MLB Trade Rumors put up a post today headlining the remaining top free agents still available on the market. Obviously, the biggest catch out there still dangling on the hook is Prince Fielder. It’s going to take a ton to reel that huge fish in, both metaphorically, and in terms of real cash. Part of a not so good free agent market, Fielder is out there looking for an 8 year deal or so, and might find the going a little tough in that regard. Who is going to sign a guy with that body for that long? Either way, the Tigers aren’t going to be involved in bringing the slugging 1st baseman to Detroit, so continuing to discuss him isn’t really necessary.
Probably the 2nd best free agent still on the market is Edwin Jackson. As a Tigers fan, if you are reading this, you should be familiar with Jackson, seeing as how he just pitched in Detroit in 2009. But the Tigers in 2012 aren’t a match for the hard throwing righty. Jackson undoubtedly is going to be seeking some financial security, and by all rights, he should get some. I still contend I see Jackson getting paid well by an organization like the Pirates or Royals looking for an anchor to their rotation. Is Jackson a number one starter? Of course not, but he can solidify and give some legitimacy to a rotation. Given he is going to get offers of more than one year out there on the market, I don’t see him as a fit for Detroit.
If Detroit gets a starter, it’s likely to be a young, cheap guy under control for a couple of years through the trade market.
Combing through the Trade Rumors list, we can see a bunch of guys that we have talked about here on Motor City Bengals. Roy Oswalt is a nice fit if he truly is willing to accept a one year deal. Paul Maholm would be a nice lefty at the back of the rotation. But again, it would be best, maybe for both parties if he came here on a one year deal. Coco Crisp doesn’t really improve much other than some defense out in the outfield.
One name that still intrigues me is Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda however, has always maintained a love for the West Coast. Though it seems that he has opened his mind up to a one year deal on the East Coast. The Tigers aren’t on either coast, so the likelihood that Kuroda would be interested in coming here is pretty slim. I believe he even had Detroit on his no-trade list, and wasn’t likely to waive it to come here.
So what does that leave?
Frankly not much. This entire free agency class didn’t match up well with the Tigers. The two best positional players were both first baseman, and Miguel Cabrera is still holding the fort down there. There were some good closers on the market in Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell. Tigers weren’t in the market for one of those when they picked up the option on Jose Valverde.
The Yeonnis Cespedes sweepstakes might be the only interesting thing left for Tigers fans to follow as far as free agency goes. If the Tigers get him, that is when things will get real interesting in my opinion. Getting Cespedes I think could cause some movement in the roster. A trade of another one of the outfielders perhaps (we all know who we would like).
Despite the impatient side of me wanting the Tigers to have been more active this off-season so far, I can’t help but admit that there really was never much damage to be done in the free agency market anyway. The Tigers biggest needs were clearly 2B and 3B, and Aramis Ramirez was about all there was available. I still stick by the Tigers missing the boat on Carlos Beltran though.
Sometimes staying away from signing guys is the smartest thing a GM could do. The remaining free agency market doesn’t have much value left, and it looks as though the Tigers and David Dombrowski are content to pass.
Maybe we should all be content as well.