Sep 27, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Placido Polanco (left) laughs with Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (right) during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
With Prince Fielder’s trace to Texas for Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera will be moving back to first which should help Cabrera’s health, but leaves a hole at third. Most believe that hole with be filled by Nick Castellanos who will move back from left field, to his natural third base position. Before last season, Castellanos was ranked 21st on most prospect lists. Last season with the Toledo Mud Hens, Castellanos hit at a .276/.343/.450 clip in 134 games and .278/.278/.278 split with the Tigers in 11 games. Castellanos has been billed as a below average defender which should be helped with Omar Viquel’s teaching as an infield coach. This had led some to believe that Castellanos is not ready for the big leagues and will need another third baseman on the roster who can start if needed. Here are some reasonable options on the market either through free agency or trades that the Tigers could target.
Headley is a favorite of some here at MCB and was covered in depth earlier this week.
Polancdo has always been a personal favorite of mine. He was paid $2.75 million last season to play on the Miami Marlins and produced at a .260/.315/.302 clip. Defensively, Polanco only made 2 errors with a .990 fielding percentage. Polanco has always been a very good defender who puts the bat on the ball. Polanco could come in and teach Castellanos defensively and lead by example on the field. The Tigers would not have to sign Polanco to a long term deal, but he could definitely be productive, and spell as a utility infielder.
Chavez is another player who could come to Detroit for cheap. He only made $3 million last season for the Arizona Diamondbacks where he hit .281/.332/.478 clip for the Dbacks in 80 games as he split time with Martin Prado. Chavez could split time with Castellanos this season with the Tigers on the cheaper end of the spectrum. When healthy, Chavez is a plus defender at third and would be worth the flier if the Tigers want to take a chance on someone.