Detroit Tigers should sign these four former first-round picks as depth pieces

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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 17: A detail of a Tiger statue sculpture on the tadium prior to the Detroit Tigers hosting the New York Yankees during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 17, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 17: A detail of a Tiger statue sculpture on the tadium prior to the Detroit Tigers hosting the New York Yankees during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 17, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila could do with more depth signings. Here are four fits who are former first-round picks.

Detroit Tigers fans could see some significant offseason activity this winter.

Executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila is in the midst of a full-blown rebuild.

The general manager has already used a number of his top trade chips, including starting pitcher Justin Verlander, outfielders J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton, catcher Alex Avila and closer Justin Wilson.

Hypothetically speaking, a number of other veterans could follow.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Jose Iglesias, closer Shane Greene and reliever Alex Wilson could all be trade chips.

If more trades occur, Detroit will need some added depth pieces to navigate the upcoming season.

Said players could begin in Toledo, but could also work their way into the Major League picture.

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There’s plenty of potential to be had up and down the free agent market.

Ideally some of these players could conceivably become a contributor or even an eventual trade chip for the Tigers.

Once again, this is all speculative, but here are four hypothetical depth adds for the Detroit Tigers.

Jake Hager

The 32nd-overall pick in 2011, Hager played at Triple-A Durham full=time in 2017.

Appearing in 73 games, the infielder turned in a .603 OPS, 16 extra-base hits, a .100 ISO and a 66 wRC+ in 291 plate appearances.

Those numbers don’t exactly jump off the page at you, but Hager is still only 24 and able to play shortstop, second base and third base.

He could make sense as a depth piece to stash at Triple-A Toledo in the event that one or both of Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias are traded.

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 Jeff Ames 

Another former first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays, Ames was nabbed with the 42nd-overall pick in 2011 that Tampa Bay netted after losing Rafael Soriano via free agency.

Among the players selected after Ames included current Detroit Tigers ace Michael Fulmer (44th overall), Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story and Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell.

Ames hasn’t cracked the majors yet, but the 26-year-old struck out 11.08 batters per nine innings and pitched to a 3.98 ERA, a 3.86 FIP and a 3.92 in 63.1 relief innings for Triple-A Durham.

With the Tigers searching for options in the bullpen, adding a former first-round pick with the ability to miss bats at a high rate certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Dante Bichette Jr.

The son of former big leaguer Dante Bichette and the brother of elite Toronto prospect Bo Bichette, Dante Bichette Jr. is a 25-year-old infielder coming off a seven-year stint in the New York Yankees minor league system.

He registered a .352 on-base percentage and a 98 wRC+ last season in 281 plate appearances for Double-A Trenton.

His numbers don’t wow, but he does have power and the Tigers could use infield depth close to the Majors, especially at first base. He’s more than worth the flier.

Kevin Comer

A first-round pick of the Blue Jays in the 2011 draft, Comer began as a starter, but transitioned to the bullpen.

He found some success there at the Triple-A level in Houston’s system last season, striking out 10.56 batters per nine innings to go along with a 3.68 ERA, a 3.78 FIP and a 26% strikeout percentage.

With a successful season at the minors’ highest level, the 25-year-old certainly deserves a shot at the Majors.

Next: Tigers should make this trade with SD

Detroit should take a flier to see if the former 57th-overall pick can stick in the Majors.

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