Grossman dealt to Braves for pitching prospect

Detroit Tigers

MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time in three years, Robbie Grossman is headed back to a playoff race. For the first time in his career, it’ll be in the National League. The Tigers have traded the veteran outfielder to the Braves for left-handed pitching prospect Kris Anglin.

The deal is the first of several the Tigers are likely to pursue in the hours leading up to Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET Trade Deadline. It was also one of the simplest. While Detroit has several relievers in play for contending teams, getting the 32-year-old Grossman back with a contender while opening at-bats for the Tigers’ young outfielders was more important than holding out for the best return.

Tigers get: Minor League LHP Kris Anglin
Braves get: OF Robbie Grossman

Grossman is in the final season of a two-year, $10 million contract he signed with Detroit as a free agent. He posted 23 home runs, 20 stolen bases and a 114 OPS+ last year, serving as an effective table-setter and clubhouse presence for a Tigers lineup that enjoyed a second-half surge. But he struggled to the tune of a .205 average, with two homers, 23 RBIs and a 73 OPS+ this season.

The vast majority of the switch-hitter’s struggles have been from the left side against right-handed pitching. He’s batting .364 (28-for-77) with a .999 OPS batting right-handed against left-handed pitching, 203 points above his career OPS off lefties. That matchup ability found him a role in Atlanta.

“I’m sad, but it’s part of this business,” Grossman said. “It’s not the first time I’ve been traded, but I’m looking forward to my new journey in baseball. … I’m excited to get a new start and excited to help the team and do whatever I can to help them win.”

The Tigers had been playing Grossman regularly before Tuesday in an effort to show his skills for potential clubs. But with Riley Greene, Akil Baddoo, Willi Castro and Victor Reyes already fighting for at-bats, playing time was tight. The Tigers are also expected to take a look down the stretch at No. 22 prospect Kerry Carpenter, a former 19th-round pick who has hit 27 home runs with a 1.005 OPS between Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie this year.

Anglin, who turns 21 on Aug. 9, was a 16th-round pick by the Braves in 2021. The 5-foot-11 southpaw owns a 3-5 record and 5.93 ERA in 12 appearances at Single-A Augusta, but has struck out 36 batters over 30 1/3 innings. The Tigers will try to better harness his command with help from director of pitching Gabe Ribas.

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