Detroit Tigers: Rebuilds aren’t an exact science so tanking should be off table
Copy the 2016 Yankees
The Detroit Tigers clearly need to change things up, but they shouldn’t go for a complete tear-down. The team needs to target young players who can be plugged in right away or by 2018.
That’s easier said than done, but it is what Detroit needs to do.
Los Angeles’ Alex Verdugo and Willie Calhoun, Houston’s Derek Fisher, Milwaukee’s Brett Phillips and Brandon Woodruff and Washington’s Erick Fedde all qualify.
What’s more, all are all conceivable trade targets should the Tigers move Justin Wilson to one of the aforementioned teams.
Detroit should follow the Yankees’ blue print from 2016.
The Yankees, who entered that season’s trade deadline with an even 44-44 record, flipped veterans Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova for an overwhelming haul of prospects.
Of the group, Miller was the only player who wasn’t on an expiring contract.
Dealing those players certainly hasn’t impacted New York’s ability to contend this season, as the Bronx Bombers are in the thick of races for both the Wild Card and the American League East.
While Detroit’s current trade chips—Justin Wilson, Alex Avila and perhaps Anibal Sanchez and Jose Iglesias—may not net the same kind of return, the Tigers will be in a solid position if they can get full value at the deadline.
In that scenario, the team can move forward with a young nucleus in the next few seasons that features the newly-acquired players young players along with the likes of Fulmer, Stewart, Joe Jimenez, Mikie Mahtook, Daniel Norris, Nicholas Castellanos, Bruce Rondon, Mike Gerber, Matt Boyd and Beau Burrows.
With a young core like that supported by veterans such as Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and Justin Upton, the Tigers will be in a place to stay competitive without enduring a lengthy rebuild with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Eventually players like Jimenez and Norris are going to start making good on their immense potential.
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When that happens, the Detroit Tigers will hopefully be back in contention.