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Tigers and Blue Jays Swap Prospects

Dombrowski and Anthopoulos decided to swap prospects late last night, and both can be applauded early for their efforts.

Tom Szczerbowski

Much will be made of how Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos traded for the number one prospect in the Detroit Tigers system. However, both general managers should take this deal as a victory for their present clubs going into the 2015 season.

Let's start just alphabetically with what the Detroit Tigers have acquired in Anthony Gose. Long mentioned in trade rumors in Toronto but apparently a favourite of GM Anthopoulos, Gose comes as advertised. He's a potentially great defensive centerfielder (called the best centerfielder the Blue Jays have ever had by Sportsnet radio host Mike Wilner) and speedy baserunner. In 2012, Gose stole 34 bases in 102 games at the AAA level. That includes this gem in which he stole home against Jake Arrieta. Over the course of his abbreviated major league career, he has accumulated 7.1 Base Running Runs Above Average in just 202 games played. Unfortunately, the biggest criticism of Gose during his Toronto tenure was his ability to get on base. Posting a career .285 wOBA doesn't endear you to your coaches when you actually have to be on-base to be good on the bases.

Moving on to the Toronto Blue Jays' return: Devon Travis. According to Baseball America, he is the number one-rated prospect in the Detroit Tigers system. The 23-year old has yet to have his name announced in a major league stadium, but that shouldn't worry anybody. In AA Erie last year, Travis posted a 126 wRC+, with a 8.4% BB% and 13.6% K% in 441 plate appearances. However, he too comes with some lumps: Despite being number one on Baseball America's list of Tigers prospects, he went unnamed in the top 10 according to ESPN's Keith Law.

What is most impressive about this trade, in my opinion, is that each player addresses immediate needs of both of their ball clubs. Since Torii Hunter's leaving, the Tigers could absolutely use an outfielder, and if Rajai Davis starts showing his age, Gose -- 10 years his junior -- will be able to step in while also bringing superior defense. On the other hand, the Blue Jays have needed a second baseman since Aaron Hill left (no offense, Kelly Johnson). With Maicer Izturis, Ryan Goins and (potentially) Steve Tolleson all competing for second base duties, it wouldn't be too outlandish for Travis to see his first major league action in 2015.

Neither projects to be a full-time major leaguer in 2015, but they'll each get a fair shot in the upcoming spring training of their respective clubs. While both prospects come with some negatives -- and what prospect doesn't? -- fans of both the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays should applaud the efforts of Dombrowski and Anthopoulos respectively.

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All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

Michael Bradburn is a Contributor for Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @mwbii. You can also reach him at