By Kyle Beery

One of baseball’s best feel-good stories has migrated to the desert. After being released by the Astros during Spring Training in 2014, J.D. Martinez morphed into an All-Star outfielder for the Detroit Tigers.

With his revamped swing, Martinez became a heavy-hitting fan favorite in Detroit, batting .300 with 99 home runs, 285 RBIs and a .912 OPS over four seasons. He picked up a few memorable moments along the way, including a pinch-hit home run off ace Chris Sale in his first at-bat fresh off the 60-day DL last August. And of course, there was his “walk-off throw.”

His run in Detroit came to an end Tuesday. Stepping into (a much-needed) rebuild mode, the Tigers traded Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three infield prospects, none of which ranked on MLB’s Top 100 Prospects List.

Immediate reactions from Tigers fans seem to be quite negative, considering what he’s meant to the fan base over the last four years, not to mention his slash of .305/.388/.630 this season.

Criticism of the trade is to be expected, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad trade.

For starters, initial judgements of trades often change over time — take the Tigers’ Yoenis Cespedes trade for example. Fans were reluctant to trade the hard-hitting outfielder, and weren’t sold on this guy named Michael Fulmer.

Yeah, the guy that turned out to be the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year.

The other prospect in that trade? Luis Cessa was ultimately traded for Justin Wilson, who has now turned into the Tigers’ biggest trade chip with a little under two weeks until the deadline — more on that shortly.

In addition to issue with hasty trade judgements, fans must also realize the position the Tigers are in. Sure, the Tigers had time to wait things out until the deadline, but then they would have run into higher competition with the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Melky Cabrera and possibly even Jose Bautista on the outfield trade market.

Simply put, there is more supply of hard-hitting outfielders than there is a demand, and the Tigers wanted to jump at an opportunity they thought was a good deal.

With free agency looming for Martinez, the Tigers were in a precarious situation. Under MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement, the Tigers would have only received a fifth-round compensation pick had they given Martinez a qualifying offer and he declined it, thanks to the luxury tax.

Under the old CBA, they would have received a compensatory pick at the end of the first round, but now the Tigers felt comfortable enough that the three prospects they received outweighed a fifth-round pick.

All in all, it was a tough move for Tigers GM AL Avila to make. Avila may have a few more tough decisions to make in the coming days before the deadline. The Tigers will surely be making a few more moves, potential trade pieces being the aforementioned Justin Wilson and Avila’s own son, Alex.

So even if the haul for Martinez didn’t send fans head-over-heels, there is still time for the Tigers to bolster their shaky farm system. Many teams are in the market for a solid closer, or at least another strong bullpen piece. Wilson can bring in a good crop of prospects.

Alex Avila, while maybe not as valuable as Wilson, can still bring a lot of value in a trade. Thanks to a renaissance season in Detroit — a .292/.420/.518 slash and 11 homers — Avila has created himself a specialized market. The Cubs in particular are looking for a solid veteran catcher, and Avila would fit perfectly on that team.

As always, the trade deadline is quite unpredictable, but it’s easy to predict that the Tigers will make at least one or two more moves,