Detroit Tigers Offseason Review: Winners and Losers

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Aug 31, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) is lifted in to the air by second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) after scoring the winning run against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) is lifted in to the air by second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) after scoring the winning run against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Mar 16, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Tyler Collins (18) runs in to make a catch during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium. The Tigers won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Winner: Detroit’s Bench

Last season, Detroit’s bench didn’t exactly stand out as the gold standard of reserve units.

Mike Aviles (-1.4 WAR), Casey McGehee (.011 ISO, 33 wRC+), Steven Moya (38% strikeout percentage), Anthony Gose (.289 on-base percentage), Erick Aybar (88 wRC+) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.277 wOBA) were among the team’s most-used reserves.

With Aviles since traded, Gose designated for assignment and McGehee, Aybar and Saltalamacchia departing via free agency, next season’s bench will have a different look.

The new unit will likely be headed by utility ace Andrew Romine.

Elsewhere, Moya could play a role as a power hitting bench threat after turning in a .245 ISO last season.

Additionally, two of the team’s most notable offseason additions should bring some added value.

Alex Avila posted a 1.1 WAR, a .359 on-base percentage and a 104 wRC+ for the White Sox last season.

Should he not win the starting field job, Mahtook could provide a boost.

The former Rays player posted a 1.8 WAR and a 167 wRC+ with Tampa Bay in 2015. If he can post similar numbers, Detroit will benefit greatly.

What’s more, the Tigers bench could benefit from the defense provided by glove-first shortstop Dixon Machado.

A potential understudy for Jose Iglesias, Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos, Machado posted a DRS of 2 and a UZR of 2.0 in just 30 innings last season for the Tigers.

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