Destabilizing speculation

Tigers nominate JaCoby Jones for assignment

The Tigers ad they select the right-handed contract Jason foley of Toledo Triple-A. To create a roster space of 40 players, they designate an outfielder JaCoby Jones for assignment. In addition, right Michel fulmer was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 3, with a sprained right shoulder. As expected, José Ureña was reinstated from IL to take Fulmer’s place on the active list.

The designation of Jones is a surprise. Acquired from Pirates at the 2015 trade deadline in exchange for Joakim SoriaJones has appeared in the major leagues with Detroit in each of the past six seasons. He was a fairly consistent contributor between 2018-21, starting about half of the team’s games between center and left field. Overall, Jones only managed a mark of 0.219 / 0.282 / 0.389 (78 wRC +) during that time, albeit with intermittent lightning bolts strong and defensive enough to keep the Detroit front office intrigued.

Overall, advanced defensive measures praised Jones’ glove work between center and left field in 2018. The Tigers have bet he could play at center field full-time after this season, but the measures all suggest that it dropped quite significantly in this regard between 2019-21. Jones turned out to be just as inconsistent on the other side of the ball. Despite consistently high strikeout rates, the right-handed hitter has at times shown enough hitting to be a productive hitter. This was especially true in 2020, when Jones hit 0.268 / 0.333 / 0.515 out of 108 plaque appearances before suffering a season-ending hand fracture.

Because as strong as Jones started the 2020 season, he opened 2021 with an absolutely dismal start to the plate. He only hit 0.170 / 0.210 / 0.250 in 105 flat trips, which led the Tigers to demote him to Toledo. Things haven’t improved much with the Mud Hens, as Jones is off to a .205 / .255 / .364 start in the minors, where he was struck at bat in 18 of his first 47 appearances at home plate.

The Tigers will now have a week to trade Jones or place him on outright waivers. Any team claiming waivers from Jones would shoulder the remaining portion of his $ 2.65 million (roughly $ 1.7 million) salary. Given Jones’ immense struggles this season, it seems unlikely that another club will file a claim, but it is at least possible that the Tigers will agree to pay some of that money in exchange for a prospect if a rival team has an interest in acquiring Jones through a small business.

The most likely outcome is that Jones will erase the waivers and be sent directly to Toledo. As a player who has between three and five years of MLB service, Jones technically has the right to refuse a minor league assignment and elect free agency. However, that would require losing the rest of his guaranteed salary, so Jones would almost certainly take an outright assignment and look to return to Detroit at some point this season.

Foley, a 25-year-old reliever, is now in line to make his major league debut. In their drafting of Tiger Farm SystemFanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein note that Foley runs in the 96-99 mph range with his fastball. Longenhagen and Goldstein call Foley a potential ‘fundamental part of the Tigers’ enclosure,’ but they note that his relatively advanced age and history of injuries, including Tommy John surgery in 2018, adds some risk to the profile. Foley pitched 10 four-runner innings with 10 strikeouts and four walks in Triple-A this season, his first crack at the top underage level.

Comment here

placeholder="Your Comment">