Tigers get Shane Greene in three-team trade
The Tigers saw Shane Greene shut down their offense for 15 innings of two-run ball as a Yankees starter last August. Come Spring Training, they’ll be seeing him in a Tigers uniform.
After several days of Tigers pitching rumors heading towards next week’s Winter Meetings, Detroit added a young starter, acquiring Greene in a three-team trade that sent left-hander Robbie Ray and infield prospect Domingo Leyba to Arizona.
The Diamondbacks sent shortstop Didi Gregorius — a prospect the Tigers had interest in acquiring a couple years ago — to the Yankees.
The deal comes just a few days shy of the five-year anniversary of the three-team trade between the same squads that brought Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke to Detroit. Their latest deal isn’t likely to have nearly the same impact, at least in Detroit. Essentially, Detroit became the middle man in the deal, providing Arizona what they wanted in return for Gregorius. In return, the Tigers changed their mix of young arms, subtracting Ray and adding Greene to the back end of their rotation.
Barring another move, what was expected to be an in-house competition to fill Max Scherzer’s spot in the Tigers rotation — if the Tigers can’t re-sign Scherzer — is now Greene’s spot to lose.
“He threw the ball well in his first year at the Major League level,” team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a release, “and we feel he will be a very nice addition to our starting rotation.”
If the Tigers bring back Scherzer, they’ll have the flexibility to flip another starter if the price is right.
Greene, who turned 26 last month, went 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 15 appearances — 14 of them starts — with the Yankees this past season. Two of those wins came at Detroit’s expense. He blanked the Tigers on five hits over eight innings Aug. 7 in The Bronx, sending Detroit to a 1-0 loss despite a solid start from Rick Porcello.
Three weeks later, Greene took the mound at Comerica Park had tossed seven innings of two-run ball with a walk and eight strikeouts in an 8-4 Yankees win. Detroit hit into 19 ground-ball outs combined over the two outings.
Take away those two outings, and Greene gave up 31 earned runs on 71 hits over 63 2/3 innings, with 25 walks and 68 strikeouts. He also went 5-2 with a 4.61 ERA in 15 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. One scout who watched Greene at his best called him a power sinkerballer comparable in style to Porcello, without the same selection of secondary pitches that Porcello has built over the years.
Greene is 40 days older than Porcello, but has 14 Major League starts to his credit. Porcello, who turns 26 on Dec. 27, has spent six seasons in Detroit’s rotation, and is eligible for free agency next winter, as is David Price. Greene has at least three years before becoming arbitration-eligible.