Detroit Tigers could conceivably spend more in free agency as a rebuilding team
The good news with the Detroit Tigers’ rebuild is that the next wave of prospects isn’t that far off.
Young starters Franklin Perez (the centerpiece of the Verlander blockbuster) and Beau Burrows both found success at Double-A Erie this season.
They were joined on the SeaWolves roster by slugging outfielder Christin Stewart, all-around outfielder Mike Gerber, infielder Dawel Lugo (the key player in the Martinez trade) as well as pitchers Sandy Baez, Matt Hall, Gerson Moreno, Adam Ravenelle and Spencer Turnbull.
Grayson Long, the starting pitcher acquired for Upton, fared well for Anaheim’s Double-A squad in 2017 with a 2.52 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 121.2 frames.
It isn’t unreasonable to expect that some of those players will be ready for the Majors at some point next season, if not by 2019.
So in that regard, the Tigers have a number of players who could plug in alongside the likes of Michael Fulmer, Mikie Mahtook, Joe Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario in the relatively near future.
That’s all good.
However, with the exception of perhaps Gerber and Triple-A power reliever Bryan Garcia, the vast majority of the prospects may not be ready for the Majors by Opening Day 2018.
Because of that, the Tigers could look for some veteran fill-ins on the free agent market.
These free agent signings would contribute in Detroit until players like Perez and Stewart are ready to take over in the Majors.