Ryan Raburn: Detroit Tigers Left Fielder?


With all the hype about the top-tier free agents that would be “perfect” fits in Detroit, there is one player who actually could be a great fit, especially in left field. Ryan Raburn is available right now. No, this is not a joke. 

It is a well-known fact that the Detroit Tigers need some help in left field. Tyler Collins did an acceptable job after Yoenis Cespedes left, but he was not perfect. He did not face many left-handed pitchers, but his performance against both lefties and righties was less than average. If Al Avila keeps Collins in for 2016, he will need a platoon partner. Ryan Raburn could be that guy, especially because he can hit left-handed pitchers.

Raburn had one of his best seasons in 2015. He finished the season with a .301 BA and .543 SLG. He had 8 home runs and 29 RBIs in his 172 at-bats. He made one error in his 35 games starting in the outfield. He even pitched two outs in a game against the Cubs.

Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers /

Detroit Tigers

Another good reason to put Raburn back on the team is his history against the White Sox. In 2015, Raburn hit multiple home runs against Chris Sale, reaching an OPS of 1.006. Two years prior, he had a 1.132 OPS with four home runs and five doubles against the White Sox. There is nothing wrong with giving the White Sox a good beating, even if it is Ryan Raburn doing the beating.

Raburn could be one of the most affordable outfielders in the 2016 free agency game. He may not have performed well when he played second base for the Detroit Tigers, but that was with another manager and a very different team. He might do well with Brad Ausmus at the helm. His experience in the MLB could actually be a good thing for the young outfielders. Cleveland declined his 2016 option for $3 million, which could be a sign that he is ready to come back or maybe he should not be playing at all?