Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers free agency primer: Why Carlos Gonzalez is a fit

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DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies is congratulated on his RBI sacrifice fly against the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning of an interleague game at Coors Field on August 29, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies is congratulated on his RBI sacrifice fly against the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning of an interleague game at Coors Field on August 29, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 04: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies hits a single during the top of the fourth inning of the National League Wild Card game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 4, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 04: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies hits a single during the top of the fourth inning of the National League Wild Card game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 4, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila could conceivably spend on the free agent market if the team needs veteran, stop-gap options. One area of need is the outfield. Carlos Gonzalez is a potential fit.

Detroit Tigers fans have seen plenty of change in the outfield since the conclusion of the 2016 season.

What was once a starting trio of Cameron Maybin, Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez is now a log jam with just two established starters—Mikie Mahtook and Nicholas Castellanos—and a multitude of additional options.

Said options include JaCoby Jones, Tyler Collins, Alex Presley, Andrew Romine and Jim Adduci.

The outfield picture could get even more muddled next year as top prospects Christin Stewart and Mike Gerber could make their respective Major League debuts.

However, before that happens, the Tigers might be in need of some short-term additions given the play of the aforementioned additional options.

The youngest of the group, Jones has flashed elite defensive potential in center field—at the very least where covering ground is concerned.

However, he’s failed to hit much in the Majors in his two brief cameos.

Other incumbents

Collins has seen more than two brief cameos in the Majors, but like Jones has struggled to consistently put it all together at the dish.

At 28, he could be too old for the rebuilding Tigers.

If 28 is too old, then Presley (32), Romine (31) and Adduci (32) certainly don’t fit the bill either.

While all three made positive contributions to the team, Detroit may be better off trying to extract a prospect or two out of each, thus making room for younger options.

All told, the Tigers could find plenty of value in signing a veteran outfielder to a short-term contract to help bridge the gap to Stewart and Gerber.

Ideally, the signing would join on a one-year deal and perform well in the first half before being dealt for more prospects in July.

In a perfect world, Detroit would be able to sign a player with a proven track record coming off a down season who has the potential to bounce back.

To continue with the ideal theme, the ideal signing for the Detroit Tigers in this scenario would be Carlos Gonzalez.

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