This article is part of our House of Shlain series.
Some people thought it would never happen again, but alas on Tuesday night the Tigers made a trade with the White Sox for the first time since March 23rd, 1989 and it was a most important trade deadline trade. In fact, it was a three-way trade with the Red Sox getting the biggest name in the deal in starting pitcher Jake Peavy, so there were all kinds of Sox involved. Anyway, the last time the Tigers made a deal with the White Sox the club acquired Kenny Williams, who was promoted to executive vice president of the White Sox last October after 12 seasons as the general manager. It's been quite a while since he played and it took his replacement Rick Hahn just a few months to finally give us the first Tigers-White Sox trade of the 21st century. The drought is over and the Tigers finally have a good fielding shortstop again. Hallelujah! Enough preamble, on to focusing on a few prospects that are on the move this week.
Avisail Garcia, OF, White Sox - Signed for $200,000 out of Venezuela in 2007, Garcia entered this season as the Tigers' consensus No. 2 prospect behind outfielder Nick Castellanos. Detroit doesn't have a very deep farm system, but Garcia would stand out as a top-five prospect in most organizations. Unfortunately for him, the bevy of outfielders ahead of him in the organization (Andy Dirks, Torii Hunter, Matt Tuiasosopo, and Castellanos) made Garcia expendable. He has tools: raw power, arm strength, and speed. He can fake it in center, but given his size (he's 6-foot-4) and arm it's a right field profile all the way. Garcia has a cannon for an arm, just askCoco Crisp and the Athletics, but even with a few more baserunner kills every year, being in a corner puts pressure on the bat and while he has power potential and was hitting .382/.414/.549 in 32 games with Triple-A Toledo there are reasons to doubt Garcia's approach. His minor league career K:BB ratio above A-ball is 70:14 in 87 games and in 53 games with the Tigers over the last two years he has a .269/.309/.354 line and 31:7 K:BB mark. Also, there's this tweet from Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs:
Avisail Garcia has Triple-A's ninth-highest swing rate, 18th-lowest contact rate (sample = 365 players)— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) July 31, 2013
If Garcia, 22, is going to pan out as the White Sox's right fielder of the future he's going to need to be more patient at the dish or at least shorten up and make more contact. Even if he doesn't, it's likely he'll be good for a few bombs against the Tigers over the years. If the White Sox move Alex Rios and insert Garcia as the everyday right fielder he's worth taking a shot on in AL-only leagues for his speed and power, which if he makes enough contact will play better in U.S. Cellular Field than Comerica Park. The White Sox are more than happy to have him after avoiding the possibility of Jake Peavy leaving for nothing as a free agent last winter.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox - Before I get to the other Tigers outfield prospect that was moved this week I'd like to add a speculative note on Bogaerts. With Jose Iglesias leaving the Red Sox and going to Detroit in the three-way deal, there could be playing time opening up for the versatile Bogaerts, who's played both shortstop and third base with Triple-A Pawtucket this year. He's also hitting .279/.380/.483 in 43 games at Triple-A. The Red Sox are going all out to get back to the playoffs and they might need more than Will Middlebrooks and Brandon Snyder at third base. Bogaerts is more than capable and worth a speculative add in redraft formats. Back to the Dave Dombrowski power hour...
Danry Vasquez, OF, Astros - Vasquez, signed for $1.2 million out of Venezuela in 2010 (the largest bonus the Tigers have ever given a Venezuelan amateur), was traded by the Tigers for reliever Jose Veras on Monday. A bat-first outfielder who was playing for West Michigan in the Low-A Midwest League, Vasquez was one of the Tigers' best prospects. Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked Vasquez, 19, sixth in the organization and rated him as a role 50 player. His calling card is his power potential, which hasn't shown up in games just yet. Vasquez was hitting .281/.333/.390 in 96 games with West Michigan after struggling mightily in 29 Midwest League games last season. He has good bat speed, a fluid swing, and he sprays the ball to all fields. Vasquez is a big guy at 6-foot-3 and the expectation is that as he matures he's going to hit for enough power to be a solid corner outfielder. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said: "We are excited to get an outfield prospect of Danry's caliber. He adds to an already formidable group of prospects at the A ball level."
Cody Asche, 3B, Phillies - In a move that may have been made to try to persuade Michael Young to waive his no-trade clause, the Phillies purchased the contract of Cody Asche on Tuesday. Asche is an above-average hitter with a good approach and some power. He hit .300/.360/.513 in 68 Eastern League games last year and continued his success with the bat in the International League this year with a .295/.352/.485 line in 104 games this year. He doesn't project to hit for 20 home runs in the majors, but he'll still provide solid offense for a third baseman with a decent average and doubles. Asche made his major league debut on Tuesday night in a pinch-hitting appearance.