Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila could do with more depth signings. Here are two fits in Curt Casali and Simon Castro.
Detroit Tigers fans have already seen a number of veteran players depart since July.
The exodus of sorts began with the trade of J.D. Martinez and has continued all the way through the early stages of the offseason.
From the in-season departures of starting pitcher Justin Verlander, closer Justin Wilson, catcher Alex Avila and catcher Justin Upton to offseason departures of players like utility player Andrew Romine and outfielder Alex Presley.
If more veterans are moved, Detroit will need players to step in as depth pieces.
Said players could begin in Toledo, but could also work their way into the Major League picture.
There’s plenty of potential 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 a pair of hypothetical depth adds for the Detroit Tigers.
Catching depth is hard to find in Major League Baseball.
Grayson Greiner is also on hand as a potential third option, but adding a more veteran presence to the group could prove to be beneficial.
One hypothetical fit is Curt Casali.
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Casali, who has spent parts of the last four seasons as a catcher with the Tampa Bay Rays, was actually drafted by the Tigers in the 10th round of the 2011 draft.
As a potential catching solution and depth piece to pair with Greiner at Triple-A Toledo, Casali would bring plenty of experience.
He’s mashed 19 home runs in a career 466 plate appearances. While his .670 career OPS in the Majors isn’t exactly something to write home about, the backstop turned in a 10.8% walk rate and a 19.0% strikeout percentage in 343 Triple-A plate appearances this season.
He also chipped in with a 99 wRC+ and a .351 on-base percentage.
What’s more, Casali could provide value in the pitch-framing department.
In 2016 he had the 22nd-best runs above average stat (3.4) among all catchers in the league according to StatCorner.
A 29-year-old reliever with 54 innings of Major League experience spread across parts of three seasons, Castro saw his most significant work in the Majors with the Oakland Athletics this past season.
Averaging 94 miles per hour on his fastball (per FanGraphs) Castro worked to a 4.38 ERA, a 4.18 SIERA and a 1.243 WHIP in 37 frames.
He also struck out 8.5 batters per nine innings while allowing 3.4 walks and 1.7 home runs per nine innings.
The right-hander also found plenty of success with Oakland’s Triple-A squad, striking out 63 batters (or 14.9 per nine frames) in 38 innings while also turning in a 3.32 ERA, a 3.47 xFIP and a 3.56 FIP.
As a potential depth piece in Toledo, Castro would be an intriguing addition given his ability to miss bats.