Detroit Tigers: Why veteran free agent signings are essential this offseason

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 20: Curtis Granderson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a MLB game at Comerica Park on August 20, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 20: Curtis Granderson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a MLB game at Comerica Park on August 20, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/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) /

Finding value

This doesn’t mean that Detroit should jump into the free agent market and hand out more bloated, long-term contracts to players like J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer and Yu Darvish.

However, more short-term contracts for veterans could be beneficial.

Not only would the Tigers add placeholders for the likes of Perez, Stewart and others, but the team would also start to rebuild somewhat of a winning culture.

While players like Martinez, Hosmer and Darvish may not be fits from a financial standpoint, Detroit can make the team slightly more competitive—not to mention better to watch—by handing out one-year deals to free agents like Carlos Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, Doug Fister, Luke Gregerson and Logan Morrison.

Each could help the team in the short and long term.

Not only would the veterans help make the team slightly better in the short term, but they can also be used for trade chips in July to stock up on more future pieces.

Signing the right veterans could even help the Tigers surprise some people in 2018.

The team is set for another rebuilding year, but crazier things have happened.

Maybe a hitter like Gonzalez finds his past form. Perhaps a free agent starter turns in a career year. Maybe the younger players take significant steps forward.

It may not be enough to push the Detroit Tigers into, or near, the playoffs in 2018, but a marked improvement from the team would expedite the rebuild significantly. Should it happen, this would do wonders for the team moving forward.