Detroit Tigers: A look at the 2018 Infield

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 09: Miguel Cabrera
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 09: Miguel Cabrera /
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ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 15: Jose Iglesias
ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 15: Jose Iglesias /

Jose Iglesias

Amidst some turmoil regarding his future with the team, the Tigers ensured Iglesias would in Detroit at least to start the season. The two sides agreed to a one-year, $6.275 million dollar contract to avoid arbitration. The sides appeared destined for an arbitration hearing, which would have been the first for Detroit since 2001.

Seeing Iglesias get such a raise was a bit surprising, considering the drop in offensive production we have seem from him in the last two years. Iggy posted a career-low .288 OBP and a 71 wRC+ last season. His WAR was 1.6 thanks primarily to his defense, which has remained elite during his tenure in Detroit.

General Manager Al Avila has made it clear that Iglesias will not be a part of Detroit’s future. While that had to be hard to swallow, the Tigers still appear ready to head into 2018 with Iggy as their starting shortstop. With limited options in the upper minors, the Tigers don’t have much choice unless they want to trade Iglesias and also sign a minor league free agent to play short, or use recently signed Pete Kozma.

However, Iglesias will be a free agent after next season so the Tigers will need to deal him at the trade deadline or else they risk losing him to free agency and getting nothing in return.

It’s a tricky situation and one that should be handled carefully by GM Al Avila. Expect Iglesias to start the season at shortstop, while getting shopped aggresively at the trade deadline. Should a contending team have an injury to their shortstop, Iglesias is an appealing trade target.

It’s not ideal, but for the Tigers to truly rebuild they need to break down their roster and get any prospects they can for the veteran players who won’t be around for the next playoff run. Although just 28, Iglesias doesn’t figure into the future and thus should be dealt for a prospect that could help down the road.