Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila could do with more depth signings. Here are two fits in Jeff Locke and Ramon Flores.
Detroit Tigers fans could see Al Avila make a number of moves this offseason.
The general manger is in the midst of a full-blown rebuild.
This means trading away some veterans to make way for younger players. While said younger players would ideally grab a starting opportunity with both hands and stick in the team without struggles, that’s not always the case.
In this regard, Detroit could do with some added depth. That depth could potentially step in if the team’s younger players experience some rough stretches.
These players would ideally be brought in as minor league signings and give Avila, new manager Ron Gardenhire and company as extra options.
Said players could begin in Toledo, but could also work their way into the Major League picture.
There’s plenty of potential to be had up and down the free agent market.
Ideally one or more of these players could conceivably become a contributor or even an eventual trade chip for the Tigers.
This is all speculative mind you, but here are two hypothetical depth adds for the Detroit Tigers.
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A former mainstay in the Pirates rotation, Locke moved to Miami in 2017.
Playing for a Major League ball club other than Pittsburgh, the results simply weren’t there for the left-handed starter.
In seven starts the southpaw lasted just 32 innings, giving up 32 hits, 30 runs (29 earned), 15 walks and four home runs.
He did strikeout out 26 batters, but he couldn’t keep runs off the board.
This is a stark contrast to Locke’s time in Pittsburgh. While there, he pitched to a 4.29 ERA, a 4.26 FIP and a 1.401 WHIP in 111 appearances (100 starts) from 2013 to 2016.
During that span, the 29-year-old also accumulated a cumulative 3.3 fWAR.
As a potential innings eater at the back of the rotation, Locke would be an ideal candidate to compete for a job in Spring Training.
If he can regain his Pittsburgh form, he could be a potential trade chip down the line.
An intriguing outfield addition, Flores is just 25 and comes with significant experience in years past. He saw action in 104 games (289 plate appearances) for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016.
Nothing about his career Major League stats will jump out at you as the outfielder owns a lifetime 43 wRC+, a .241 wOBA and a .281 on-base percentage in 331 plate appearances.
However, he’s still young and his coming off a strong 2017 campaign with Anaheim’s Triple-A affiliate.
Flores hit .312 with a .409 on-base percentage, a .460 slugging percentage, a .387 wOBA, a 131 wRC+, a 11.3 walk rate and a .148 ISO.
He also tacked on 71 RBI, 65 runs scored, 21 doubles, 12 stolen bases, 10 home runs and five stolen bases.
As a potential fourth outfielder or more, Flores looks to be well worth a flier.