Detroit Tigers: Shawn O’Malley and Dario Alvarez are worth looks as depth signings
Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Al Avila could do with more depth signings. Here are two fits in Shawn O’Malley and Dario Alvarez.
Detroit Tigers fans could conceivably see some more departures before the offseason is through.
Dating back to Opening Day 2017, Detroit has parted with closer Francisco Rodriguez, outfielder J.D. Martinez, catcher Alex Avila, replacement closer Justin Wilson, outfielder Justin Upton, starting pitcher Justin Verlander, pitcher Anibal Sanchez and utility man Andrew Romine.
Among the other notable departures include outfielders Jim Adduci, Tyler Collins, Alex Presley and Steven Moya as well as pitchers Kyle Ryan, Angel Nesbitt, Myles Jaye and Jeff Ferrell.
The departures could continue if the likes of Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias, Shane Greene and Alex Wilson are dealt.
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Either way, with so many players having already exited the organization, the Tigers will be in need of more depth.
Of course, some of the places in the upper minors vacated by minor league free agents will be filled by promoted prospects.
However, more depth pieces would certainly help Detroit during the upcoming season and beyond.
Ideally some of these players could conceivably become a contributor or even an eventual trade chip for the Tigers.
At worst, they’d be useful players to have available at Triple-A Toledo.
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Once again, this is all speculative, but here are a pair of hypothetical depth adds for the Detroit Tigers.
With Andrew Romine now a member of the Seattle Mariners, Dixon Machado remains as the most likely utility infield option off the bench for the Detroit Tigers
However, if either of Jose Iglesias or Ian Kinsler is traded this offseason, Machado would be elevated into a starting role.
This would open up the utility role on the bench, where Shawn O’Malley would be an interesting addition.
O’Malley hasn’t hit much in the Majors, accumulating a 80 wRC+ and a .271 wOBA in 305 career plate appearances.
However he’s played every position but first base, catcher and pitcher in the Majors and minors.
That defensive flexibility alone makes the 29-year-old a hypothetical fit to, at the very least, stash at Triple-A Toledo.
Alvarez struggled mightily in his first two Major League stints.
In an albeit small sample size of five total innings split across two seasons, the southpaw allowed nine hits, seven earned runs, three home runs and a walk in a New York Mets uniform.
He was much better early on in 2016 with Atlanta.
In 15 innings, the reliever pitched to a 3.00 ERA, a 3.21 FIP and 28 strikeouts.
The National League East franchise then traded him along with former Detroit Tigers minor league pitcher Lucas Harrell to the Texas Rangers for prospect Travis Demeritte.
Alvarez struggled initially in 2016 with Texas, surrendering 17 hits and 10 earned runs allowed in 11.2 frames.
That being said, he was much more effective in 2017, working around 14 walks in 16.1 innings to post a 2.76 ERA and 17 strikeouts for the Rangers.
Alvarez won’t solve the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen woes on his own.
However, as a southpaw reliever who can miss bats (11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in the Majors and 11.1 strikeouts per nine frames in the minors) and is still only 28, he’d make an interesting depth addition to the minor league system.
With a left-handed reliver group featuring Jairo Labourt Daniel Stumpf, Blaine Hardy and Chad Bell, Detroit could use an added southpaw who could potentially step in down the line.
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It’s worth noting that Alvarez has a 3.89 ERA, 1 1.385 WHIP and 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings in 69.1 career frames at the Triple-A level.