The Tigers announced this evening they’ve acquired outfielder Austin Meadows from the Rays for third baseman Isaac Paredes and a Competitive Balance Round B selection. Tampa Bay had reportedly been shopping Meadows in recent weeks, and he’ll land in Detroit.
It’s a notable, largely unexpected strike for Detroit. There wasn’t any indication the Tigers were on the hunt for outfield help, as they’d seemingly been content to open the year with a Robbie Grossman, Víctor Reyes, Akil Baddoo group on the grass. Top outfield prospect Riley Greene fractured his foot over the weekend, however, and is expected to be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks. Whether Greene’s injury increased the urgency for general manager Al Avila and his staff to add to the outfield isn’t clear, but they’ll do so by bringing aboard a player who’s a only a couple seasons removed from an All-Star campaign.
Meadows was part of the Rays now-famous haul from the Pirates at the 2018 trade deadline for Chris Archer. A top prospect during his days in the Pittsburgh farm system, he hit the ground running with a solid rookie showing before breaking out the following season. Meadows hit a massive .291/.364/.558 with 33 home runs in 591 plate appearances in 2019, seemingly emerging as one of the sport’s top young sluggers.
More to come.