Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Assessing whether team can contend in next two seasons

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers, Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers, Shane Greene #61 of the Detroit Tigers and Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning to drive in Candelario and defeat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 at Comerica Park on September 15, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Mikie Mahtook #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers, Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers, Shane Greene #61 of the Detroit Tigers and Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers after hitting a walk-off single in the ninth inning to drive in Candelario and defeat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 at Comerica Park on September 15, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 30: Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals receives a hug from Eric Hosmer #35 after he was taken out of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 30: Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals receives a hug from Eric Hosmer #35 after he was taken out of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The state of the rest of the American League

If the 2017 season taught us anything in the American League it’s that the Wild Card picture in the junior circuit is incredibly jumbled and messy.

Moving forward, that’s probably going to be the case.

The Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox are both rebuilding.

Kansas City could join them in starting over this offseason with first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Alcides Escobar and starting pitcher Jason Vargas hitting the free agent market this winter.

The Baltimore Orioles could be in a similar position next season as Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Brad Brach are all slated to become free agents following the 2018 campaign.

There’s also Anaheim and Seattle. Two teams that while talented, finished two and six games below .500 respectively.

However, both are propped up by uncharacteristically thin farm systems that may produce little in the way of impact talent in the coming seasons.

In other words, pretty much any team could have a shot in the Wild Card if they string together some positive results, receive some unexpected contributions and generally punch above their respective weight like the Twins did this past season.

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