Late Wednesday night, the Toronto Blue Jays announced they had sent 24 year old outfielder Anthony Gose to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for one of their top prospects, second baseman Devon Travis. The soon to be 24 year old Travis spent the year at AA Erie of the Eastern League, hitting .298/.358/.460 in 441 plate appearances with 37 extra base hits including 10 home runs and 16 stolen bases. He also hit 20 doubles and seven triples with 37 walks to 60 strike outs with a 126 wRC+.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The <a href="https://twitter.com/BlueJays">@BlueJays</a> have acquired 2B Devon Travis from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for outfielder Anthony Gose.</p>— Blue Jays-Official (@BlueJays) <a href="https://twitter.com/BlueJays/status/532759985969971202">November 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The 5'9 195 pound 424th overall pick from the 13th round of the 2012 draft, Travis scored 68 runs and drove in 52 with a .365 wOBA and .327 BABIP. He was solid defensively this past year, committing 11 errors for a .974 fielding percentage in 429 total chances. His range factor came in at 4.40, which was near the bottom of the league, but he grades out as pretty much average across the board.
Photo by Bryan Green
Prior to the year John had ranked Travis as the 4th best prospect in the organization behind the no longer eligible 3B Nick Castellanos, recently dealt RHP Jake Thompson, and RHP Jonathon Crawford. Baseball America had him as the 84th best prospect in the game while he didn't crack John's top 150.
Going to the Jays system, he should rank behind LHP Daniel Norris, RHP Aaron Sanchez, CF Dalton Pompey and possibly SS Franklin Barreto as one of their top prospects. He also fills a need at second base for the Jays where the duo of Munenori Kawasaki and Ryan Goins produced a .623 OPS and .479 OPS respectively.
In return, the Tigers received 24 year old outfielder Anthony Gose. The 6'1 190 pound lefty hit .226/.311/.293 with a 73 wRC+, 72 OPS+, and 1.3 fWAR in 94 games and 274 trips to the plate for the Blue Jays, also stealing 15 bases. He also spent 51 games for AAA Buffalo hitting .244/.305/346 for a 79 wRC+ in 224 plate appearances with 21 steals. He maintained a high strike out rate of 27% after striking out 29% of the time in AAA. His meager averages were boosted with a .317 BABIP in the majors and .338 BABIP for AAA Buffalo, easy for a player of his speed and athleticism.
Gose has spent three seasons shuttling between AAA and the majors, accumulating 616 plate appearances with a .234/.301/.322 line with 34 stolen bases, 21 doubles and nine triples, good for a 76 OPS+, 75 wRC+ and 1.5 fWAR. The majority of his current value comes from his defensive prowess and speed, posting a UZR/150 of 15.6 and saving two runs defensively in limited action according to FanGraphs.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Originally drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Phillies, Gose looks to be insurance for the Tigers outfield as Torii Hunter looks to be heading elsewhere this Winter. He will join JD Martinez and Rajai Davis currently with Ezequiel Carrera also in the mix. I'm sure Detroit will be in the mix for a few free agent outfielders as powerful right fielder Steven Moya still needs seasoning in the minors and is probably a year away from contributing anything.