Detroit Tigers Rumors: Team Looking for Free Agent Center Fielder
Detroit Tigers rumors are once again in the headlines. According to the latest report, the Tigers are in the market for a free agent option in center field.
Detroit Tigers rumors are back.
Despite the Winter Meetings being in the rear view mirror, and the fact that Spring Training is fast approaching, Tigers rumors are still making headlines.
According to a tweet from the Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech, a center field addition could still be in the team’s plans.
Fenech tweeted on Thursday morning, “Tigers are still seeking a veteran stop-gap in centerfield, I’m told, looking for low-cost options around $2 million.”
The reporter would also go on to add in a separate tweet, “The team still has opportunities to trade for a centerfielder, though that seems less likely than adding one in free agency.”
Detroit traded last season’s starting center fielder, Cameron Maybin, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a move designed to help the team save money.
According to Spotrac, Maybin will earn $9 million next season with the Halos.
With the former first-round pick now plying his trade in the American League West, the Tigers current center field options include JaCoby Jones, Tyler Collins and Anthony Gose.
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Jones is likely the future for the Tigers at the position. However, when he makes the transition to starting in the Majors on a regular basis remains to be seen.
Additionally, Collins is more of a natural corner outfielder. The 26-year-old turned in a -4 DRS and a -11.4 UZR/150 at the position last season.
Rounding out the list is Gose, who managed just a 0.1 WAR in 30 games for the club. The center fielder hit just .209 with a 69 wRC+ for Detroit.
A demotion to the minors didn’t help Gose’ production either, as the ex-Blue Jay hit a combined .203 in 90 games split between Double-A and Triple-A.
Current Free Agents
Given all of that, it isn’t too surprising that the Tigers are reportedly seeking another center field option.
The current free agent market offers a number of veteran options who could fit in Detroit.
These include the likes of Michael Bourn, Peter Bourjos, Coco Crisp and Drew Stubbs. Former top prospect Desmond Jennings is also out of contract, as is longtime Tiger Austin Jackson.
Bourn and Jackson seem like the best fits of the bunch given their all-around play and speed, though that is just speculative on.
Jackson may be the best fit of all—again, purely speculative—given his familiarity with Comerica Park.
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The former Detroit center fielder batted .277 in his time with the Tigers, including a robust .293 at home. Additionally, Jackson posted a .361 on-base percentage in 340 games in Detroit.