Tigers trade James Skelton for Brooks Brown

The Tigers have sent James Skelton (or actually they just let the Diamondbacks keep him after the Rule 5 pick cleared waivers) to Arizona for Brooks Brown. I’ve written about Skelton in the past, so we’ll focus on Brown for a moment.

Brown started at AA for the Diamondbacks last year and had a 4.18 ERA with 112 K’s in 144 innings pitched. He’ll be assigned to Erie to start the year. The right hander is 24 years old. Brown didn’t make the BA top 10 for Arizona, but his name did come up in the chat and Will Lingo had this to say:

Will Lingo: That is a pretty good analysis. Brown took a 3.63 ERA into the final month last season, but he was pretty bad from there on out and in the AFL. His stuff also hasn’t been quite as good as it was in college, so some people think he should just take his sinker-slider combo to the bullpen. But his big frame and durability still suggest he could provide more value as a starter. He’ll get another shot in the Triple-A rotation, but I think if he gets to the big leagues it will be as a reliever.

Sickels had him as the 15th best prospect in the organization but noted a loss of velocity and command.

He does keep the ball in the park with only 14 homers allowed in over 300 minor league innings.

As for Skelton, he was a lefty slap hitting catcher with good speed and very good on base skills. He was also tiny and there were doubts that his skill set would translate well at higher levels. And that may have been evidenced as he struggled this spring. But…it is also an intriguing skill set and one I’m surprised to see the Tigers give up on.

13 thoughts on “Tigers trade James Skelton for Brooks Brown”

  1. Good week for Illich’s financial books. The Tigers saved themselves $25k in the meantime by not taking Skelton back. They’ll also save another $400k by dropping Sheff. Saved another 150k+ by not needing to pay for Sheff’s medical expenses anymore. Saved another 50k in PR expenses because Sheff is gone.

    That’s $725k so far.
    Any others that I didn’t think of?

  2. It seems like a drop in the bucket compared to a major-league budget, but it accounts for about 8 family annual incomes on my block.

    Good luck to Skelton. He could be the next Craig Biggio.

  3. Dumb move!

    Boy did i enjoy watching the kid play in Lakeland last season!
    I am so tired of hearing there reasoning of hes to small. We have Laird and Treanor which are basically stop gate catchers. This kid Skelton has had an OB% of over .400 at all levels with more walks than strikeouts! He has wheels on the basepaths and great defensive play. I normaly bite my lip when DD makes a move I dont approve of…Afterall he does know a bit more than me. It was unacceptable to let Skelton go into the Rule 5 Draft. It was simply stupid to take a mid level reliever in exchange for him when they offered him back!
    Good luck James! I hope u shove it up DDs arse!

  4. If you take it with a grain of salt that we were boxed in by bad moves in previous seasons, I think the Tigs did about as well as they could to plug holes and be proactive.

  5. Too bad they let him go, time will tell if this is a good move or not. They sure seem to view Alex Avila as their catcher of the future (he’s currently assigned to West Michigan), with Dusty Ryan also in the mix.

  6. I don’t think it was dumb. We already have Laird and Treanor. Plus we have Dane Sardinha and Dusty Ryan in Toledo. Alex Avila is likely our catcher of the future.
    I think the Tigers did not only what was best for the club, but also what was best for the player. Skelton probably wasn’t ever going to get a decent opportunity in a Detroit uniform. It was a fairly even trade too. We got Brooks Brown who was Arizona’s #15 prospect, for Skelton, who was Detroit’s #20 prospect.

    I wish the little guy luck. I hope he continues to be the freak show that he has been for all us stat geeks.

  7. @Rick G – Avila has been assigned to Erie, skipping Lakeland.

    @Mr. X – I wouldn’t factor Dane Sardhina into any discussion about depth.

  8. Thanks Billfer, I was getting my info from the Tigers’ web site “roster / minor league affiliates,” which must be out of date. Good to know he’s already a step closer…

  9. If we took Skelton back wouldn’t we just lose him again next year if we didn’t put him on the 40 man?
    Is there any player who was a rule 5 pick who was then returned to his team which did well?
    Plus Brown was a first rounder. DD gets a pattern and its tough for him to break it. Jackson looks like he might be working out so now he takes a flyer on another 1st rounder.

  10. I wouldn’t count out Skelton. If he were a second baseman, nobody would be talking about his size.

    Like I said…he could be the next Craig Biggio.

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