For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what would make sense.
On to the AL Central, where the Indians will try to overcome a loss of notable free agents and try to hold off the Twins and continue to beat down on the dumpster fires that are the Tigers, Royals, and White Sox rosters.
Top FA Targets:
- Marwin Gonzalez, SS
Tigers need a SS and maybe be the only team able to offer Marwin a starting gig at SS… but they could also use him as an upgrade at 2B… and LF… This team is garbage.
- D.J. LeMahieu, 2B
With few teams needing a 2B, the Tigers could end up with a very good 2B if the dominoes fall their way. They could wind up with Dozier if the Nats decide they want DJ.
- Andrew McCutchen, OF
The Tigers need OFs like Flint needs clean water. Cutch is a good fit on a short term deal and could help attendance out at the very least.
- David Robertson, RP
With so many talented relievers in the mid-tier level, the Tigers could wind up with someone out of that bunch… I’ll pick Robertson as the fit here. Other names could be Familia, Holland, Britton, or Herrera.
- Garrett Richards, SP
With so many holes in the rotation, they could give him a deal like the Twins gave Michael Pineda and hope to capitalize in 2020.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Tigers trade OF Nick Castellanos to the Braves for SP Luiz Gohara
The Tigers aren’t set to compete in 2019 and Castellanos is a free agent after the season. If they can’t get him to sign an extension, he should be hitting the market. The Braves are a good fit as they need a RH power bat capable of playing LF/RF and have plenty of young arms to spare. Luiz Gohara could be a steal for the Tigers.
- Tigers trade SP Michael Fulmer & RP Alex Wilson to the Reds for OF Scott Schebler and prospects 3B Jonathan India (#4) & SS Jeter Downs (#7)
Michael Fulmer needed to be traded last year, but the Tigers decided to let his value trend downwards instead. The Tigers move 4 years of Fulmer and a useful RP in Wilson for 4 years of Schebler and a couple prospects with high upside. Although India would be the headliner in this deal, he is tentatively blocked by Eugenio Suarez and Nick Senzel in Cincy.
- Tigers trade C/1B John Hicks to the Red Sox for OF Rusney Castillo & prospect SP Jay Groome (#2)
Obviously, John Hicks doesn’t have much value but would be a solid bench piece for the defending champion Red Sox… the real value here is monetary. Rusney Castillo is set to make $25M over the next two seasons to play minor league baseball… which is a lot. It’s actually even more, when you take into account the repeater tax the Red Sox will be facing. For a team with budget space to spend, it would be smart for the Tigers to buy prospect SP Jay Groome from the Sox.
- Tigers trade 1B Miguel Cabrera and $45M cash ($15M/year from 2021-2023) to the Astros for RF Josh Reddick, 1B Yuli Gurriel, and 2B Tony Kemp
The Tigers park doesn’t play to Miggy’s strengths anymore and his HOF career should continue elsewhere. The Astros’ Crawford Boxes would look awfully sexy to Miggy as he finishes his career. However, he has 5 years and $154M remaining… Gurriel and Reddick make roughly $20M/year combined the next two seasons, resulting in a +~$10M net for the Astros in 2019 and 2020 and then +~$15.5M net in 2021-2023 with the Tigers paying down his salary in those years. For the Tigers, they get a few useful pieces that are all expendable on the Astros team.