The Tigers made a move to bolster center field for 2015 and beyond by trading for Toronto’s Anthony Gose late Wednesday night.
The Tigers sent their top-rated prospect, infielder Devon Travis, to the Blue Jays for the 25-year-old Gose.
Gose, a left-handed hitter, is expected to platoon in center field with Rajai Davis. Like Davis, he brings great speed but isn’t a good hitter. In 2014, Gose played a career-high 94 games with the Blue Jays, hitting .226 with only 11 extra-base hits and 25 walks, but he stole 15 bases in 20 attempts.
Gose is young enough that he should improve in 2015, but he still projects as a bottom-of-the-order hitter in a Tigers’ lineup that already has offensive question marks at shortstop and behind the plate.
"Anthony is a true center fielder that can provide us with above average defense in center field with a good arm," Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. "He possesses above average speed and can steal bases at the major league level. He swings the bat from the left side and we feel that he will continue to improve his offensive game."
Travis was considered the best prospect in a minor-league system that’s seen most of its best players traded for veteran help as the Tigers try to win a World Series with an aging, expensive roster. He was named the system’s Player of the Year in 2013, and followed that up by hitting .298 in 100 games last season for Erie.
The franchise had been working to move Travis from second base to center in order to provide a future fix for that hole in the lineup, but Dombrowski accelerated the process by swapping him for Gose.