Detroit Tigers: These Are Their Five Core Players for 2016
The Detroit Tigers were a disappointment in 2015 but the team still has an excellent core of players to build around for the 2016 season.
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There are a few that the Tigers will have to make decisions about between now and spring training. It’s already been all but confirmed that catcher Alex Avila will most likely not be back with the team in 2016. James McCann took over the starting job when Avila was out early in the season with a knee injury. Bryon Holaday is out of options and can’t be sent back to the minor leagues without clearing waivers so he’ll certainly be McCann’s backup next season.
The main question to concern the Tigers for next season is Victor Martinez. He fought through injuries last season but still played in 120 games. In 2015 he slashed .245/.301/.366, arguably the worst season of his career.
This is no suggestion that the Tigers try to move him, even if they could. He’ll be 37 next season and is under contract for $18 million for the next three years. Martinez’ rehab has to be the team’s top priority. He can still be a valuable contributor to the Tigers as long as his legs are completely healthy and he can drive through the ball again.
Those are just two of the players who’ve been an integral part of the team in years past. What follows are the ones they will be counting on in 2016.