Detroit Tigers: 3 Trades They Would Regret Not Making

Sean RinehartContributor IIIJuly 30, 2012

Detroit Tigers: 3 Trades They Would Regret Not Making

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    As Tuesday's trade deadline looms, many are wondering if the Tigers are done dealing.

    They were rumored to be looking for a power-hitting right fielder, and they may still be in the market for just that. 

    They have already shown that they have every intent to win this year, as they went out and got Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from the Miami Marlins in exchange for two of the Tigers' top prospects in Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly. 

    Detroit is currently struggling both offensively on the mound.  They have lost four of their last five, and may be looking for one or two more pieces to complete their championship puzzle.  

    While there is every reason to assume that Detroit will stand pat at the deadline, there are some available players who could immediately help spark this team in the final stretch of the regular season.  

    There is no reason for Detroit to think Victor Martinez will return at the end of September at 100 percent. Even though this would be a huge boost, the Tigers must assume he will not be ready.  

    Because of this and their need for an outfielder who can hit, here are three trades that the Tigers would regret not making if they have the opportunity to pull the trigger.  

Reed Johnson

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    One of the players who has been mentioned recently as a possible trade deadline acquisition for the Tigers would be Cubs' outfielder Reed Johnson. 

    Johnson has put up solid numbers this year; he currently has a .307 batting average in 166 at bats.  He has low power numbers, as he only has three home runs and nine doubles, but he has a knack for getting on base and getting hits in clutch situations. 

    There are two benefits for Detroit if they decide to trade for Johnson.

    First of all, Johnson comes relatively cheap, as he is signed for 1.15 million through 2012 and will become a free agent after this season.  Therefore, the Tigers would not have to spend a great deal of money.

    Secondly, he may only cost Detroit two mid-level prospects, which means Nick Castellanos and Bruce Rondon, two of Detroit's future stars, would be safe. 

    While there is no doubt that this would cause a revamping of Detroit's outfield, it would only prove to be a positive move, which may cost Ryan Raburn or Don Kelly their jobs. 

Josh Willingham

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    If the Tigers are truly out to win a World Series this year, and we have every reason to believe they are, Josh Willingham would be an outstanding acquisition.

    He has been at the center of many trade rumors, and while none of them have been in relation to Detroit, there is always an outside chance that the Tigers will look to acquire him. 

    It may be hard to believe that the Twins would trade Willingham to a division rival, but if they are truly in "sell mode," they may look to move him for some younger prospects.

    Willingham is currently hitting .273 with a whopping 27 home runs and 78 RBI.  He would immediately upgrade Detroit's offense in the outfield, but he may also displace Brennan Boesch in right field.  

    He has only spent one season in right field, which was in 2009 with the Washington Nationals.  Willingham played 35 games in right, and did well enough to warrant the move for Detroit.

    In all honestly, there are a plethora of options for Detroit if they decide to trade for the power-hitting outfielder.  Certain players may be relegated to the bench while others may have to move from one position to another.  Sometimes this is what it takes to win a championship. 

    One hurdle for Detroit may be the fact that Willingham will not come cheap, as he is signed through 2014; he will also cost Detroit some of their top players, but we all know that Nick Castellanos is, for all intents and purposes, untouchable. 

    If the Tigers have the opportunity to bring Willingham to Motown for the right price, they should not turn it down.  

Hunter Pence

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    One of the top outfielders who may be relocating by Tuesday's trade deadline is Hunter Pence.

    While he will not come cheap to Detroit and probably cost two to three top prospects, Pence would be a huge spark to a Detroit team that is currently in need of some fire.

    Pence is hitting .268 with 17 home runs and 59 RBI, and he would immediately offer an offensive upgrade over every outfielder outside of Austin Jackson.  

    Ultimately, Pence would most likely become a true rental player for Detroit, as his contract is up at the end of this season.  Therefore, Detroit would have to decide if they would want to give up some of their top prospects for a player who may not be with Detroit for more than four months. 

    We all know that the Tigers have their sights set on a championship this year, and championships often mean taking chances and hoping they pay off. 

    Hunter Pence would be an incredible asset for Detroit in the final push for a division championship, so if they are given the opportunity to acquire him, they cannot afford to turn it down.