JaCoby Jones’ Lip’s Loss Could be Leonys Martin’s Gain

Last we checked, surprising Tigers’ outfielder JaCoby Jones was drilled right in the face with a 90+ mph fastball. 

OH LORT. And since no one but Mike Matheny can take a pitch off the teeth and keep playing, it’s highly likely that Jones will hit the DL, leaving an already John-Waters-mustache-thin outfield even thinner. Seriously, we’re looking at an outfield of Tyler Collins, Andrew Romine, and Justin Upton, with…I don’t know…Alex Pressley? Steven Moya? The pitcher formerly known as Anthony Gose the Outfielder?

Well, MLive Tigers beat writer Evan Woodbery brought up a pretty interesting transaction the Seattle Mariners made today:

To which I began to think:

And really, it’s not a bad idea: Leonys Martin is off to a slow start this year, both offensively and defensively, which doesn’t work for the Mariners at this point in time as they’re making a push in the AL West. Combined with that sense of urgency comes a suddenly-crowded roster that needs both full-time at bats for Mitch Haniger and Taylor Motter.

This just seems like a puzzle with easily-fittable pieces, kinda like the Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder trade several years ago (where I also expressed a liking to ol’ Leonys): the Mariners need to unload a body, and the Tigers desperately need a capable one. The Tigers have some excess bullpen arms in need of a change of scenery (think Bruce Rondon or — God willing — Anibal Sanchez), and the Mariners’ bullpen is sitting with a WAR of -0.4. It’d be a pretty low-risk, high-reward deal for both teams which simply need to move pieces around to get something in return.

Martin would be an instant upgrade over every outfielder whose named doesn’t rhyme with “Bupton,” with sterling defensive peripherals every year since he became a full-time regular in Texas.

And if the UZR isn’t alluring enough, check out all the plays that dude made out of his zone. Hell, check this out for a sampling of his prowess:

And again, the dude’s got unreal speed both in the outfield and on the basepaths (he’s 112 for 146 in his career, 42 for 54 in ’15-’17), and a burgeoning power profile (last year his flyball rate was 36.8% with a 43.2% groundball rate, and he had a nearly 20% line drive rate).

He’s young enough (29) to still provide decent CF skills, and with an obvious need on Detroit’s part, why not invest now while the market is good?



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