Pitchers and catchers will report for spring training in about one month. That means the winter offseason is coming to an end. Many teams worked hard during the offseason adding to their rosters filling in holes in an attempt to come back stronger in 2017.
One team that appears to have failed miserably in that is the Detroit Tigers. Last season the Tigers won 86 games and missed the postseason. The team also has a maxed-out payroll full of aging veterans.
Detroit needed to decide at the end of the season if it would start a rebuilding period or push ahead and take another shot with its current veteran core of players. It seemed the latter would be the choice for a while.
When the offseason started, rumors swirled about a retooling of the roster. There were rumors that Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler were all available to the highest bidder.
However, nothing ever came about and the four remain on the Detroit depth chart for 2017. It seems that any trade taking place now is remote and become unlikelier each day that passes.
During the offseason, the Tigers moves included trading Cameron Maybin to the Angels and signing Alex Avila to take the place of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The only player not with the team last season that is now on the team is Daniel Stumpf, who was a Rule 5 pick.
No more or no less, that is all the dealing that took place in Detroit over the winter. That means there could be a three-way platoon in center field between JaCoby Jones, Tyler Colins and Anthony Gose.
Essentially the Tigers are right where they were when the season ended last September. The core of Cabrera, Kinsler and Verlander are all nearing their mid-30s, and the team’s budget has not grown to allow for any new meaningful additions.
In reality, the Tigers will likely battle for a playoff spot in the American League Central as its roster is still the second best behind just Cleveland in the division.
It appears although that the Tigers have missed some offseason opportunities to add something to the mix to give them a better opportunity to battle the Indians for the AL Central or for a wildcard in the AL.
If things do not work out by the trade deadline, the Tigers could decide to unload some veteran talent for some young prospects and start its rebuild during the season.