Detroit Tigers acquire former Central Michigan infielder Zach McKinstry in trade with Cubs

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers acquired former Central Michigan infielder Zach McKinstry in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Carlos Guzman.

The Tigers and Cubs completed the trade Monday, three days before Opening Day. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Tigers placed right-handed reliever Freddy Pacheco on the 60-day injured list with a right elbow sprain.

McKinstry, who turns 28 in late April, does not have any minor-league options remaining. He hit .079 (3-for-38) with seven walks and eight strikeouts in 20 games for the Cubs in spring training.

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The Toledo native played college ball for Central Michigan in the 2015-16 seasons. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected him in the 33rd round — No. 1,001 overall — in the 2016 draft.

The left-handed hitter has a .208 batting average with 12 home runs, 26 walks (7.1% walk rate) and 105 strikeouts (28.9% strikeout rate) throughout his 121-game MLB career. On defense, he can play second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field.

McKinstry hit .335 with four homers and a .417 on-base percentage across 48 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City last season. He had a 12.1% walk rate and 14.8% strikeout rate.

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Guzman, an underrated prospect, posted a 4.70 ERA with 34 walks and 90 strikeouts across 107⅓ innings in 27 games (23 starts) in the minor leagues last season. The 24-year-old appeared in 25 games for High-A West Michigan and two games for Double-A Erie.

His fastball sits around 94 mph with average fastball command, but he struggles to generate swings and misses on pitches outside of the strike zone. He also has a quality changeup.

In 2022, Guzman logged a 1.89 ERA in his final 52⅓ innings.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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