Austin Meadows Traded to Detroit Tigers

by Dave Eddy
Austin Meadows traded to the Detroit Tigers

The Tampa Bay Rays have traded Austin Meadows to the Detroit Tigers for Isaac Paredes.

The Tigers energized their fanbase with this surprising move. Meadows was the ninth overall pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2013 MLB Draft.

This trade came out of nowhere but continues the Detroit Tigers trend of opening up their window to start competing in 2022.

In an offseason where they signed Eduardo Rodriguez, Javier Baez, Andrew Chafin, Michael Pineda and traded for Tucker Barnhart, the Tigers look ready to roar again.

Austin Meadows Traded to Detroit Tigers

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Meadows' Career With the Rays

Austin Meadows has played in all or parts of four MLB seasons. Starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2018 before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. Over the course of his tenure at baseball's highest level, he has amassed 70 home runs, 225 RBI and 23 stolen bases while slashing a very respectable .260/.333/.489.

In 2021, Meadows had a bit of a "down" year compared to his breakout 2019 campaign. That said, he still hit 27 home runs, racked up 106 RBI and swiped 4 bags while slashing .234/.315/.458.

Meadows Fit With the Tigers

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This is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Tigers. A lefty, middle of the order, power bat. He is no short-term fix after the Riley Greene injury either. Meadows is just 26 and will make only $4 million for the upcoming season. He will be arbitration-eligible for the second time after this season and is under team control through the 2024 season.

After this trade I see the Detroit Tigers Opening Day lineup looking like this:

  1. CF Akil Baddoo (L)
  2. RF Robbie Grossman (S)
  3. SS Javier Baez (R)
  4. LF Austin Meadows (L)
  5. DH Miguel Cabrera (R)
  6. 3B Jeimer Candelario (S)
  7. 2B Jonathan Schoop (R)
  8. 1B Spencer Torkelson (R)
  9. C Tucker Barnhart (S)

Call me crazy, but that looks like a pretty solid lineup. One that will be competitive in the American League and has the potential to make a run at that extra wild card spot.

The Rays Return

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Tampa Bay gets a very interesting piece back in Isaac (pronoucned e-sock) Paredes. While he never was never able to make an impact with the Tigers, the tools are there for him to be an above-average hitter at the Big League level.

Paredes is just 22 years old and holds a career slash line of .272/.361/.424 in the minors. He also has posted a very good 125 wRC+ with a 13.2 K%.

The potential for him is definitely there, he just needs to see consistent playing time. I could see a prime season for Paredes looking like this: slash line of .285/.350/.470 with 20 home runs, 80 RBI, 80 runs and two stolen bases. That would be a pretty solid season!

Conclusion

On paper, it looks like the Tigers fleeced the Rays. However, if we know one thing it's that the Rays are one of the smartest teams in baseball. Just because this seems like an obvious great move for the Tigers doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad one for the Rays.

After the Rays dealt Meadows they promoted their top outfield prospect Josh Lowe. This is very similar to when the Rays dealt Willy Adames, eventually making room for Wander Franco. The Rays clearly did not make this move without a plan, they never do.

End of the day this looks like a deal that both teams will be happy with this year as well as in a few years. Trades like that aren't very common but in this case, I think it fits the bill.


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