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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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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 16: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates in the dugout after hitting a fifth inning two-run homerun against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 16, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 16: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates in the dugout after hitting a fifth inning two-run homerun against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 16, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

How Carlos Gonzalez fits with the Detroit Tigers

As with many players who turn in strong offensive seasons playing half their games at Colorado’s Coors Field, it’s probably normal to wonder how the player would produce playing elsewhere.

Gonzalez, who has spent the vast majority of his career in Colorado, has a career 95 wRC+ and a .174 ISO on the road.

However, as recently as 2015, he turned in a 102 wRC+, a .221 ISO and a .758 OPS on the road.

If he can replicate those kind of numbers in Detroit, the Tigers should benefit greatly.

It also doesn’t hurt that Gonzalez, in a small sample size, has found plenty of success at Comerica Park.

In 24 plate appearances, the 31-year-old is hitting .435 with a .458 on-base percentage, a .652 slugging percentage and a 1.111 OPS.

The outfielder also has four runs scored, three RBI, two doubles, a home run and a stolen base in Detroit.

Run producer

Results may matter little for the Detroit Tigers in 2018, but the team could still use some more offensive punch as they look to grow as a team.

With J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton gone, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez coming off injury-shortened seasons and Ian Kinsler a potential trade candidate this winter, the batting order could use a boost.

Adding Gonzalez to hit behind Cabrera and in front of Nicholas Castellanos and Jeimer Candelario would give the Tigers a quality heart of the order.

Trade chip

While position players didn’t bring in as much vale as pitchers at the 2017 trade deadline, Gonzalez’ offensive upside would make him a fit in almost any lineup.

Next: Predicting Ian Kinsler's trade market

With Christin Stewart a potential call up at some point next season, the Tigers can eventually trade Carlos Gonzalez for more prospects to help the rebuild while replacing his production with the powerful Stewart.

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