The Tigers have acquired right-hander Nolan Blackwood from the Athletics, per an announcement from Detroit. Blackwood’s one of the two players to be named later in the teams’ Mike Fiers trade from earlier this month.
The 23-year-old Blackwood had been with the A’s since they used a 14th-round pick on him in 2016. He ended up ascending to the Double-A level this year with Oakland, pitching to a 4.08 ERA/3.51 FIP with 8.15 K/9, 2.72 BB/9 and an excellent 62.5 percent groundball rate in 53 innings (39 appearances). Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranked Blackwood as the A’s 30th-best prospect prior to his departure from the organization, noting that the 6-foot-5 sidearmer has quality stuff, including a 91 to 93 mph fastball with “heavy sink,” and “tremendous deception.”
Fiers, meanwhile, has been terrific for the A’s thus far, having thrown 11 1/3 innings of three-run ball with 13 strikeouts against zero walks in two starts since the surging AL West title contenders added him on Aug. 6. But with the Tigers in a rebuild and well out of contention, it didn’t make sense for them to keep the 33-year-old Fiers through the season. Now, at Fiers’ expense, Detroit has picked up at least one promising prospect in Blackwood. He’ll join a Tigers farm system that Baseball America ranks as the majors’ 14th-best group (subscription required).