Detroit Tigers: Winners and losers from the 2017 season
Winner: The future
Ok, so this isn’t exactly a player, a coach, a manager or a front office member.
That being said, the future in the Motor City got much, much—emphasize much—brighter this year.
What was already a pitching-heavy farm system got much deeper as Detroit added a pair of pitchers with frontline upside in Franklin Perez and Alex Faedo.
Perez, the centerpiece of the Justin Verlander trade, could be in the Motor City as early as next season.
At 19, he’s already made the jump to Double-A. While there, he logged a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings against competition that was on average 5.1 years older than him in 2017.
Faedo, who fell to Detroit with the 18th-overall pick, may have a slightly more extended timeline in reaching the Majors. However, his slider/fastball/changeup troika should help him miss plenty of bats at the highest level.
The Tigers also added Grayson Long in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Anaheim.
Like Perez, he could be in Detroit’s rotation in the next year after pitching to a 2.86 ERA in 125.2 Double-A innings last season.
Perez, Faedo and Long joined a farm system that already featured the likes of Matt Manning, Beau Burrows, Kyle Funkhouser, Sandy Baez and Gregory Soto.
However, Al Avila and company did an excellent job on the whole in adding position player depth in the form of a haul of prospects in deals sending out Justin Wilson, Alex Avila, Verlander and J.D. Martinez.
Detroit fans have already seen Jeimer Candelario’s ability. He’ll eventually be joined in the Majors by fellow ex-Chicago farmhand Isaac Paredes.
A middle infielder with some power, Paredes has one of the highest ceilings in the farm system.
Other notable acquisitions include outfielder Daz Cameron, standout defensive backstop Jake Rogers and infielder Dawel Lugo.
Fellow infielders Jose King and Sergio Alcantara, acquired in the Martinez trade, give the team two prospects for further down the line.
Considering the Tigers finished 2017 with the worst record in the league, the team will get the first-overall pick in 2018 draft, to go along with the largest bonus pool.