Detroit Tigers acquire 23-year-old Brady Allen from Marlins for veteran Jonathan Davis

KANSAS CITY — The Detroit Tigers swapped a veteran outfielder for a younger outfielder in the minor leagues in a trade with the Miami Marlins on Monday.

The Tigers acquired Brady Allen, a 23-year-old and former fifth-round draft pick, in exchange for Jonathan Davis, a 31-year-old who signed a minor-league contract before spring training.

Allen, a right-handed hitter, is expected to report to High-A West Michigan.

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Tigers outfielder Jonathan Davis watches batting practice during spring training on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Lakeland, Florida.

Tigers outfielder Jonathan Davis watches batting practice during spring training on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Lakeland, Florida.

An upward mobility clause in Davis’ contract played a role in the timing of the trade. If Davis had not been added to the Tigers’ 40-man roster in June, he would have been made available to other MLB teams willing to give him a roster spot. The Tigers could have lost him for nothing in return.

Instead, the Tigers struck a trade with the Marlins before the upward mobility clause kicked in.

Allen, the newest member of the Tigers’ organization, hit .256 with 12 doubles, three home runs, 18 RBIs, 13 walks and 34 strikeouts in 37 games with High-A Beloit this season. The Marlins drafted him No. 149 overall in the 2021 draft out of South Carolina.

He hit .226 with a .581 on-base-plus-slugging percentage across 19 games in April and .286 with a .941 OPS across 18 games in May. So far this season, he has hit .238 against right-handed pitchers and .333 against left-handed pitchers.

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Allen can play all three outfield positions but has the most experience in right field. He was born in Lakeland, Florida, home of the Tigers’ spring training facility, and attended George Jenkins High School in Lakeland before playing college baseball at South Carolina.

As for the player the Tigers traded, Davis — a right-handed hitter — logged a .258 batting average, 18 extra-base hits (including five home runs), 14 walks and 32 strikeouts in 36 games for Triple-A Toledo.

He has played 171 games in parts of five MLB seasons for three teams: Toronto Blue Jays (2018-2021), New York Yankees (2021) and Milwaukee Brewers (2022). He is a true center fielder.

The trade cleared a roster spot in Toledo.

Double-A Erie outfielder Grant Witherspoon, a left-handed hitter acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays before the regular season, is hitting .290 with four homers across 17 games in May. The 26-year-old, who has played at the Triple-A level before, seems like a candidate to be promoted.

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

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers acquire Brady Allen from Marlins for Jonathan Davis

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