Detroit Tigers: Help is Needed to the Left


The bullpen is set. The rotation is set. But, there is still something missing. The Detroit Tigers need to make one more move to create a team that could be in contention with the Kansas City Royals and any other AL team that is expected to shine in 2016.

What is that one more move you ask? One more addition in the outfield. Preferably on the left side.

Sep 30, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) fields a ground ball with his bare hand in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After three seasons of watching Nick Castellanos, one season of Anthony Gose, and a few months of Tyler Collins, it is clearly obvious that the left side needs a veteran. Not one with three seasons of experience. One that has been well-seasoned and has a proven record of success (and affordability). Castellanos has improved during his three years at the hot corner, but he still misses more than he should.

Yes, the Detroit Tigers regained the services of Cameron Maybin. Yes, he is a veteran with more experience in the bigs than Collins, Gose, and Castellanos combined. But, there is something missing with Maybin, too. His oWAR is only 8.3 after nine years. His dWAR is 2.0. All three, Collins, Gose, and Castellanos have negative dWAR numbers. It is clear that the left side (and possibly even center) is in need of repair.

Unfortunately, the current options for left are outrageously overpriced. For example, rumor has it that Jason Heyward (who likes right) wants upwards of $200 million for ten years. Yoenis Cespedes will most likely want $125 million, but for five years. Alex Gordon will want something similar, like $100 million for four years. Heyward has an oWAR of 17.5 and a dWAR of 9.8 in his six years in the league. Cespedes earned an oWar of 13.9 and negative dWar in his four seasons. Gordon has 22.9 and 6.9.

While these three players on the radar for many teams, the Tigers could make a move for Gerardo Parra. He has played all three outfield spots and he bats left. After seven years in the league, he does not have the numbers like Heyward, et. al, but he could certainly hang in the platoon the Tigers already have in place. He was paid $6 million in 2015 and most likely will not ask for much more. Rumor has it that he wants a four-year deal, but has not yet received it.

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Hopefully, Al Avila has something in place. Despite him saying that he is not interested in Cespedes or Gordon, Avila could be simply keeping his cards close.