Cleveland — The non-waiver trade deadline is more than a month away, but already the industry rumor mill is chugging.
MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi tweeted on Thursday that the Seattle Mariners have interest in pursuing a trade for Tigers’ left-hander Matthew Boyd.
It certainly makes sense. Boyd is from and lives in the Seattle area, grew up a huge fan of all Seattle sports, especially the Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson-era Mariners teams. And the Mariners, who have gone 24-9 since Robinson Cano was suspended, are suddenly in position to challenge for their first playoff spot since 2001.
Boyd, though, isn’t going to let that kind of noise into his head.
“Who knows if there’s any validity to that,” Boyd said via text message Thursday. “I’m so grateful where I am, that is solely where I’m focused — just bringing a title to the city of Detroit.”
Tigers general manager Al Avila has had discussions with Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto about Boyd before. As Morosi reiterated, before the 2017 season, the Mariners wanted Boyd included in a deal that would have sent J.D. Martinez to the Mariners for pitcher Taijuan Walker and prospects.
Boyd, along with Francisco Liriano, Mike Fiers, Shane Greene, Jose Iglesias, Michael Fulmer and Nick Castellanos are likely to garner some interest from contending teams before the July 31 trade deadline.
Avila addressed some of those issues last weekend in Chicago. Some of his comments bear repeating here.
“In going into this trade deadline and into the winter, I don’t have a mandate to trade anyone,” he said. “We’re not picking up the phone, and we’re not going to pick up the phone, and say we’re trading so and so.”
He said, as he has for the last two years, he’s going to be open-minded and listen to any and all offers.
“If somebody offers us something that, quite frankly, makes us better as we move forward, we’d really have to consider that,” he said.
Boyd, Fulmer and Castellanos are players Avila said could be foundation pieces for the next contending team in Detroit. But those determinations haven’t been set in stone.
“Which are the guys who may be here for the long-term?” Avila said. “That’s not a decision we could make a month ago, nor is it one we can make right now.
"That’s a decision we have to make as we move forward and get closer to where we are trying to be.”
On deck: Indians
Series: Three games, Friday-Sunday, Progressive Field, Cleveland
First pitch: 7:10 Friday, 6:10 Saturday, 1:10 Sunday
TV/radio: All three games on FSD/97.1
Series probables: Friday — RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.09) vs. RHP Shane Bieber (1-0, 3.97); Saturday — LHP Francisco Liriano, tentative (3-2, 3.90) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (6-5, 2.50); Sunday — LHP Matthew Boyd (4-5, 3.63) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (5-2, 3.15)
►Fiers, Tigers: He’s been a Indian-tamer throughout his career. In six starts against Cleveland, he’s 3-1 with a 2.04 ERA. This season he is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 13 strikeouts in two starts. He’s allowed three runs or less in his last four starts.
►Bieber, Indians: He’s made two big-league starts, both against the Twins about a month and a half apart. Last week, he scattered 10 hits over 5.2 innings, but allowed only one run. He throws his fastball (93 mph) about 60 percent of the time, mixing in a slider, curve ball and an occasional change-up.