Athletics Ship Two Prospects To Tigers For Mike Fiers
The Athletics acquired Mike Fiers from the Tigers on Aug. 6 to shore up the back of their rotation and sent two players to be named later to Detroit in return.
The first of those prospects was named on Saturday, as Oakland sent sidearming relief prospect Nolan Blackwood to the Tigers to complete the first half of the return for Fiers. The second prospect will be named at a later date.
Sept. 19 Update: The Athletics sent RHP Logan Shore to the Tigers as the second player to be named later to complete the trade.
Mike Fiers, RHP
Fiers was a bright spot in a lost season for the Tigers, going 7-6, 3.48 after being non-tendered by the Astros last offseason. The A's—needing a fifth starter to round out their injury-riddled rotation—nearly acquired him at the non-waiver deadline and were able to finish the job on Aug. 6 after putting in a waiver claim on him. Fiers remains a steady flyball pitcher who doesn't miss many bats but who keeps his walks low and provides consistent five- to six-inning outings. He's already given the A's two strong starts since they acquired him, and he will remain a part of their rotation as they go down to the wire in the American League West title race.
Nolan Blackwood, RHP
Blackwood is Memphis' all-time saves leader with 24 and has remained a closer in pro ball, recording 19 saves a year ago at high Class A Stockton and nine saves at Double-A Midland this season. Blackwood is a sidearmer who sits 89-92 mph and uses a mid-70s slider as his swing-and-miss pitch. He's a reverse-splits pitcher who handles lefties (.576 OPS) better than righties (.772 OPS), but he is generally effective on the whole. Blackwood starred in the Arizona Fall League last year and earned Texas League all-star honors this season, drawing comparisons to Pat Neshek. He will begin his Tigers career at either Double-A Erie or Triple-A Toledo.
Logan Shore, RHP
Shore was standout pitcher at Florida and now gets reunited with college teammate Alex Faedo in the Tigers' system. The Athletics drafted Shore in the second round in 2016 and he ranked as Oakland's No. 10 prospect entering the season, but he fell victim to injury for the second straight year and went 1-6, 5.50 in 13 starts at Double-A Midland. Shore is a control-oriented righthander whose fastball sits 90-91 mph with late sink and movement. He has a plus changeup but a below-average curveball, giving him limited weapons to work with. Shore relies on polish and location, and when he misses he gets hit hard. He missed much of 2017 and the start of 2018 with a lat strain, and he ended the 2018 season on the disabled list as well. Shore's fringe-average fastball, fringe-average breaking ball and inability to stay healthy make him not a starter for evaluators long-term, but his plus changeup gives him a chance to carve out a role of some sort.