Detroit Tigers: Winners and losers from the 2017 season
Loser: Contending in the short term
Again, this isn’t a person, player or any employee of the Detroit Tigers.
Still, Detroit struggled at times in the first half of the 2017 season before beginning to trade off pieces.
Outfielder J.D. Martinez went in mid-July, while closer Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila were dealt at the July non-waiver trade deadline.
Major League Baseball’s other trade deadline, the one on August 31st, also saw the Tigers move key contributors.
This time, outfielder Justin Upton and longtime ace Justin Verlander were traded in the span of mere hours as the month of August came to a close.
The moves represent Detroit’s full full-on rebuild in more than a decade.
There was the offseason between the 2009 and 2010 seasons that saw Placido Polanco, Fernando Rodney and Marcus Thames depart via free agency.
That offseason also saw Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson traded as part of a three-team trade.
However, the Granderson deal netted Detroit Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke.
With Scherzer developing into a Cy Young winner and Jackson turning in a 11.8 WAR in his first three seasons in center field, the team quickly vaulted back into contention.
Things are different this time around.
Detroit’s impact talent is still developing in the minors.
In a perfect world, the Tigers will be able to surprise some people next year and play above their punching weight.
That being said, the short-term effect of the trades could leave the on-field product as less than desirable.