DETROIT — The quiet stretch of Tigers trade activity ahead of Monday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline is about to end. Detroit spent Sunday evening narrowing their list of suitors for lefty reliever Justin Wilson, with the potential of a deal Sunday night or Monday morning. The Cubs have reportedly emerged as the favorite to land Wilson, according to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.
The Cubs are also interested in Tigers catcher Alex Avila, and could include their top prospect, third baseman Jeimer Candelario, in a return package. The Nationals and Dodgers also remain in the mix, according to reports.
Other teams that have been linked at some point to Wilson include the Rockies, Rays, Red Sox, Brewers, Indians and Yankees.
Wherever the destination, Wilson is expected to be dealt by Monday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. While the Tigers have had mixed results in talks regarding Avila and right-hander Justin Verlander, Wilson has had no shortage of suitors, with 14-16 teams expressing interest over the past few weeks.
The Tigers beat the Astros on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park, and Wilson said after the game that he was getting on the team flight to New York, where the Tigers begin a three-game series against the Yankees on Monday night.
The 29-year-old is one of the better relief arms on the trade market. Wilson has a 2.68 ERA and 13 saves in 42 appearances for the Tigers this season, with 55 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings. He’s under team control through next season, but the Tigers believe they can maximize his trade value by dealing him now with relievers in demand.
A potential Wilson deal could unlock the top of the lefty-relief market that has been stuck for days. Others potentially available by the deadline include Orioles closer Zach Britton and San Diego’s Brad Hand.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck’s Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.