The Detroit Tigers have acquired Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows in exchange for infielder Isaac Paredes and a Competitive Balance Round B draft pick in 2022, the team announced Monday.
Meadows had spent the last three-and-a-half seasons in Tampa Bay after beginning his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Meadows "was getting prominent mention in trade talks" in recent weeks, so the move doesn't come as a surprise. The Philadelphia Phillies were among the teams that inquired about the outfielder, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Scott Lauber.
The 26-year-old had a solid 2021 season, slashing .234/.315/.458 with 27 home runs and 106 RBI in 142 games. He split his time between left field and designated hitter, but the Rays have a little more flexibility entering the 2022 season, leaving Meadows as a possible trade candidate.
With an outfield of Randy Arozarena, Kevin Kiermaier and Manuel Margot, the Rays can possibly use Harold Diaz or even Yandy Diaz as their designated hitter with Meadows now in Detroit.
As for the Tigers, they needed more depth in the outfield with Akil Baddoo, Derek Hill and Robbie Grossman currently first on the depth chart at their respective positions. It's possible Meadows takes over for Hill in center field, or Detroit can shift Baddoo to center and put Meadows in left.
Meadows is under contract through the 2024 season and is set to make $4 million in 2022. He has two years of arbitration in 2023 and 2024.
As for Paredes, he can play second base, third base and shortstop. Last season, he slashed .208/.306/.319 with one home run and five RBI in 23 games. However, it's unclear how he'll fit into a group in Tampa Bay that includes Brandon Lowe, Diaz and Wander Franco.