The Detroit Tigers have some big names and some big salaries. And, it appears that the goal is to sell off their commodities.
Instead of the Detroit Tigers trading away the names that make the Tigers who they are, they should deal away some others.
While a big sell-off worked for the Chicago Cubs, the Detroit Tigers are a different team with a different front office. Statistics and sabermetrics are huge, but there is an entertainment factor to baseball, too. Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander offer both the numbers and the intangibles. Other men on the team do not.
So, the big rumors in the past few days have been about the Los Angeles Dodgers showing interest in Verlander and the Houston Astros showing interest in Cabrera. In all honesty, it is easy to see why Al Avila would be interested in trading them. Together, the pair is a $56 million factor in the Detroit Tigers payroll.
Keep the Faces of the Franchise
But, there are other ways to knock out 25% or more of the payroll without getting rid of the franchise faces. In the future, these two men will be to the Tigers what Al Kaline, Alan Trammell, and Willie Horton are. Their value extends beyond the checkbook and into what makes baseball a game for generations.
When it comes to Major League baseball players, there are only so many of them. And, they all have some value. Just the fact that Joe Nathan, Ryan Raburn, and Alfredo Simon were on teams in 2017 should be proof enough. So, there are teams that are willing to trade for the players the Tigers and fans would like to see go.
Removing More Money and Unwanted Weight
These include, in no particular order, Mike Pelfrey, Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, Mark Lowe, and Anibal Sanchez. Coaches love to be the guy who fixes the problems, so they are often willing to take on a player who needs fixing. And, all of these guys need fixing.
These men occupy about $70 million on the salary. And, they do not offer much to the team. Fans have seen all they are going to see out of Mike Pelfrey and Mark Lowe. If Avila can market them properly, he could certainly get a young arm for each man. Several teams have less than the Tigers have in the bullpen and in the starting rotation, so they would see these two as potential assets. Zimmermann would be a great project for the right team and he could command more than one arm for the Tigers.
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Zimmermann would be a great project for the right team and he could command more than one arm for the Tigers. Sanchez could also be a good addition for a team that is looking to change the way that pitchers are used.
While I absolutely loved watching Justin Upton swing for the fences, I would be ok seeing him on another team. The Tigers did overpay him, but other teams overpay players and there are some that would appreciate his skills.
As a ticket-buying fan, I’d happily buy tickets to watch a team that no longer has these men on it. Why not throw Steven Moya into one of the deals, too?