Sep 3, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Justin Upton (10) is congratulated after scoring during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
For a team as sad as the Detroit Tigers have been this season, you would think some drastic changes would need to be made in order to turn them into contenders again.
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Yes its obvious that Manager Brad Ausmus will not be back with the club next season, but it appears that may be the only “drastic” move made by new general manager Al Avila, as if he has much of a choice. The massive contracts former general manager Dave Dombrowski handed out over the past few years has Avila a bit handcuffed, but not all hope is lost. Players like J.D. Martinez, Anthony Gose and Nick Castellanos are all under Tigers control and trending upward, while making far less money the declining Victor Martinez and Anibal Sanchez.
Previously I did a list of top free agents to target, however four of five picks were pitchers (the only position player was outfielder Jason Heyward), which is clearly the teams most obvious need at this point. So instead of continuously beating the dead horse that is the 2015 season, here are three guys not named Heyward that Avila may think of adding to patch his the holes in the roster:
- Justin Upton – With RaGordon Beckhamjai Davis inevitably leaving Detroit and Gose hopefully figuring out center field, left field is wide open for the taking. Sounds like a perfect place for the 2005 first overall pick. He has never quite panned out to be the superstar most expected, but he can still hit for power and has plenty of speed. Things haven’t worked out well in San Diego for Upton this season, so maybe he may be available for a bit of a discount.
- Ian Desmond – I get this may come as a shock considering the Tigers already have an All Star shortstop in Jose Iglesias, but he’s a Dombrowski guy and has shown to be a bit of a problem in the clubhouse. Why not trade the oft-injured Iglesias for more pitching and bring Desmond aboard? Also probably available at a discount after having an abysmal season with the Nationals, the two-time defending Silver Slugger recipient would bring the leadership that Iglesias lacks to a team that desperately needs it.
- Gordon Beckham – Another 1st round semi-bust, Beckham would be a perfect addition to spell third baseman Nick Castellanos as well as second baseman Ian Kinsler. Although he has severely struggled at the plate this season, his defensive ability at multiple infield positions would be very useful. If he could figure out a way to revitalize his bat, Detroit fans would instantly welcome the life-long member of the Chicago White Sox with open arms.