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Dodgers Trade Rumors: LA Interested in Tigers SP Matthew Boyd

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2019

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JUNE 02: Matthew Boyd #48 of the Detroit Tigers walks to the dugout after the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on June 02, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Logan Riely/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly showing interest in Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matthew Boyd ahead of the July 31 MLB trade deadline.

Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reported the Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays are among the teams "tracking" Boyd.

The 28-year-old left-hander is enjoying his best season in the majors. He's posted a 3.87 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 142 strikeouts in 107 innings across 18 starts. His 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings rank fourth among qualified MLB pitchers, per FanGraphs.

The Tigers must determine whether that success represents a sell-high opportunity or if he can continue to pitch at that level moving forward.

Boyd entered the year with a 5.07 career ERA, and his 4.87 xFIP across his first four seasons suggests it was truly lackluster performance and not a run of bad luck.

That said, the underlying numbers indicate his improvement this year is no fluke. His swinging strike percentage is up to 13.9 percent (career 10.5 percent), and opposing hitters are making contact with his pitches 72.1 percent of the time (career 78.1 percent), according to FanGraphs.

Combined with the fact that he's under team control for three more years, trading him is a tough call for the struggling Tigers.

Detroit owns a 28-57 record, the third-worst mark in the majors, and has virtually no hope of making the playoffs coming out of the All-Star break as its rebuilding process continues.

None of the teams listed as interested in Boyd are in dire need of rotation help, though.

The Dodgers rank second in starter ERA, while the Rays (first) and Astros (sixth) are also in the top 10. The Braves are 17th in that category but signed Dallas Keuchel in June.

It's unclear whether those organizations would be willing to part with a top-end prospect or multiple second-tier prospects for a pitcher who would slot in near the bottom of their rotations. The Tigers shouldn't accept anything less, though.

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