What they’re saying: Tigers deal Wilson, Avila to Cubs

The Detroit News

The Tigers continued their rebuild late Sunday night, sending closer Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs for a pair of infield prospects.

Like the Tigers’ July 18 trade that sent outfielder J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three infield prospects, reviews from analysts were mixed.

The Tigers received switch-hitting third baseman Jeimer Candelario, 23, and 18-year-old shortstop Isaac Paredes from the Cubs for Wilson and Avila, as well as either cash or a player to be named later.

Candelario was the Cubs’ top prospect, according to MLB.com, in a Chicago system that lost one of the game’s brightest prospects (Eloy Jimenez) in a trade this month with the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Jose Quintana. Paredes ranked No. 10 on the Cubs’ list, according to MLB.com.

Baseball America, however, has Parades as the higher-ranked prospect, slotting him at No. 5 in the Cubs system in its midseason top 10, and Candelario at No. 9.

In breaking down the trade, Baseball America’s John Manuel writes that Candelario has “the ability to control the strike zone, pepper the gaps with line drives and show solid-average power from both sides of the plate. He’s pressed in big league duty (.136, 17 Ks in 44 ABs) but is an experienced player who also is just 23.

“His career .270/.352/.430 slash line in the minors would be a solid line for a big league regular at third base and is a realistic expectation for Candelario.”

Paredes, meanwhile, draws a couple of comps from former Tigers in Manuel’s breakdown.

“He’s stronger than his listed 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame would indicate,” Manuel writes, “and Cubs officials have compared him to Jhonny Peralta as a squat-bodied shortstop with an offensivefirst profile. Another scout told the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales that he compared Paredes to Mike Aviles, citing again his aggressiveness and power potential.”

ESPN's Keith Law called the return for Wilson and Avila "very strong," in a post Monday morning (pay site).

" ... I like the odds here that the Tigers acquired two everyday players for a left-handed reliever and a backup catcher," Law wrote.

ESPN’s David Schoenfield, meanwhile, gave the Tigers a C-plus for their efforts (pay site), calling Candelario “a little overhyped as a prospect.”

“... He seems to be a player with a high floor compared to a high ceiling,” writes Schoenfield, who gave teh Cubs an A in the deal. “He’s viewed as an average defensive third baseman, which would be a big edge over the awful Nick Castellanos.

“Paredes is an 18-year-old holding his own in the Midwest League, has some power potential, but probably doesn’t stick at shortstop,” Schoefield continues. “If you look at Candalerio, it’s a solid return for Detroit, but Wilson is probably the top reliever available and I thought the Tigers could do a little better for him and Avila.”

Ryan Davis of Fanrag Sports called Paredes “the real catch for the Tigers, at least based on his projection.”

“He has hit 25 doubles and seven home runs for Class A South Bend this season, posting a 13.9 percent strikeout rate as one of the younger players in the league,” Davis writes. “As with nearly every 18-year-old in professional baseball, Paredes needs to fill out his body to reach his ceiling. Doing so will eventually move him away from shortstop, but he has a very strong arm and could be an excellent defensive third baseman.”

Davis writes the trade “looks good for both sides.”

“The Tigers got value in Candelario and Paredes, with one player who could contribute in a meaningful way next season and another who could be rising up near the top of prospect lists over the next few seasons,” he writes. “The Cubs got another high-leverage reliever through the end of the 2018 season, as well as a quality backup catcher.”