Following the Detroit Tigers in 2017 could be a sad situation, especially come the Trade Deadline in July.
With the call to reduce Detroit Tigers payroll in the next few years and very little done in this off-season, the Trade Deadline on July 31 could dramatically change the look of the team.
MLB expert, Ken Rosenthal is predicting that the Tigers and the Kansas City Royals will fall out of contention on August 1, 2017 due to big sell-offs the day before.big sell-offs the day before.
In his article “5 reasons why the MLB Trade Deadline will be insane,” Rosenthal focuses heavily on the Tigers and the trades that have not happened yet. Rosenthal writes: “The Tigers began the offseason open to trading anyone on their roster, yet parted only with outfielder offseason open to trading anyone on their roster, yet parted only with outfielder Cameron Maybin. It’s possible they will compete for a wild-card spot, but they still face the loss of right fielder J.D. Martinez as a free agent, and second baseman Ian Kinsler is free after 2018. And if things fell apart, maybe they would get serious about moving right-hander Justin Verlander.”
Rumors Ran Wild
Throughout the off-season, rumors ran wild about Martinez being courted by several teams, but the fact that he is a free agent after this season has kept teams from offering much for him. The San Francisco Giants showed the most interest.
Ian Kinsler rumors generally connected him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. But his no-trade clause prevented him from going to California. Instead, the Dodgers signed Logan Forsythe to fill the second base need.
Martinez and Kinsler are valuable to the Tigers because they draw fans to Comerica Park. But, neither of them are as valuable as Justin Verlander. Rosenthal’s suggestion that Verlander could go at the Trade Deadline would be a financial boost to the team, but it would also be an issue for fans. For the next three years, the Tigers owe JV $28 million each year. Since the Tigers have $114 million tied up in five players, dropping just one would bring the Tigers below the tax threshold.
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The Big Questions
The big questions are: What will the Tigers do prior to the Trade Deadline? Will the team be able to live up to its potential on paper? And, if so, will the big money players be traded away?
Even though the Tigers are not expected to win the AL Central – that honor belongs to the Cleveland Indians – the Tigers have a good team. And, many of their arch nemeses have left the Central for other divisions. And, if the Tigers can stay injury-free, they could contend.
If Ken Rosenthal is wrong about the Tigers it would only be because they are exceeding expectations in wins throughout the season. But, if they are not in a position to contend, Rosenthal’s prediction is most likely right on. Hold on to your hats, Tigers fans, 2017 could be a bumpy ride. The team is going to be playing for their lives…as Tigers.