Alex is going to be getting his ninja title back. I never saw this coming.
It looks like a pretty terrific trade from the Blue Jays end, getting a Top 100 prospect for a guy who hasn't come anywhere close to fulfilling his potential. I don't know how Alex talked the Tigers into that. And we get our first Devon since Devon White.
Minor Leager tracked down the last trade between the Tigers and the Jays, almost 9 years ago to the day:
November 10, 2005: The Toronto Blue Jays purchased John McDonald from the Detroit Tigers.
We had traded McDonald to the Tigers in July and then got him back.
The first thing that struck me about this trade is that the Jays clearly think that Dalton Pompey is ready to play center field in the majors. I figured Gose and Pompey (and perhaps Kevin Pillar) would go into spring training battling for the job, but now it looks like it is Dalton's for the taking.
In Gose, the Tigers get someone that can play defense in CF. They have a lot of space to cover out there in center in their home park. If I'm them, I'd much rather have Gose chasing balls in CF, than Rajai Davis. Or, at least, I'd rather have Gose handling the lions share of a platoon with Davis.
And,I guess, the Tigers are thinking that they enough other guys that can hit, they can carry Gose's bat. For the Jays Gose hit .234/.301/.332 with 34 stolen bases, caught 11 times, in 202 major league games. I would think Gose will platoon with Davis. Gose line against RHP is .241/.316/.350., still not great but apparently the Tigers are willing to live with it.
Gose has had some attitude issues with the Jays, or at least with manager Marty Brown. He, apparently, sulked some when he was sent down to the minors.
"Anthony is a true center fielder than can provide us with above average defense in center field with a good arm. He possesses above average speed and can steal bases at the Major League level. He swings the bat from the left side and we feel that he will continue to improve his offensive game."
Devon Travis was expendable for the Tigers because he's blocked from playing second by Ian Kinsler. They did have Travis play 3 games in center field in Double-A Erie, maybe thinking he could play outfield for them, but, other than those 3 games, Devon has only played second base in the minors.
It's hard not to like a guy that some power (29 home runs in 257 minor league games), gets on base (.388 OBP) and has some speed (41 steals), and plays pretty good defense at second.
This is what John Sickels had to say about Devon Travis back on April 3rd:
4) Devon Travis, 2B, Grade B-: Hit .350 with 16 homers in A-ball, excellent plate discipline, stole 22 bases, played good defense. Rorschach test player. How did he last until the 13th round in the '12 draft? Is he an underrated athlete who was unfairly skipped over in the draft due to his 5-8 size? Or is he just a polished poor tools college guy beating up low-level pitching?
What you think of Travis says more about you than it does about Travis. Personally I like him: I had him rated as a Sleeper Alert guy entering last season, not just because of his numbers but because I thought the tools were underrated, too. He certainly lived up to that. Let's see how he does in Double-A.
Travis was number 84 on the Baseball America top 100 prospects list and bluejays.com has Devon sitting in the number 9 spot on their top 20 Blue Jays prospects, sitting between Franklin Barreto and D.J. Davis. Baseball America had him as the the Tigers top prospect:
1. Devon Travis, 2B/OF: Travis was named the franchise's Minor League Player of the Year following the 2013 season. He hit .351 with 16 home runs, 76 RBIs, 22 steals and a .936 OPS in 2013 while splitting time between West Michigan and Lakeland.
I would think that Travis would go into spring training with a good shot at winning the starting role at second base on the major league team, unless Alex makes some other moves.
"Like I told him on the phone, I don't know what's going to happen these next few months in the off-season," said GM Alex Anthopoulos. "One, we like him, he's a baseball player, does a lot of things well, the guys who get excited about him think he can be a (Jose) Altuve type ... because he's shorter in size. He's always hit and he's someone that's going to come into spring training and depending on what happens in the off-season, he may have a chance to win a job unless we go out and add someone else in trade or sign a free agent."
I could do without the 'he's a baseball player' line, it gives me Buck and Pat flashbacks.
Here is Devon's minor league numbers.