The recent Prince Fielder trade has created much more financial flexibility for the Tigers this offseason. It also filled the whole at second base that came from the free agent departure of Omar Infante. The Tigers offseason is far from over as they will likely make another big free agent signing. They first have to decide what they are doing with their current players.
Tigers’ prospect Nick Castellanos is in an interesting situation. He was moved from his natural position of third base recently to accommodate the organization. He is now able to play the outfield. The Tigers have the option of moving Cabrera back to first base and Castellanos back to third. This also depends on whether the Tigers consider Castellanos as an everyday player this season.
Andy Dirks seems like the odd man out when it comes to the Tigers outfielders. They will likely pursue someone that can play left field for them. With the departure of Fielder the Tigers are in need of another left handed bat. Possible options include Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and Curtin Granderson.
Carlos Beltran is coming off a productive year at the age of 36. He hit .296 with 24 homeruns and 84 RBIs with the Cardinals. His signing would be similar to Tori Hunter’s last year. Beltran rejected a qualifying offer from the Cardinal for $14.1 million. It is rumored that he wants a three or four year deal. This feels like a bad move after the Tigers just got out of a bad contract with Prince Fielder.
Choo is probably one of the more expensive options. The former Reds outfielder batted .285 with 21 homeruns and 58 RBIs last season. He is a lifetime .288 hitter. Choo is someone who knows how to get on base. However, he is a leadoff hitter so the Tigers would have to decide to move him or Kinsler down in the order.
Many Tiger fans would love to see the return of Curtis Granderson. On the other hand, many would not. Granderson was a fan favorite here in Detroit and his return would be similar to Chauncey Billups’ return to the Pistons. The main problem with Granderson is his inability to hit against left handed pitching. Over the years his power numbers have increased but his average has decreased to around .230.
The important thing this offseason is to trust in Tigers’ General Manager Dave Dombrowski. Everyone is trying to predict what his next move will be but in reality it could be something that no one saw coming. Looking forward, one thing is for certain. Dombrowski will make the team better.