The Arizona Diamondbacks have several potentially movable pieces that might be of interest to the Detroit Tigers, including infielders Ryan Roberts and Willie Bloomquist and pitcher Joe Saunders. But what about a deal that ships current Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta to Arizona for Diamondbacks SS Stephen Drew?
That’s the scenario pitched by Fox Sports Arizona’s Jack Magruder, who reported Saturday that the Tigers and D-backs have discussed just such a trade, though Magruder classifies the possible move as a “long shot.”
While apparently unlikely, a trade involving Drew and Peralta would seem to serve both teams. The Tigers are playing Peralta at shortstop, but most scouts believe he is better suited to play third base, a position that is blocked in Detroit because of the winter signing of first baseman Prince Fielder that pushed Miguel Cabrera to third.
The D-backs are in the market for major league-ready players both at shortstop and third base, and they would be willing to move Drew since they are unlikely to exercise his $10 million mutual option for 2013. The Tigers are believed to be less concerned about the money than about Drew’s health in his return from a fractured right ankle.
Drew hit 21 home runs in 2008 and drove in at least 60 runs every year from 2007-10, but he played just 86 games last year before suffering that ankle injury. He just rejoined the Diamondbacks in late June and currently has a .214 average with no homers and six RBI.
Unless a Peralta-for-Drew swap is part of a larger deal, it’s hard to see how this would help the Tigers get better down the stretch. Peralta’s bat has come to life a bit of late — he’s now hitting .275 with six homers and 33 RBI. Drew might provide more of a defensive element to the Tigers’ dynamic, but his career numbers do not outpace Peralta’s by any means; Peralta had 21 homers and a career-high 99 RBIs last season, surpassing Drew’s best RBI total.