Detroit Tigers: Be disappointed over this season but no longer dread the future
If you are an avid reader of Motor City Bengals–first off we thank you kindly–you know that many of our talented staff writers have been pushing for the Detroit Tigers to trade-off their pieces in order to get better in years to come.
It is hard to tell if a majority of fans believed in this course of action. Many fans were unhappy to see David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Joakim Soria head out of town for prospects. Certainly it seemed that the “sell” faction was more vocal, but it will never be truly known if they were in the majority.
Perhaps we will find out in the Tigers’ box office returns for their final 28 home games.
Even an ardent seller like yours truly found it a little bittersweet. To see the team’s ace sent out of town, to see an exciting player traded, to see one of only 2-3 decent pieces in the bullpen head outta town is not something any of us wanted to see on April 6 when the Tigers took the field on Opening Day.
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And yet it became a reality and a necessity.
It is clear that this Tigers’ team was not capable of going on long winning streaks to leapfrog teams in front of them for the wildcard, let alone making up a double-digit game deficit within the division.
But when you looked at the Tigers’ future is when your stomach really churned. All of their top prospects traded away for parts in the past that couldn’t get the team over the top led to one of the worst farm systems in baseball. When a recent top 50 prospects in baseball was released, no player within the Detroit organization was included.
Daniel Norris, probably the cherry on top of the Price deal, was ranked the #15 prospect in MLB heading into this season. He, and all six new arrivals, instantly make their presence known within the organization.
The struggles of Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene are proof that this team has no depth. No playoff contending team would put up with the foibles of those two players without replacing them. Now Simon must play through inconsistency and a strained back while Greene goes to the bullpen in favor of Buck Farmer, who has just a handful of big league games under his belt.
Other than Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, the Tigers have been very fortunate to not have suffered many major long-lasting injuries this season, unlike 2014. What last season and Miggy’s void at first base has shown is that this franchise lacks major league-caliber parts should everyday MLB injuries occur.
So be sad. Be disappointed. Be angry. It’s all okay to vent your frustrations over a team that had postseason aspirations but instead will most likely be sitting home in October for the first time in a half decade.
But no longer fear the future of this franchise.
The Tigers merely accomplished phase I of the rebooting effort. Rajai Davis, Alex Avila and Simon may be placed on waivers during August to allow them to be traded if cleared.
When the season is over, they will work on adding bullpen help, getting a front-line starter (hello Jordan Zimmermann) and hopefully getting back Yoenis Cespedes.
Before all these trades, I had not been looking forward to watching the Tigers on a nightly basis in 2015. They seemed to be going through the motions, finding new ways to lose every night and just playing “blah” baseball.
The rebooted Tigers have a bit of a spark (aside from the pitching, that is) and have re-energized my interest. Sure that “spark” will not last, but this team has restocked its farm system, added depth and set themselves up, with some key signings this off-season, to compete in 2016 and beyond.
This is not something any of us could have said Thursday morning.