a season-ending knee injury leading up to the 2012 season.
Boras, the biggest name in the industry, has always had a star-studded Rolodex of clients. Some of the biggest non-Tigers clients past and present are as follows: Alex Rodriquez, Bryce Harper, Jose Altuve, Greg Maddux, and Barry Zito.
Expect Detroit Tigers Infielder Jonathan Schoop To Cash In After Hiring Scott Boras
In 44 games last season with the Tigers, Schoop stashed an impressive line of .278/.324/.475 to go along with eight home runs and 23 runs batted in. That production came on a one-year deal worth $6.1 million.
Schoop seemed like a sure-bet to be re-signed by the Tigers or quickly gobbled up by another franchise looking to add a power-hitting second baseman. Oddly enough, Schoop remained available well into the offseason (perhaps why he’s changed agencies) and was eventually resigned by Tigers GM Al Avila. This time Detroit got the bargain of the offseason signing the 29-year old infielder to another one-year deal worth just $4.5 million.
Will The Detroit Tigers Trade Jonathan Schoop?
That’s the biggest question surrounding the Detroit Tigers leading up to the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline. Schoop has certainly performed well enough in 2021 and should garner plenty of attention over the next couple of weeks. But as manager A.J. Hinch recently mentioned, if you come calling for any of Detroit’s players, be prepared to pay. Hinch has the Tigers overachieving, and the organization is not interested in giving talent away on the bargain annex rack.
Schoop is stashing a line of .280/.323/.465 through 90 games in ’21. He’s picked up right where he left off last season and will be a valuable rental for a playoff-bound team. He’s hit 17 home runs and 56 RBI’s this season.
Although I feel the Tigers are wasting Schoop at first base, knowing he’d be this productive at second. The problem is, the Tigers do not have a long-term answer at either position. That, unless Spencer Torkelson is destined to be the first baseman of the future, and the Tigers are just refusing to admit it for the time being. Schoop as an everyday second baseman would be considered an elite offensive power threat. Imagine if the Tigers could pair his offensive production with a legitimate, traditional first baseman?
To answer my initial question.
I feel the Tigers will be aggressively shopping Schoop around to see what type of prospects they can get as a return for his services. Seeing Schoop hire Boras tells me he’s hoping to cash in this offseason and will likely price himself out of Detroit’s budget, so the organization should be inclined to move him. In return, Detroit will look to add a couple of mid-range prospects, continuing the re-stock the cupboards down on the farm.
Traditionally, teams pay a premium for pitching at the deadline and look for a deal on position players. But perhaps with so much of the league still in the playoff hunt, Detroit will benefit in what I see as a seller’s market come July 30th.
Detroit Tigers 2021 Odds
According to BetMGM, the Detroit Tigers are +10000 to win the American League Central Division, and +50000 to win the World Series.