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Detroit Tigers: Could negative perceptions hurt chances at top free agents?

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Apr 6, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (19) and second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) hold up a flag for the 2014 AL Central Division Championship prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

By going to the American League Championship season three straight years from 2011-13, the Detroit Tigers put themselves on the map as being one of the most consistently solid franchises in baseball.

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A couple years later, that can no longer be said. After a quick ouster in last year’s postseason, the Tigers will be on the outside looking in to the playoffs for the first time since 2010, with a likely last place finish for the first time since 2008.

This season has been an unmitigated disaster. This season has featured chocking away 6-0 and 10-2 starts, shipping off players with expiring contracts at the trading deadline, firing the general manager in-season, a dugout fight, a manager basically being fired in the press and players calling out fans.

Yet many believe the Detroit Tigers will right the ship next year. They really have the ability to do just that, with a number of contracts freeing up salary and ownership telling new GM Al Avila the plan to win a World Series continues (meaning the team will still spend to win).

That belief needs to be realized by the Tigers being able to attract big named free agents to the team. But with everything that has gone on here the last 14 months or so, will it be as easy as everyone thinks?

Let’s take a look at certain factors that the Detroit Tigers have going for them and against them in attracting top-flight free agents to the mix for 2016 and beyond.

Next: It's about the money, stupid!

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