By Blake Froling
The Tigers traded outfielder Leonys Martin and minor league pitcher Kyle Dowdy to the Cleveland Indians for shortstop Willi Castro.
This move helps fortify one of the Tigers’ weakest positions in a farm system that’s loaded with pitchers but light on middle infielders. Castro, 21, is the Indians’ No. 8 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He’s a switch-hitter currently batting .245 with five home runs and an OPS of .653 in Double-A Akron.
Martin is in the middle of one of his best seasons as a major leaguer, posting career-highs in OPS (.731) and slugging percentage (.409). His wins above replacement is also the highest since 2014 according to baseball-reference. There were concerns that the Tigers might not be able to move Martin at the deadline because of a recent stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
What’s most appealing about Martin though is his fielding. He leads the American League in outfield assists with nine and is fourth among AL outfielders in ultimate zone rating according to Fangraphs.
Dowdy, the other player the Tigers are shipping to Cleveland, is a 25-year-old pitcher who’s spent time in both Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo this season, posting a 4.74 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 95 innings.
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