Report: Detroit Tigers would listen to offers on top trade chip Jack Flaherty

Will the Detroit Tigers be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline this season?

That question won't be answered for another six weeks or so with the trade deadline scheduled for July 30 this season and the Tigers' hovering around a .500 record (32-33 entering Tuesday). But that hasn't stopped the speculation about what all 30 teams will be up to when the deadline arrives.

In an article on the Athletic with 30 rumors and things to watch before the trade deadline, MLB writer and former front office executive Jim Bowden listed Tigers' right-handed starter Jack Flaherty, who has had a bounce-back season in Detroit's rotation after joining as a free agent, as one of the "best starting pitchers expected to be traded at the deadline."

Flaherty is listed as one of the most attractive starters in the market along with Jesús Luzardo (Marlins), Luis Severino (Mets), Tyler Anderson (Angels), Erick Fedde (White Sox), Garrett Crochet (White Sox) and Trevor Williams (Nationals), with all of them carrying "exorbitant" asking prices due to the lack of elite starting pitchers available.

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Later in the piece in a different bullet point, Bowden wrote, "The Tigers won’t trade Tarik Skubal but they’ll listen on Jack Flaherty, who is having a strong season with Detroit. Flaherty (3.22 ERA, 11.64 strikeouts per nine innings) could bring back a haul."

Flaherty, who will be a free agent after the season, has thrown 72⅔ innings in 12 starts this season and holds a 3-4 record with a 3.22 ERA. Flaherty has the fourth-most strikeouts of any pitcher in the American League at 94, trailing Skubal, Kansas City's Cole Ragans and Crochet. He is fifth in the AL in WHIP (0.96), second in strikeouts per nine innings (11.64) behind Crochet and fourth in FIP (2.71). He has accumulated 1.9 fWAR this season, the sixth-most of any AL pitcher, potentially putting him in All-Star consideration.

Tigers pitcher Jack Flaherty throws during the fourth inning against the Rangers on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Arlington, Texas.
Tigers pitcher Jack Flaherty throws during the fourth inning against the Rangers on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Arlington, Texas.

Last season, the Tigers ended up as sellers and shipped Michael Lorenzen to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for current Double-A Erie infielder Hao-Yu Lee, but couldn't execute a deal to flip pending free agent pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who left Detroit for Arizona in the offseason.

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The Tigers entered Tuesday sitting 2½ games behind the Minnesota Twins for the final AL wild-card spot and 10½ games behind the Cleveland Guardians for the division lead with the trade deadline 50 days away. The Tigers have a highly-ranked prospect system that could either facilitate a trade or help fill in spots on the roster if president of baseball operations Scott Harris decides on a sale of veterans such as Flaherty based on the Tigers' outlook in the standings in six weeks.

The Padres, Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Guardians, Diamondbacks and Red Sox are all teams mentioned by Bowden as teams that could be potential be buyers in the starting pitching market.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Report: Detroit Tigers would listen to trade offers on Jack Flaherty